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Y News: Two Staff Members named “Coaches of the Year”

We’re proud to have two “Coaches of the Year” on our staff!

Jeff (left) and Bryan (right)

A big congratulations to Bryan McDonnell, named High School Boys Swimming Coach of the Year by the Bergen Record, and Jeff Ziegler, High School Girls Swimming Coach of the Year. Triathlete and former Ramapo College swimmer, Bryan is the aquatics and multi-sport specialist at the Y, and coach of the Indian Hills swim team. Here, he coaches the advanced stroke clinic, triathlon swim training classes, directs the Wyckoff Y Tri Club and manages Spring Lake during the summer. Jeff, physical therapist and former swimmer for Misericordia University and coach of Pascack Regional swim team, leads our Masters swim program and also coaches triathlon swim training classes.

They both had outstanding seasons: Pascack Regional went 8-1-1, and finished 4th at the Bergen County meet of Champs, and Indian Hills went 9-2 and made it to States for the first time. But being Coach of the Year goes deeper than having a winning season. They both have a palpable enthusiasm for swimming and wealth of knowledge to bring out the best in their athletes. Students also praised them for their mentorship and positive attitudes, making them more than great coaches, but great leaders.

Even though they’re rivals during the high school swim season, they’re friends in the water. Fondly referred to as “the dynamic duo,” they’ve gained a loyal following of swimmers and triathletes at the Y, who return to them session after session. “They’re always willing to help you with whatever goal you have…to get faster for the triathlon, learn flip turns or master your butterfly,” one member commented,”Jeff excels at breaking down stroke technique, and Bryan’s workouts are killer!” No matter whose class you take, you know you’re getting the best coaching around.

Read the full stories from the Record on

H.S. boys swimming Coach of the Year: Bryan McDonnell, Indian Hills

H.S. girls swimming  Coach of the Year: Jeff Zielger, Pascack Regional