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Seneca Valley Swimming and Diving

Our Coaches

Head Coach - Swimming

Brian Blackwell
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Entering his 9th season with Seneca Valley, Coach Brian Blackwell hopes to continue the tremendous success he has experienced over the previous 8 seasons. Coach Blackwell holds a Level 3 coaching status with the American Swimming Coaches Association. In addition to coaching Seneca Valley's varsity team Coach Blackwell is also the Head Coach of Seneca Valley Swim Club and has been selected to be the Head Zone Coach for Allegheny Mountain.

Coach Blackwell has produced 52 District Qualifiers (22 Medalists) and 14 PIAA State Qualifiers with 5 Finalists and his swimmers hold 4 Varsity Team records. His athletes have gone on to complete at the collegiate level for such institutions as University of Virginia, Ohio State University, The US Coast Guard Academy, St. Bonaventure University, Cleveland State University, Gannon University, Lake Erie College, Grove City College, Penn State University, Westminster College, and the University of Pittsburgh.

During Brian's swimming career, he was a Eastern Zone and Sectional Qualifier, the 2001 WPIAL AA 200 IM Champion, multiple PIAA State Finalist and earned All American consideration. Upon graduating high school, Brian attended Washington & Jefferson College where he swam competitively and earned All PAC Conference honors. Brian was a Dean’s List Scholar at W&J and earned a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Management.

Coach Blackwell’s philosophy about swimming is finding the proper balance between technique, endurance and strength. He believes educating his swimmers about the methods and science of swimming is just as important as the execution.

Assistant Coach - Swimming

Jeff Gavin 
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Coach Jeff Gavin prepares for his 9th year with Seneca Valley where he made a dramatic impact on the program. Jeff has played a significant role in coaching a number WPIAL and Sectional qualifiers. He is also the assistant coach for the Seneca Valley Swim Club where he has been selected as a 4-Time Eastern Zone Coach, has coached multiple swimmers who've reached the AMS Top 10 list, coached seven 1st time Eastern Zone qualifiers all 10 and Under, and his swimmers broke a multitude of club records.

Jeff grew up in Western PA and began swimming at the age of ten for local summer teams. His passion for the sport was ignited immediately which led to joining Pine-Richland Aquatics. Later, Jeff was a star on the Mars Varsity Swim Team where he was Captain his senior year. Jeff set multiple team and pool records as well as qualifying for numerous WPIAL and PIAA Championships. He also qualified for USA Swimming's Southern Sectional Meet.

Jeff attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania on a swimming scholarship where he competed for two and a half years before an injury to his ear drum forced him out of the pool. During that time he earned a NCAA National Qualifying B-cut, was selected to the All-PSAC team, and was a podium finisher in a number of events at his conference championship.


Head Coach - Diving

Nancy Burgert Laslavic
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Nancy is entering her 5th season as the Seneca Valley Diving Team head coach.  Coach Nancy and the team are looking to build on the program's great success.  Under Nancy's direction, the diving team has had nine divers qualify for WPIALs and one qualify for PIAA States.  

Nancy's history with swimming and diving started when she participated as both a diver and swimmer on the Massena Central High School’s swim team as an 8th grader. Her most memorable accomplishment was competing in the NY State competition at West Point. When her family moved to Pittsburgh, she competed for the North Allegheny High School diving team from 1978 to 1981.  

After high school, Nancy kept diving for fun and taught diving lessons to new divers of all ages, from 5 year olds to 55.

Advice she often imparts to her own children as well as her players before they participate in activities is to "play hard, play smart and have fun".  This philosophy can be applied to any area whether it be in sports or in life.  "Playing hard" is the work you do to prepare for your activity. "Playing smart" is using your head while you’re doing it, and "Having Fun" is making sure you enjoy each moment.

Nancy lives in Zelienople with her husband and three sons.  She works as the business manager for RAL Industrial Support Services.

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