The Birmingham Blue Dolphins is a competitive club swim team that is a member of two different swim associations; YMCA Swimming and Michigan Swimming as a branch of USS (United States Swimming). BBD is the longest-standing swim club in the Detroit Metropolitan area and has won more USS championships and YMCA championships than any other team in the state:
- 44 straight YMCA Eight and Under State Championships
- 9 USS 12 and under State Championships
- 18 consecutive YMCA 9 and up State Championships
- 8 straight YMCA Great Lakes Zone (five-state) Championship and 21 in the 21st century.
- 18 Individual YMCA National Champions
- 5 YMCA National Relay Champions
- 6 swimmers who have qualified for Olympic Trials in 2000,2008, 2012, 2023.
The Blue Dolphins also boast 5 swimmers who went on to qualify for the Olympic Trials in 2000, 2008, and 2012.
BBD sets itself apart in three major ways:
BBD practices are categorized by age group, keeping swimmers with their friends and peers.
Swimmers feel better about themselves when training with people of their own age. They build relationships and also have more fun when they’re with their friends. Differentiated practices are designed by coaches to meet each swimmer’s ability while maintaining workouts that are age-appropriate. This keeps swimmers loving and competing in the sport long-term.
BBD offers consistency in its coaching staff – each age group has a lead coach.
The lead age-group coach is in charge of the workout plan, the relay line-ups, and being present at practice as the familiar face that the swimmers see routinely. This regularity with coaching is crucial in a sport that relies heavily on consistency. It also allows the swimmers to develop a great rapport with their coaching staff, which is valuable to their experience.
BBD focuses on the success of ALL types of swimmers.
The coaching staff is devoted to helping every swimmer on the team improve. From the first-year swimmer on the team to the national team qualifier, EVERY SWIMMER MATTERS. Coaches meet with swimmers at the beginning of the season to help set their individual goals and discuss paths for achievement. Swimmers take an active part in their development and success.
Kevin has been the head coach of the Birmingham Blue Dolphins for over thirty years. He graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in English Education, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching, and has completed the required courses for a Master’s degree in Administration. Kevin has worked as a teacher/administrator in Detroit Public Schools, at Cranbrook, and at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. During his teaching and coaching career Kevin has received local and national recognition for his teaching, coaching and leadership. Under his leadership, BBD has won numerous local, state, zone and national individual and team championships. Kevin is particularly proud of the fact that six of the members of the coaching staff are BBD alumna. Kevin also coaches the Orchard Lake Blue Carp.
Pat is a BBD alum and is beginning his 21th season as a BBD coach. He is now the Video Technique coach too! He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the owner of Deighan Painters Inc. He is married to Katie and they make their home in Birmingham. Pat and Katie have twin girls, Alexis and Haley and a son, Luke, all of which are BBD swimmers. In addition to his years with us, Pat has coached locally at Village Athletic Club. While he lived in Georgia, he worked at Dynamo and the Country Club of the South. Pat is also a distinguished marathon runner – he has finished fourth in his age group in the Free Press marathon and he has been a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Pat’s brothers, Chris, Matt, and James have also been BBD coaches and swimmers. His brother, Joe, and his sister, Carolyn, were BBDers as well.
Chris Bagley (Coach Bagel)
Lead 11-12 Coach
This is Chris’s 10th season at BBD and he will be the head 11-12 age group coach. Chris grew up swimming in Michigan at Pine Lake Country Club and Brother Rice High School. Chris has maintained his own swimming career into college and competed in the World Transplant Games in 2019. He currently coaches Forest Lake Country Club in the summers. He has additional YMCA coaching experience at the Licking County YMCA in Newark, OH, in the Columbus area. Chris spent eight years coaching Cranbrook-Kingswood Girls and Boys teams. He helped guide them to a combined six team state titles. Outside of the pool, Chris teaches Pre-Kindergarten at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. When he’s not at the pool he is either playing golf or playing with his new puppy!
Elliott Fernandes swam for BBD for 11 years and this will be his 8th year coaching. He is a Bloomfield Hills native and went to UDJ for high school. He went to University of Detroit Mercy for both his Mechanical Engineering undergrad and his MBA in finance. When not coaching he works for General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights as an engineer.
Lead 8 & Under Coach
Jeannie Peil is the lead 8 and under coach. This is her 13th season with BBD, she is very excited for another BBD season. Jeannie lives in Bloomfield Hills with her husband Jamie and their dog Chloe. They have 3 children, Michaela (23), a former BBD national team swimmer who now teaches 5th grade in Holland, MI, James (22), a recent graduate from the University of Michigan who is currently awaiting decisions from Dental Schools, and Bridget (20), a junior at University of Michigan studying Computer Science and Spanish.
Lead 13-14 Coach
Greg Palmer will be coaching with the 11-12 year old groups this year. He took over the helm of the Detroit Golf Club in 2013 as Head Coach and Pool Manager. Greg and his coaching staff have brought a wealth of knowledge and over 22years of experience to our program. Greg is currently the Head Swimming and Diving Coach for Waterford Schools, where he teaches AP World History, AP Psychology and Science. Greg was the head coach at Kendallwood the last three years and co-founded the Great Lakes Athletic Club swim team where he coached kids ages 4-18. He has coached with numerous teams over the years including Notre Dame Prep, Troy Athens, Oakland Live Y’ers, Lake Orion Schools and Lake Orion Lightning. Greg has coached 13 Individual & five relay All-Americans, as well as two Division 1 Swimmer of the Year Award Recipients. Greg is a USA registered swim coach, ASCA member (American Swim Coaches Association), MISCA member (Michigan Swim Coaches Association) and NISCA member (National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association). Greg has many hobbies that include racing in local triathlons and Ironman, scuba diving (PADI Instructor), spear fishing, free diving, rock climbing, boating, water skiing and wake boarding. Greg loves helping our swimmers to further develop and improve their swimming fitness as well as their technique, within the framework of summer fun that accompanies a summer swim program.
Lead 9-10 Coach
This is Michael’s 8th season coaching with BBD and he will be the lead 9-10 age group coach this season. Michael swam locally for 13 years at Woodside Athletic Club and swam at Groves High School, where he was the varsity captain and an all-state swimmer. He coached with BBD throughout college while attending Lawrence Tech University in Southfield where he graduated with his degree in Civil Engineering. When not coaching Michael works as an Engineer in Troy for G2 consulting group. Michael is excited for yet another fun and successful season with the Blue Dolphins!
Charlotte Elizabeth Yaw
This is Charlotte’s 5th year coaching BBD.Charlotte was also a coach at Woodside Athletic Club for 5 seasons. Charlotte began swimming at BBD when she was 7 and swam on the National team for four years. She was also a captain of the Seaholm swim team and a four-year letter winner at the University of South Dakota. Charlotte teaches 4th grade at Royal Oak Public Schools.
Lead 15-17 Coach
Peter is beginning his first full season as an assistant coach with BBD. Peter brings with him many years of coaching experience from all over the country that also includes 2 years with BBD in the 1980’s. Peter grew up in Pleasant Ridge and attended Wayne State University in Detroit where he became an 8 time All American. Peter went on to become a teacher and coach in Walnut Creek Ca, Cedar Rapids IA, Seattle WA, and most recently the Chicago area. Peter has had the privilege to coach numerous HS All Americans, Senior National Qualifiers, and a number of Nationally ranked Age-Group swimmers. Peter has recently moved back to the area and returned to BBD to work with the Senior level swimmers.
Dennis is joining BBD for his first year coaching with the team! He previously swam for BBD, Brother Rice High School and Woodside Athletic Club and has coached summer clubs; Oakland Hills CC and Forest Lake CC. Dennis graduated from Hillsdale College in May of 2021 with a B.A. in Marketing/Management, and currently works for Direct Donor TV, A Moore Company, managing linear TV advertising campaigns for nonprofits.
Alex is joining BBD for his first year coaching with the team! He swam on BBD for 11 years and was on the national team for 4 years. He swam for Orchard Lake Country Club in the summer and was on the swim team at Brother Rice High School where he was an 11 time All-American. He swam at the University of Texas for 1 year. He is currently taking classes at Wayne State University to get a degree in communications.
This will be Kaden’s first season as BBD coach. He was previously a swimmer on BBD for 13 years and national team for three years. He has also competed for OLCC and Walled Lake Northern HS. Kaden holds a BS in Exercise Science from George Washington University, where he competed as a backstroker and butterflyer for four years. He has coached three summers at Forest Lake Country Club and currently works as an ER Technician.