CGWS Coaching Staff
Phil Donihe - Head Coach
Growing up, I swam for Carpet Capital Aquatics Club, Scenic City Aquatic Club and The McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN. I found my love for teaching and coaching swimming as a teenager, working with students of various skill levels. I studied exercise science at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville where I served as the Student Assistant Strength Coach and Head Manager for the Men's swim team. I spent my time working with the swimmers on underwater video analysis and dryland training to enhance their understanding of efficient utilization of gravity. I became a true student of General Movement Theory when I began working at La Palestra, The Center for Preventative Medicine in Manhattan, NY. We applied an integrated approach to wellness by using Internists, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Nutritionists, Behavioral Therapists, and Personal Trainers. My clientele ranged from actors and athletes (with a big focus on swimmers & triathletes), to cardiac and orthopedic rehab. I then moved back to Chattanooga to pursue my true passion as a full-time swim coach and apply the knowledge I had gained to the swimming community. I formerly served as an age group coach for a local USA swim team and as head coach for the FTO Marlins. Today, I proudly act as the head coach for the Catoosa Great White Sharks. In September of 2017 I launched the year-round USA team, Great White Shark Aquatics. I believe that true Champions are developed through the reinforcement of positive character qualities and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Karen Loveless -Assistant Coach Age-Group
Being number eight of nine kids, Karen Landry Loveless came from a family of swimmers. Growing up in the sport, she was more than familiar with technique and training. Karen's coaching career began in 1991 with the Stuart Heights Swim Club. In 1996 Karen became a USA swim coach , taking a position at Girls' Preparatory School (GPS) as the middle school swim coach and an "8 & under" coach for then Scenic City Aquatic Club (now known as the GPS/ McCallie Swim team). Over her coaching career, in addition to independently studying and reading about techniques of swimming as well as how to be an exceptional coach and leader, she also took opportunities to stay current to best coaching practices by attending clinics, such as at the Olympic training facilities and coaching clinics in California. Karen became the first certified USA swim instructor for the "8 and under" swimmers, and lead Stuart Heights to be second in the city two years in a row and to the top division where they remain today.
To Karen, swimming is more than a physical sport; it is about discipline, dedication, team work, and leadership. She believes that through training, her teams could work together to become better individuals and a successful team. As a testament to these intangible life skills learned through swimming, Karen is also now a successful business owner and entrepreneur. Through her hard work and determination, she opened her restaurant, The Big Table (est. 2005), run with her husband of 36 years, David Loveless. While realizing her dream has been fulfilling, she was excited to come back to coaching, something that has always brought her joy.
Karen has two grown children, Daniel Loveless, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a daughter, Annie Loveless, a math teacher at Girls' Preparatory School, whom she also coached during their youth. Both are still active swimmer through the Chattanooga Open Water Swimming Club (COWS). In her spare time, she is also coaching her two grandchildren, Olivia (6 years old) and William (4 years old) how to swim too. And as if she weren't around water enough, she lives in a log cabin in the scenic Tennessee River Gorge.
I started swimming when I was 8 years old and dove right in. Signing up for the swim team is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I loved being in the water, but also being surrounded by loving teammates and families. I was apart of the Ringgold Tigersharks, Baylor Swim Club, McCallie GPS Aquatics, and of course, Catoosa Great White Sharks. I swam for 10 years and made so many unforgettable memories. I graduated from Heritage High School and I am now majoring in Nursing at Georgia Southern University. It wasn't until after I finished swimming that I realized how big of an impact coaches have on their swimmers. I hope to be a kind and passionate coach for these swimmers, and I hope I can inspire them to better themselves and encourage others.