Coaching Philosophy

FBST believes that swimming is a life long activity that should be fun and
challenging. Maintaining a swimming team of approximately 250 full-time
swimmers allows us to develop a personal program filled with individualized
instruction. In our program everyone participates and has the opportunity to
achieve their swimming goals. Through our program swimmers learn
perseverance, dedication and commitment. These skills carry over to other
personal achievements outside the pool, including academics. FBST's
philosophy enables all team members to be winners.
Meet the Coaches
Mark Murray, Head Coach

Over 30 years of coaching experience at the collegiate/club/high school/summer leagues,
Alexandria, Va. native Mark Murray brings unprecedented history and growth to FBST.  Not
only is Coach Mark the Head Coach of FBST, he is also the Head Coach of Mount Vernon
High School and the Mount Vernon Yacht Club summer team.  Coach Mark has led teams
to conference championships and has now led FBST into a world class organization.  
FBST has become the team of choice in the Mount Vernon/Lee area.  FBST was the
recipient of the Best Small Business Award by the Mount Vernon/Lee Chamber of
Commerce (2012).  Coach Mark has turned every program into a winning situation for its
athlete’s and coaches. Coach Mark’s stops along the way were at the University of
Maryland-College Park where he built the first and only women’s ACC conference
championship in Terrapins history.  During his tenure in College Park his swimmers
accrued, multiple All-American performances, 3 ACC conference swimmers of the meet
and one campus wide student of the year.  His teams at UMD were consistently the top of
the academic rankings on campus, most of which ranked #1 regularly out of all
intercollegiate teams.  Even with the new suit era Coach Mark’s swimmers leave a legacy
on the record board at UMD.   The women’s team achieved rankings as high as 11th in the
collegiate polls.  At Salem-Teikyo University (WV) Coach Mark built a men’s and women’s
conference championship team and was recipient of several coach of the year awards and
had a swimmer named NCAA swimmer of the year along with 7 individual National
Champions.  His men’s team finished 4th place at the NCAA Championships and the
women 14th place respectively.   Prior to S-TU Coach Mark was at the University of
Richmond, where he recruited in a class of swimmers that did not lose a dual meet for four
years.  Before UR Coach Mark was at VCU his alma mater as a graduate assistant coach.  
He recruited in a class of swimmers that went undefeated two years running before leaving
for UR.   Coach Mark enjoyed a highly successful swimming campaign at VCU and served
as team captain his last two seasons.  Coach Mark, a Mount Vernon High School Graduate,
earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from VCU.  Coach Mark is also owner of Mount
Vernon Pool Service, LLC which provides professional pool management services to local
commercial pools and is a licensed Realtor.  Coach Mark states, “We offer flexibility and
convenience that is unmatched in our arena.  In a busy town such as Washington, DC it is
nice to have the flexibility that FBST provides!  My expectations for our staff are to provide the
utmost ethical coaching experience available.  We will focus on the swimmer and not be
distracted while doing so.  Our coaches are trained with USA Swimming’s coaching
programs as well as me personally.  We will be professional and ethical in our approach!”
I like what I do; not many can say this. I
have an important position -- to provide a
skill that is essential to the safety of all.
This, coupled with the growing process
and empowerment of the sport, keeps me
going strong!
Jim Crampton, Head Assistant Coach

Coach Jim comes to FBST with an expansive background, a full tool belt and ready to hit
the ground running.  Coach Jim began his professional career after graduating form the
University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill in 1992 with the North Carolina Aquatic Club.  
Coach Jim was a member of the UNC Chapel Hill Tarheel Varsity Men's team when they
were dominating the Atlantic Coast Conference in Men's Swimming and Diving.  

Coach Jim is a consummate coaching professional, with over 25 years coaching.  In
addition to USA swimming clubs, Coach Jim has coached summer league, high school,
Masters (adult), Special Olympics, and taught beginning swimming for college students at
the University of Maryland. He has also held numerous volunteer and leadership roles with
USA Swimming, North Carolina, and Gulf (Houston) Swimming, including Volunteering with
Texas and World Special Olympics and serving on the coaching staff of a USA Swimming
Zone Select Camp, a USA Swimming Gold Medal Clinic, several Catch the Spirit Clinics
and both North Carolina and Gulf Zone Coaching staffs.

Most recently Coach Jim served with the University of Maryland Aquatic Club in College
Park, coaching the top Age Groupers as well as Masters.  Prior to his arrival in Maryland,
Coach Jim was the Head Coach of the SHARKS Swim Team in Friendswood, Texas for five
years during which time the team grew substantially, qualified swimmers to NCS Junior
Nationals, Sectionals.
Chris Brandenberger, Assistant Coach

Coach Chris is from Stony Brook, New York and started swimming at the age of 7 for Three
Village Swim Club. As an age group swimmer he competed at USA Swimming Senior and
Junior Nationals, earned National Age Group Top 16 recognition, and still holds Eastern
Zone and Junior Olympic records. He was an All-American at Ward Melville High School
and continued swimming in college at the University of Maryland for FBST Head Coach
Mark Murray. At Maryland he was a four year letter-winner, team captain and earned All-
Conference honors. In 2007, he competed at US Masters Summer Nationals, placing top
10 in three events and won a national title in the 200 backstroke for the 18-24 age group.

Chris began his coaching career in 2005 as a volunteer assistant for the University of
Maryland, while also serving as an assistant for the Upper Montgomery County YMCA Swim
Team. He has coached collegiately at both the Division I and III levels; Washington College
(MD), Iona College (NY) and Stony Brook University (NY). He has been the Head Coach of
summer league teams in Maryland (North Creek Neptunes) and Virginia (Springboard
Barracudas). In New York, he coached for Three Village Swim Club and Wagner College
Swim Camp while specializing as the video technique analyst for both positions and the
associate camp director at Wagner College. He previously coached with FBST in the
summers of 2008 and 2010, and happy to be back with FBST full-time.

Coach Mark on Chris, “we are very lucky to have Chris on our staff, I like nothing better than
bringing a trained college coach to the deck for FBST!  Like Sam, Coach Chris brings
incredible knowledge to the pool.  The resources that a college coach has at their finger
tips is beyond anything a club team could prescribe.  Chris brings our staff of college
coaching experience to three full-timers.  No other team can dream of providing you with
this kind of experience.  Chris swam for me at Maryland and flourished, he understands the
training pedagogy necessary to advance swimmers to their highest abilities.  He has
coached up so many folks at his schools that were under the radar its amazing!  Chris will
provide this leadership for FBST as well.
Kathleen Winston

Coach Kathleen has been coaching for 20 years in the Northern VA area.  She began her
swimming  career at FBST at the age of 7.  Kathleen was an assistant coach at Thomas
Jefferson & Robert Lee High School and has now became the head coach at Robert E. Lee
High school.  Kathleen also coaches in the Northern Virginia swim league.  She has
coached several teams in the area and is currently coaching for the Laurel Hill Tritons.  
When she is not on the pool deck, she loves spending time with her family.  Coach Mark on
Kathleen, "Coach Kathleen is a lifer with FBST.  She exhibits passion for our Shark School
and lower Age Group Swimmers.  Kathleen's love for FBST and the pool shows well on the
deck.  All the swimmers really enjoy her exuberance and fun demeanor!"
P.O. Box 6445, Alexandria, VA 22306     |     |     703-627-4796
Fort Belvoir Swim Team
P.O. Box 6445, Alexandria, VA 22306     |     |     703-627-4796
Sophie Florence

Coach Sophie returns for her 7th season with FBST.  Coach Sophie specializes with the
Shark School and AG 3 & 4 groups.  Coach Sophie’s ability to reach the younger ages and
convey the message of FBST is unmatched!  Very sharp and savvy in gaining young
peoples attention and reaching them to learn the strokes the FBST way.  Sophie has been
a vital part of FBST.  Coach Sophie has been the Head Coach of Hayfield High School and
is currently providing leadership coaching at the Mount Vernon Country Club.  Coach Mark
on Sophie, “I first saw her teaching swim lessons at Mount Vernon Recreation Center, I
was amazed at how she was able to corral the young non-swimmers attention and have
them swimming in a few short sessions!  Sophie is great at building confidence within the
swimmers; her rapport is truly amazing with both the swimmers and parents.  Sophie is
highly experienced and the swimmers really enjoy her, I cannot say enough about her
dedication and commitment to FBST!”
Curtis Din

Coach Curtis began his coaching career in 2004 with a summer league team in Virginia
Beach. After graduating from Virginia Tech he began coaching with TCAC in Virginia,
working extensively with all age groups and skill levels. His swimmers have competed at
Junior Nationals, achieved USA Swimming national age group Top 10 recognition and
broken Virginia State Swimming records. He has continued to advance his coaching
education by attending ASCA coaching conventions, USA Swimming clinics and USA
Swimming Select Camps. Through these educational opportunities Curtis has learned
new techniques and training philosophies which he incorporates into his practices. He
encourages his swimmers to have success in all aspects of their lives both in and out of
the pool. He joins FBST as an experienced coach and former competitor within the Virginia
Swimming community, and continues to dedicate himself to the sport and the effect it has
on kids.

Coach Mark on Curtis, “hit the ground running arriving in June to FBST.  Breathed life into
the Age Groupers during the long course season, a fresh perspective with 10 years of on
deck experience.  Coach Curtis comes to us from Tri-City Aquatic Club, a small club in VA
Beach with fantastic motivational and practical techniques.  Curtis has already been
recognized by his peers in Potomac Valley, being selected to the Zone Coaching Staff this
summer.  Look for Curtis to really teach the swimmers on deck the FBST way.  Brings a
creative mind and fun to the deck!”
Michael Hock

Coach Michael joined our staff early last season as an apprentence and quickly took to the
FBST way, he understands posture, line and balance and can deliver the message well.  
He will continue his support staff role with the Age Group Programs and Shark School this
season.  Coach Michael is currently working on a Ph.D. program in Literature at George
Mason University.  In addition to his FBST duties he has worked with the Hollin Hills Pool
Winter Swim program and has extensive experience around the pool both providing
management and guarding duties.  Coach Michael swam competitively in Korea as his
father served in the Armed Forces.  Coach Mark on Michael, "a great addition to our staff,
Michael is punctual, reliable, articulate, passionate and always ready to roll up his sleeves
for the team."
Beth Campbell