Coach Cynthia Dickerson
Cynthia is a former swimmer, a swim mom and essential team member in the success of Splash Mid-South diversity in swimming initiatives. She serves at the coach of our developmental swim team, Memphis Splash.
When Splash Mid-South was looking to start a free and low-cost learn to swim program, Cynthia helped us get started. She runs the Tender Learning Center after-school care program near the Bickford Aquatic Center. Her son swam competitively for Memphis Tigers, and then swam at Howard University, so she had knowledge that helped her convince parents to let their youngsters participate in the initial pilot program.
Cynthia is profoundly aware of the swimming ability disparity that African American children experience in Memphis. Based on her knowledge of the community, she identified a number of practical and attitudinal barriers to minority participation in swimming, including economics, transportation, and fear. Cynthia’s understanding of these dynamics allowed her to successfully recruit children to take part in the Splash Mid-South program.
Coach TR Santos
TR Santos is the head coach of the Memphis Splash Swim Team. Recognized for his outstanding educational and community development contributions in the swimming community, TR has committed more than 30 years to this field. TR has been elected to and volunteered to serve on various committees and swim boards impacting positive swimming performance throughout the United States. Coaching and training at levels ranging from a national championship team in California to teaching adults who don’t know how to swim, TR has proven experience literally at all levels.
TR’s swimming began as a 7 year old in his hometown of Chico, CA where he was initially identified as a positive encourager for the entire team so much so that the presiding coach recognizing his coaching talent then chose TR at 13 to assist him in coaching, therefore beginning his career. Over the next 15 years TR developed and refined his coaching technique receiving a MA in Biomechanics focused on swim technique, co-authoring several publications and books, training the UC Bakersfield swim team to a National Championship in ’87 and ’88 and preparing and training a younger brother for the 1992 Olympic Swim Team. After the 1992 Olympics TR chose to serve for 13 years at a national sports camp that was specifically designed to meet the needs of inner-city kids throughout America. During the summer he continued to share his coaching gift with urban adults and kids who had never learned to swim. Concurrently during the academic year he served as the District Swimming Director for several combined high school and elementary teams in Lawton, OK. In 1997, he joined full time with the inner-city camp while maintaining a personal competitive swim schedule and privately training others.
In Memphis, he has coached with both the Bluff City Blue Fins Summer Swim program and the Memphis Thunders Swim Team. TR’s commitment to the benefits of lifelong swimming continues as he supports his three children in developing their own swimming talents.
Coach Courtney Boddie
Coach Courtney has served as a certified lifeguard with the City of Memphis for more than 24 years. For the past 15 years he has been an American Red Cross Certified Water Safety Instructor teaching hundreds of children to swim. Courtney traveled with the team to North Carolina and helped the team to a fifth place finish at the National Black Heritage Championship meet. Coach Courtney has primary coaching responsibility for developing swimmers in the Pre-competitive and Beginners group and supports Coach TR with the other swim team training groups.
Coach David Han
David Han (“Coach Han”) has been a valued supporter of Splash Mid-South since its inception in 2008. He is the Aquatics Director with the City of Memphis Division of Park Services. Prior to joining the City of Memphis, Coach Han worked as the Aquatics Director and head swim coach for the Memphis Jewish Community Center.
David Han was born in Shanghai, China. He migrated to the United States in 1982 to study at the University of Alabama where he earned both his B.S. degree in Physical Education and M.S. degree. Before coming to the United States, Coach Han was a professional athlete at the Shanghai Sports University where he worked as a professional swim trainer. He also competed at the national and international swimming levels, and worked at the Shanghai Sports Club as a swim coach
Coach Han has trained more than a half dozen Olympians. While coaching at the University of Alabama he led the women’s and men’s swim teams to SEC Championships. He served on the staff of the USA 2006 Short Course World Championship Team in Shanghai, China and as a consultant to USA Swimming during the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China.
Coach Han is married to Di Qing Du and they have a son, Edward, who swam at the collegiate level with Rhodes College where he set several team records.