Univ. of North Carolina - Swimming

 North Carolina Swim Camp

Coaching Staff

Christy Garth
Assistant Coach

Christy Garth is now in her eighth season as an assistant coach for the Carolina men’s and women’s swimming teams. Garth was added as the fifth full-time member of the Carolina swimming coaching staff in September 2008.  She is a long-time Tar Heel, having captained Carolina teams that won ACC titles in the 1990s.

As a Tar Heel alumna, she has been a key conduit with UNC’s alumni base and much of the success of the lobby/entrance way area at Koury Natatorium, including the Blue Dolphin Hall of Honor is due to Garth’s efforts.  She worked hand-in-hand with alumnus and donor Greg Sanchez and Sue Walsh of the Educational Foundation to make the project a reality.

Last year, Garth was a key coaching contributor as UNC placed 18th in the NCAA men’s meet and 19th in the women’s meet.  Carolina also set 17 school short course records during the 2014-15 campaign.

Garth made key contributions to the stroke group as the Tar Heels placed in the top three of both ACC championships in 2013-14.  Along the way, Carolina swimmers set 15 school short course records, including in six relay events.

Tar Heel teams have flourished under Garth’s keen coaching skills.  From 2008-10, she coached the distance group with head coach Rich DeSelm.  During the 2009-10 season, she worked with a middle distance group that qualified Evan Reed and Hank Browning for the NCAA Championships.
During the very successful 2012-13 campaign, Garth coached the middle distance group.  She directly coached three of the four members of the women’s unit that broke the ACC record in the 400-yard freestyle relay - Ally Hardesty, Lauren Earp and Danielle Siverling.  That relay earned an automatic NCAA qualification.  Two individuals in Garth’s group qualified for the NCAA meet - Earp and Siverling.  That 2013 squad finished 12th at the NCAA Championships and broke multiple team records.

Garth, a 1996 alumnus of Carolina and a four-year letter winner on the Carolina women’s swimming team, brings excitement, experience and depth to the coaching staff.  Garth worked in the past with associate head coach Mike Litzinger leading the stroke group.  She has served in that capacity since 2012 and worked with a slew of NCAA qualifers and U.S. National Team members.

Garth has been a key part of Carolina’s successful summer program that led to nearly 50 qualifiers for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Garth was a decorated swimmer at Carolina during her four-year tenure. She was an All-ACC selection four successive years from 1993-96 and was part of four ACC championship teams while a collegian.

Garth was a two-year team captain in 1994-95 and 1995-96 and the winner of the program’s Hill Carrow Spirit Award in both 1994-95 and 1995-96. She qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials in 2000 and was an Olympic torchbearer in 2002 when the Winter Games were in Salt Lake City.
Her collegiate coaching experience includes two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland in the early 2000s. She also served as an interim assistant coach for women’s swimming at the University of Michigan during the 2000-01 school year. While at Michigan, Garth also coached at prestigious Club Wolverine for two seasons.

Garth has worked in a variety of sports-related jobs. Directly out of college, she worked for the United States Golf Association as the U.S. Women’s Open director’s assistant. Following that, she worked on production crews for ABC Sports from 1996-98. Garth also worked for NBC during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games as part of the production crew. From 2001-03, she worked for Speedo as an accounts manager before she began coaching at the University of Maryland. Prior to coming to UNC in 2008, Garth was the head swim coach at Duchesne Academy in Houston, Texas.

Garth studied political science and communication studies at North Carolina. Today, she continues to swim and was honored as a Top 10 Master’s swimmer in 2009.

Garth is married to Trey Blazer, a physician at Duke Medical Center.  The couple has two children.  Callie Ann Blazer was born on December 29, 2011.  Little brother, Colton James Blazer, joined the family on May 11, 2014.

Garth served as director of the Rich DeSelm Swim Camp in 2014 and continued in that role in 2015.

Sean Quinn
Assistant Coach

A Tar Heel school record holder in the 200-yard breaststroke, 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter breaststroke, Sean Quinn, in now in seventh official year as a full-time assistant coach for the Carolina swimming program following six years in which he served as one of the program’s volunteer coaches.

Quinn took on added duties in the summer of 2010 when he was named the head coach of North Carolina Aquatic Club, a prestigious U.S. Swimming club team based in Chapel Hill, N.C.  Quinn has worked to build NCAC into one of the top age group programs in the country, boasting multiple Nationals, Junior Nationals and Olympic Trials qualifiers.

In September 2014, he achieved one of the highest coaching honors when U.S. Swimming named him a National Team coach.

In 2006-07, Quinn played a key role in the Carolina women capturing the ACC championship. Prior to becoming the overall head coach, Quinn was the head age group coach for the North Carolina Aquatic Club.  He was selected as a North Carolina Zone Team coach in 2009.  Quinn helped coach the North Carolina team to a third-place finish in that competition in Orlando, Fla.

A native of Lancaster, S.C., and 1999 alumnus of Lancaster High School, Quinn was a three-time All-America selection as a Tar Heel, earning those honors in 2000, 2002 and 2003.  His best NCAA finish was an eighth place in the 200-yard breaststroke as a freshman in 2000.  He also finished 10th in the 200 breaststroke at the NCAA Championships in 2002.

Quinn, a tri-captain of the 2002-03 Tar Heel team, won a silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  He finished fifth in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials.  He was offered a slot on the United States Team at the 2002 Short Course World Championships in Moscow.  During his freshman year at UNC, he competed in the Short Course World Championships in Athens, Greece.  Before enrolling at Carolina, he swam in the 1999 U.S. Junior World Championships in Barcelona on a U.S. team coached by former Tar Heel head mentor Frank Comfort.

Quinn won ACC individual championships in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2000 and 2003.  Until last year he held the Tar Heel school record in the 200-yard breaststroke at 1:56.39.  A four-time All-ACC selection, Quinn swam for the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club while in high school and was coached there by Pat Hogan.  Quinn was named Carolina’s most outstanding swimmer in 2000 and 2002 and the team’s most valuable swimmer in 2003.  His sister Kathleen swam for four years at UNC and was a tri-captain of the 2004-05 women’s team.

Born May 20, 1981, Quinn is married to Beth Colacurcio Quinn, herself a former UNC swimmer.  They have a daughter, Alice, 2 1/2 years old.

Chip Peterson
Assistant Coach

U.S. National Team swimmer, ACC champion and NCAA All-America Chip Peterson was named the volunteer assistant swimming coach at the University of North Carolina on September 11, 2013.

“Chip was a highly accomplished member of the UNC team, excelling in the classroom and pool,” said UNC had coach Rich DeSelm. ”He is currently on the USA Swimming National  Open Water team and earned many accolades both prior to arriving at UNC as a freshman in 2006 and during his highly successful career at UNC. Our swimmers definitely benefit from Chip’s input.”

Peterson, who still actively competes in open water swimming and was named in September 2013 and again in September 2014 to the U.S. Swimming National Team in that discipline, has been coaching with the North Carolina Aquatic Club over the past two years and continues in that role.

A native of Pine Knoll Shores, N.C., Peterson is a 2010 UNC alumnus.  He won the Patterson Medal as UNC’s outstanding men’s senior student-athlete that year, the first UNC men’s swimmer to win it since Harrison Merrill in 1965.  He was also named the ACC Men’s Swimming Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2010 and was a three-time member of the All-ACC Academic Team as an undergraduate.

Before attending Carolina, Peterson won the U.S. and world championships in 10 kilometer open water swimming in 2005.  He continued to excel as a Tar Heel, twice being named All-ACC and in 2010 capping his career with the ACC championship in the 1650-yard freestyle.  He earned NCAA All-America honors in 2007, 2009 and 2010, missing only in 2008 when he sat out the season to train with the U.S. National Open Water Swimming Team full-time.  He earned All-America honors in both the 500-yard freestyle and 1650-yard freestyle as a collegian.

Peterson is a two-time gold medalist at the Pan American Games in 2007 and 2015.  He also won a silver in 2007.  This past summer he won the gold in 10 kilometer open water swimming at the Toronto Pan Ams.