GPYC Activities

"Sailfish" Swim Team

About The Sailfish

The GPYC Swim Team is a competitive swim program that is run as a part of the Michigan Inter-Club Swimming Association (MICSA), the oldest competitive swim league in the United States. Swimmers ages 4-17 (as of June 1) who already know how to swim and who want to experience swimming competition are invited to join the team.



Swim Questions? 
Contact Coach FO at

Ready to join the team? 
Contact Swim Chairs Pete and Beth Handwork at

Swim Team Head Coach, John Fodell: Head Coach of the Grosse Pointe Gators. John earned his master’s degree in adaptive physical education from Western Michigan University in 2007, and completed his degree in Physical Education from Albion College in 2006. As a Grosse Pointe South High School graduate, John was a member of the National Honors Society and was Student Athlete of the Year in 2002. At Albion he earned four varsity letters in swimming and three in tennis. In Swimming, he held five school records, served as team captain and was named MVP for 2005-06. John was also a three-time all-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association swimmer and honored as a NCAA DIII All-American swimmer in 2006. John has been coaching for nearly 15 years, through this time has served as head swim coach for the Grosse Pointe Shores Sharks recreation team in the Lakefront Swimming Association league where he was the parks and recreation director. He has assisted both the men’s and women’s swimming teams at Grosse Pointe South High School for the past 5 years.  John’s swimmers have won numerous state titles, and over a dozen have continued their swimming careers collegiately at Division I, II, and III schools. John has served as a graduate assistant, teaching college recreation classes as well as overseeing the healthy lifestyles program for the developmentally impaired.  John has vision for the clubs direction, and hopes to see continual improvements to the program.
Assistant Head Coach Bill Thompson earned his Master of Education degree from the University of Michigan, and his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  As a Grosse Pointe South High School graduate, Bill swam for Coach Fred Michalik, was Team Captain his senior year, and was All-State, All-American.  At the University of Pennsylvania, he was All-Ivy team captain his senior year and Scholar Athlete of the Year for his entire senior year.  Bill has coached at Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, Grosse Pointe South High School, Pierce Middle School, and has coached many All-State, All-American swimmers (including Coach John Fodell!).  He has been a Science Teacher at Pierce Middle School for the past 22 years.  He has been married to his wife Julie (an elementary music teacher) for 13 years and they have two children, Hayley (11) and Luke (9).  Bill completed a cross-country bike trip in 1998 and has finished four marathons.
Head Coach John Fodell, Assistant Head Coach Bill Thompson, and their talented staff will guide swimmers following the Sailfish Mission Statement:
“The Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Swim Team, in accordance with the swimming history of tradition and excellence at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, is dedicated to providing the opportunity for members to experience the excitement of being part of a competitive swim program. Under the direction of an experienced and passionate coaching staff, our goal is to provide a fun and safe environment in which all may develop a healthy lifestyle, individual and team skills, and good sportsmanship.”

Direct Swim Team questions to Coach Fo at


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