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!
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 8th 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!”
Indoor Schedule
Masters Schedule
Team Records
FBST Travel Policies
Bill Sprague, Associate Head Coach

Coach Bill an ASCA level 4 coach that brings over 20 years of  coaching experience is
thrilled to return to where his coaching career began at Fort Belvoir Swim Team. Coach Bill
has been recognized by the South Carolina LSC twice for his coaching by naming him Age
Group Coach of the Year. He has the ability to coach swimmers at all levels and motivates
them to achieve their goals. He has produced swimmers that have achieved some of the
highest levels of swimming including: Olympic Trials, Senior & Junior National
Championships, various USA Swimming Championships, National Age Group Records &

Bill completed his Bachelor of Science degree from Slippery Rock University and competed
on the Swim Team, Judo Team and Water Polo Team. He and his wife Karen will be
moving from Texas. They enjoy going to the movies, traveling and spending time with family.

    Athletes Coached have competed at the following:
  • Olympic Trials: 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020
  • National Championships: 2004 - 2020
  • Junior National Championships: 2000 - 2020
  • 1st Place Team 2015
  • 1st Place Women’s 2015
Francisco Nieves

Coach Francisco was introduced to the sport of swimming at a very early age thanks to his
father. A Northern Virginia native, Francisco grew up and participated in a number of
different sports which included football, baseball, soccer, swimming, and diving. He is an
Eagle Scout and has been a member of the NVSL Springboard Barracudas for as long as
he could remember. It was not until after his freshman year of high school when he
decided to commit himself to swimming as his fulltime sport. In doing so, he joined Fort
Belvoir Swim Team as a sophomore and quickly excelled among his peers. By the end of
his sophomore year, he had qualified for high school Regionals in the 100 freestyle. His
junior year he had won the 100 freestyle at Regionals and placed top 5 in both the 100 and
200 freestyle events at States. It was not until his Senior year of high school that he had
qualified and attended 2015 Junior Nationals in Florida, where he and his relay team
placed 3rd overall in the 4x100 Freestyle Relay. From there on Francisco attended and
swam for Gettysburg College (Division 3). With his 4 years at Gettysburg, he gained a
bachelor’s in health sciences and writing. He helped lead his team in winning two
Centennial Conference Championships as well as gaining several 1st place medals in
relays, as well as 2nd and 3rd place medals in individual freestyle and butterfly events,
respectfully. In 2017, Francisco travelled to Arizona to partake in an elite level of competitive
swim training under world renowned Coach Fernando Canales, who, at the time was head
coach of both Pitchfork Aquatics, the National Puerto Rican Swim Team, and a Coach of
Michael Phelps. Currently, Francisco works in sales for a tech company in Arlington, VA. He
enjoys playing a variety of video games in his free time as well as being an athlete for
NewDay CrossFit. He believes swimming is an important life skill that should be instilled in
everyone, and that the opportunity to coach and inspire the younger generations of
swimmers is a way for him to give back to his community.
Daniel Chase

Daniel was born & raised in Fairfax County, minus a 2 year stint in the Philippines from age
2-4. Daniel learned to swim while his father was stationed in the Philippines.
Daniel grew up within walking distance of Mount Vernon estate, swam with his club team at
Lee District, summer league at what is now Mount Vernon Country Club (formerly
Woodlawn). Daniel was lucky enough to swim at George Washington pool the day it

Daniel has been an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor since 1999, Lifeguard
Instructor since 2000, as well as an Instructor Trainer since 2013. Daniel has been a US
Masters since 2016.

Daniel spent 11 years with the Fairfax County Park Authority before venturing off to Juneau
Alaska to help open a new pool in 2011.

Daniel returns to us after spending 2 year in North Carolina where he oversaw Red Cross
certifications and coached for a private swim club.
Amanda Mitnitsky
Coach Guru