Leadership & Staff

Zachary Hojnacki, PhD, Head Coach, BGNW Marlins

The Club has provided our swimming program the opportunity to develop a national-caliber swim team that provides an all-encompassing youth sports experi-ence. Through swimming, we are able to help a diverse group of young athletes to cultivate a championship work ethic and essential life skills such as time manage-ment, teamwork, resilience and empathy.

This fall, Zac began his sixth year as Marlins Head Coach. He arrived the fall of 2018 from Tucson, Arizona, where he served as a coach for Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics since 2012, including three years as Head Age Group Coach. Under Zac’s guidance, the Marlins program was named a USA Swimming Club Excellence Bronze medal club for the first time in 2021-2022, and has routinely finished in the top 100 nationally in USA Swimming VCC.  The Senior program routinely qualifies multiple athletes for the USA Swimming Winter and Summer Junior Nationals, as well as US Open and US Nationals.  Zac was recognized as the Metro Senior Coach of the Year in the fall of 2023.

Prior to his time at Marlins, Zac swam for the University of Arizona from 2009-2012, qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 200 breaststroke, and the 2013 World Championship Trials in the 100 breaststroke. In 2017, he received a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona, where he studied the role stress and mindfulness play on athlete performance under pressure. Zac is passionate about utilizing athlete education to develop a well-rounded, self-sufficient person in and out of the pool. He believes in adherence to long-term developmental principles as critical to maximize the capacity of swimmers to succeed in the sport and have healthy, sustainable careers so they can enjoy the benefits of being a swimmer for life.

In his free time, Zac teaches Child Psychology and Adolescent Psychology at Iona University in New Rochelle.  His passion for fitness extends into his personal life as well, where he loves all forms of movement and exercise including yoga, rock climbing, and weight lifting, in addition to running, biking and swimming.  Zac frequently competes in triathlons, and in October of 2022, completed his first full Ironman triathlon (Ironman California) in Sacramento, California.