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Varsity Swimming

John Alpizar joined the Bellarmine community in February 2016 and is excited to be entering his fourth season as the head coach for the varsity lacrosse program. Alpizar played Division I lacrosse at the State University of New York at Albany, where he was a starting midfielder all four years. After graduating college, Alpizar began his coaching career in New Jersey at Summit High School, where he coached the boys’ varsity team alongside Hall of Fame coach, Jim Davidson. Alpizar helped lead that team to multiple state championships and had a 126-13 record. The Bellarmine coaching staff will look to improve in 2019-2020 through strengthening returning players and further developing the younger players of the program.

After a dominating performance at WCALs, the Swimming and Diving team won their 3rd straight (and 36th overall) CCS Championship. The Bells moved on to the CIF State Championships with 8 qualifiers. Max Saunders ’19 became the first ever individual California State Champion in Bellarmine Swimming and Diving history winning the 200 Free in a school record 1:35.08. The 200 and 400 Free Relay teams each finished third and Ryan Kirton ’21 (500 Free) and Kevin Sichak ’21 (100 Fly) each finished with 6th place individual finishes. The Bell swimmers achieved 10 All American times, 2 school records, 1 CCS record and a State Champion.


First year swimming coach Mark Taliaferro is a 1987 graduate of Bellarmine. During his time as a swimmer at Bellarmine, Coach Taliaferro was a 4 year All American and 3 year MVP. After graduating, Coach Taliaferro went on to compete at the University of Southern California. As a USA Swimming coach in his 28th year , Taliaferro has produced nearly 150 top 16 national swimmers since 1995, including 8 National Age Group Individual and Relay records and more than 120 Pacific Records. Proudly, Coach Mark's swimmers have gone on to compete for many college programs including Stanford, Cal, USC, Virginia, Georgetown, Yale, Duke, and many more.

Coach Mark has been a USA Swimming Member coach since 1991. He has coached every level of swimming from Learn to Swim to Olympic Trials qualifiers. His goal has always been to help every swimmer reach their greatest potential in the sport. In his career, Mark has been nominated 8 times as Pacific Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year and won the award in 2014. Mark has been married for 24 years to Marianne and they have one son, Justin.