Meet the Coaches

Meet Coach Dakota! 

Photo of Dakota Heflin, Orange Beach Swim Team coachDakota Heflin is an experienced competitive swimmer beginning in her hometown of Sarasota, Florida where she swam for the Sarasota Sharks from ages 5-18 under the talented and nationally-awarded coaching staff of Steve Brown, Sherwood Watts and numerous others.

Heflin was a "Junior Olympian" as early as 8 years old for 100 breaststroke and went on to compete at the state level throughout her swimming career primarily in 100 breaststroke and distance freestyle. She also served as Team Captain of the Riverview Rams High School swim team and was presented with the Coach's Award for outstanding leadership—one of her most prized possessions to this day, as there is nothing better than being recognized for hard work by the people you highly respect.

Heflin attended Middle Tennessee State University for their top tier Music Business Program (music; her other passion--and was employed as a publicist amongst the Country music scene in Nashville for 5 years). Since MTSU doesn’t have a collegiate swim team, Heflin swam USMS (Masters) and discovered her love for coaching by becoming a USMS-Certified Coach in order to organize and run the Masters program on campus.

With a brief period coaching the Clarksville YMCA Barracudas prior, Heflin originally joined the Excel Aquatics (Murfreesboro, TN) staff as an age group coach in 2018. Heflin also coached the Oakland High School (Murfreesboro, TN) swim team alongside Shantel Perry for the ’21-’22 high school season leading them to their 10th consecutive county championship title.

With a passion for teaching technique and honing stroke development, Heflin was previously the Lead Age Group Coach for Excel Aquatics, leading the majority of her athletes to compete in Southeastern Swimming and Age Group Sectionals, with two seasons spent with Gulf Shores Swim Team, before finding her home with the City of Orange Beach as Aquatics Coordinator - Swim Team Coach.

When Heflin is not on the pool deck, you can find her outdoors with her husband (Dylan), daughter (Dallas), and their dogs (Xena & Jazz).

To get in touch with Coach Dakota, send an e-mail to: