Our Beginning

Nashville Dolphins started in 2003 when one swimmer with Down Syndrome wanted to improve her swimming skills in order to compete in the Special Olympics, and one volunteer was willing to help her. Today more than 200 swimmers participate in the aquatics programming we provide, ranging from beginners just learning to blow bubbles to long-distance champions practicing several days a week. Because swimming is a lifelong sport with far-reaching benefits for an individual’s health and wellbeing, we serve swimmers of all ages with no age-out policy. And because of the intensity of our mission to bring the physical and emotional benefits of swimming to people with special needs regardless of age, ability or financial circumstances, we provide all programming at no cost to the participant. 

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Our Future 

Because of the success of our programs, the passion of our volunteers, and the incredible determination of our participants, we have grown steadily throughout the years. With no swimmers aging out and new swimmers joining all the time, our numbers continue to increase, as do our offerings. From one-on-one lessons for children entering the water for the first time to overnight trips for our national competitors to our strategic plan to build our own facility in the near future, we continue to devise new ways to meet the diverse needs of our participants and their families. Swimming is a lifelong sport, and we plan to be there every stroke, kick, and smile of the way.




Beth Scruggs


Beth is a native Nashvillian and an avid swimmer. Beth served as the Aquatics Director for Special Olympics Tennessee for 20 years and even traveled to Shanghai, China as US Coach for Special Olympics World Games. Seeing a need in Nashville for more swim programs for children and adults with special needs, she created the Nashville Dolphins in 2003. She graduated from Harpeth Hall and the University of Mississippi where she met her husband Cooley. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Ellen Crosby


Ellen Crosby is a Nashville native. She attended Battle Ground Academy for middle and high school, and she graduated from Lipscomb University. Ellen began teaching swim lessons in 2003 and went on to work for Excel Aquatics in 2005, teaching lessons, helping coach the competitive team, and eventually directing the swim school. In the meantime, she gathered experience working with special needs in the classroom as well as the pool. In 2015, Ellen joined Swim615 as the head administrator and the Junior Varsity coach. Over the years, she has coached for Excel Aquatics, Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood Academy, University School of Nashville, and Swim615. In 2018, Ellen combined her love for swimming and special needs when she began working for the Nashville Dolphins.


Dotty Sutter

Director of Finance

Dotty received her degree in accounting from the University of Vermont Business school. In 2010 she joined the Nashville Dolphins as a volunteer to assist with development. Dotty has since been instrumental in developing our administration and operations. She was the original Chairman of the Board and served as chairman from 2013-2015. Dotty and her husband Trey, along with their three children, have been active supporters and volunteers for the Dolphins since 2005.


Jordan Slaughter

Head Coach - Swim Team

Jordan Slaughter has been involved in the Nashville swimming community for over 20 years both as an athlete and a coach. He grew up swimming for Nashville Aquatic Club and the Brentwood High School swim team, and he went on to compete for the University of Arizona. He was a member of multiple Pac-10 and NCAA Championship teams, qualified for the US Olympic Trials in both 2008 and 2012, and placed in the 2009 World Championship trials. From 2015 to 2018, Jordan owned Swim615, a year-round USA Swim Club dedicated to helping kids and adults find their unique place in the sport of swimming. Jordan enjoyed volunteering for the Special Olympics as a younger swimmer, and started volunteering with the Nashville Dolphins in 2013. 

Amy Brockman

Swim school director

Amy Leigh Brockman has been a teacher in Early Education for the past 21 years. She is a Swim Instructor and Swim Coach, with over 7 years of experience. She has taught numerous Nashville children pool safety, how to swim, and how to be better prepared for swim teams. When Amy is not in the pool or on deck, she is out discovering trails in Tennessee. She loves to hike and bike, taking advantage of Nashville’s beautiful greenways. Amy has a degree in Graphic Design for Nossi College of Art. Amy has two older brothers, one is a Master Chief in the Navy and one is a Nashville firefighter.



Board of Directors


Executive Board

Ellen Crosby, Executive Director
Dotty Sutter, Director of Finance
Warren Johnson, President
Wes Williams, Treasurer
Lisa Spellman, Secretary
Amy Adams
Brian Adams
Carlos Aro
Melissa Beasley
Taylor Chenery
Claire McCall
Julia Morris
Bill Oldacre
Skipper Phipps
Mary Ramsey
Robert Ramsey
Kelly Riedinger
Beth Scruggs

Meg Turner
Dudley West


Junior Board

Murray Benson
Parker Camp
Lindsay Campanis
Ellen Crosby
Macie Garrett
Kathleen Kestermann
Julie King
Tanya Krisman
Curtis Lovelace
Allie Phipps
Matthew Schipani
Taylor Schipani
Ben Sutter
Elliott Sutter
Ed Walsh
Maddie Walsh