At Central Coast Dive Center we have the professional staff to guide you on every step of your underwater adventure, whether you want to take your first breath on Scuba or earn your PADI Professional Instructor certification.
Central Coast Dive Center is more than just a local dive shop – we have earned the distinction of being a professional teaching center – a PADI “5-Star Instructor Development Center” with an accomplished staff of professional dive instructors including five PADI Master Instructors who teach exclusively with Central Coast.
Why is this important to you as a diver?
Master Instructors On Staff – All of our instructors share a passion for diving, a passion for teaching, and strong support for continuing education in diving – especially our Master Instructors. Master Instructors have earned one of the most advanced teaching certifications that PADI offers. They are certified to instruct every level of diver, from brand new Open Water divers to Rescue Divers, and even teach divers who are “going Pro.” At Central Coast, we have not one, but FIVE Master Instructors who teach and certify divers on-site. This enables us to offer on-site certification programs for Dive Professionals such as Divemaster, Assistant Instructor and Open Water Scuba Instructor.
Wide Variety Of Instructors On Staff – We have a wide variety of instructors on staff with diverse teaching styles and instructor certifications. Looking for an expert on Underwater Photography? An instructor who can certify you for a Diver Propulsion Vehicle Specialty? A pro who can show you how to rebuild a regulator? A Master Instructor who can share teaching advice with you? A Dry Suit enthusiast who loves diving in icy clear waters year round? We have all of them and many more.
AIs & DMs – Our Assistant Instructors and Divemasters train with our Master Instructors, here on-site at Central Coast to earn their professional diver certifications. Our DMs and AIs are always happy to to assist you and make your experience with Central Coast even more enjoyable and comfortable. Our student divers often comment on the personal attention and quality training they receive not only from our instructors, but also from our AIs and DMs, in pool sessions and open water dives.
Tommy Evans, Owner & Master Instructor
Pimmy Bruckner, Master Instructor
Bob West, Master Instructor
Favorite Place to Dive: I don’t really have a favorite place to dive because I like diving anywhere! If I had to narrow if down, I would say either wreck diving in North Carolina or drift diving in Cozumel.
Favorite Class to Teach: My favorite class would be IDC-Assistant Instructor. Also, assisting with IDC-OWSI classes. The students in these classes are really serious about their training and offer me challenges to help them grow as professionals. However, I enjoy working with students of all levels – from Discover Scuba students to OWSI students. It is fun to share the underwater world to people of all abilities and skill levels.
Favorite Specialty: My favorite specialty to teach is Enriched Air – Nitrox. It provides immediate value and benefit to the students.
Ken Bales, Master Instructor
Ken Bales started diving in 1984. He is an engineer by education and a retired corporate executive that now teaches diving full time as a Master Instructor at Central Coast. After decades of recreational diving, Ken started on his track as a dive professional in 2009. He is a strong supporter of continuing education and he recently earned his Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer certification and is looking forward to teaching Instructor Candidates how to teach EFR classes. While he enjoys his trips to the ocean and live-aboard dive trips, his favorites are working with students in the pool at Central Coast and training and mentoring upcoming new dive professionals. Ken’s whole family dives and are at various levels of certification. In 2013, Ken was awarded the PADI Elite Instructor award.
Favorite Place to Dive: After liveaboards, my favorite place to dive is Cozumel. I enjoy drift diving and I like the people there!
Favorite Class to Teach: I have 3 favorite classes to teach. Open Water to watch the metamorphous people go through to become divers; Divemaster to see the change in how divers approach diving; Assistant Instructor to see the light in their eyes when they get what this is all about!
Favorite Specialty: Dry Suit, as it opens more opportunities to dive in the area and not be cold. Also, Underwater Navigation as you see the added confidence a diver gets when they master underwater navigation.
Katie Stein, IDC Staff Instructor
Favorite Place to Dive: I make an effort to experience lots of different types of diving – I’ve done Deep/cold water wreck dives in the Atlantic, Wall dives in Turks & Caicos and Honduras, Drift dives in Cozumel, Quarry diving here in the midwest, Drysuit, Nitrox, boat and shore diving… I love it all! If I had to pick a place to return to, it would probably be Cozumel for the fast & furious drift dives!
Favorite Class to Teach: Rescue Diver – it’s the first class where divers learn how to assist other divers, and it’s such a fun, dynamic class where different personalities really shine! Many of my Rescue Divers say that this is one of the most rewarding classes we offer at CCDC. I’m a strong believer in Continuing Education!
Favorite Specialty: Drysuit, because it opens up so many more opportunities for diving in different locations, year-round! I was born and raised in Alaska, and someday I’d like to go back there and dive with the whales.
Bob Obermeyer, Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Favorite Place to Dive: Key Largo, because there’s a wide range of diving opportunities from shallow reefs to deep wrecks, generally great visibility and easy to get to, so I can go more often.
Favorite Class to Teach: Open Water, because I love introducing individuals who are new to diving to the sport.
Favorite specialty: Deep diving, because I enjoy the experience of being at depth, the silence, the color changes, and visiting wrecks which are generally in deeper water.
Tom Spille, Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Greg Olmsted, Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Favorite Place to Dive: I’ll dive anywhere – I’m not picky! I just enjoy diving.
Favorite Class to Teach: Emergency First Response. It was one of the first classes I became certified to teach, and it’s valuable for divers and non-divers alike.
Favorite Specialty: Equipment Specialty – there’s something satisfying about being able to fix your own gear.
Randy Brandt, Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Favorite Place to Dive: It is hard to narrow it down, but I’d say my favorites are diving the spectacular walls of the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos, along with drift diving in the warm, clear waters of Cozumel.
Favorite Class to Teach: I have two favorites. The Open Water course, where I get to watch divers progress from “I think I can do this” to “Hey, I can do this” to “Wow, I love this!” and the Advanced Open Water course, where divers begin expanding their skill sets, and creating glide paths to specialties that open doors to all kinds of new diving adventures.
Favorite Specialty:I have two favorites. Drift Diving, because it enables divers to develop new and very useful skills, while also reinforcing basic principles of safe diving – like the importance of staying with your buddy, and Wreck Diving, because of the mystery and excitement divers experience each time they explore a ship that has found its final resting place at the bottom of an ocean or lake.
Eric MP Stankewicz, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Favorite Place to Dive: My favorite place to dive would have to be in the various quarries in the Midwest. I love to see the geology of the quarries and the layers of rock from the different ages. I feel like Fred Flintstone of Scuba. Although, I do like the warmer waters found in the Caribbean!
Favorite Class to Teach: My all-time favorite class is Discover Scuba! I love to introduce scuba to people the way it was introduced to me. I tried scuba with the Boy Scouts at the National Scout Jamboree and was hooked! I was certified the following spring and was diving at Sea Base that summer. I have enjoyed the whole Discover Scuba so much that I helped write a national program for the American Heritage Girls.
Favorite Specialty: I enjoy teaching CPR, although it isn’t a diving specialty! I truly believe that EVERYONE should know CPR. It’s easy and a good thing to know. Be Prepared! It must be the Eagle Scout in me.
Shannon Bay, Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Favorite Place to Dive: My favorite place to dive is St Croix. There are beautiful reefs and lots of variety of fish.
Favorite Class to Teach: My favorite class to teach is Open Water Diver. I love to watch the students figuring it all out and getting some confidence with their skills.
Favorite Specialty: Underwater photography
Mike Quinn, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Davey Hils, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Davey loves his job as an Open Water Scuba Instructor at Central Coast. He’s also on staff at the Dive Shop, and he loves to help customers find the perfect gear!
Favorite Place to Dive: Cozumel, because I love the drift diving – it’s so carefree!
Favorite Class to Teach: Discover Scuba. I love to get people in the water for the first time, and see them blowing their first bubbles.
Favorite Specialty: Underwater Naturalist. My favorite fish is the Splendid Toadfish, which is only seen in Cozumel.
Vince Thomas, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Favorite Class to Teach: Open Water, because I get to share a beautiful and truly awesome new world with others and prepare them for the first leg of that journey.
Favorite Specialty: My favorite specialty to do is Underwater Photography, because I can capture the moments and save them for later when I’m land locked; it also serves as a cure for cabin fever in the winter. I use the images as a screen saver; then when I’m engulfed in throes of cabin fever, staring blankly at my computer, I’m saved when the screen saver recues my mind from the oblivion! My favorite specialty to teach is Underwater Navigation because it’s important to know where you were, where you’re going. If you can retain 10% of the course, you’ll normally get where you want to go 90% of the time!
Uwe Ascheremeier, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Dick Clark, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Jon Hamm, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Carrol Smith, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Ken Wall, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Favorite Place to Dive: Key Largo, FL. Key Largo is a great place for me because every time the dive sites are different and I see new stuff. There are also lots of great dive boats to choose from, plenty of hotels and a ton of super restaurants. You can even shore dive at Camp Pennekamp State Park. — Locally I like to dive Natural Springs (New Paris, OH near Richmond, IN), Gilboa (Findlay, OH), Twin Quarries (Circleville, OH) and many others. All of these are good for fun dives and training.
Favorite Class to Teach: Open Water. Because I enjoy seeing the thrill new divers have when they breathe under water for the first time. I’ve seen people smile so BIG, they have trouble holding a regulator in their mouth. — No worries, we can help with that.
Favorite Specialty: Wreck Diving. I’m fascinated by the history of wrecks and the sea life that makes them home. It’s just COOL.
Leesa Wiesner, Open Water Scuba Instructor
Michelle Taylor, Assistant Instructor
Favorite Place to Dive: My favorite place to dive is Pensacola, the “Oriskany” wreck, and I recently discovered that North Carolina is also my favorite – I will be making many trips there in the future to see the wrecks! I love to dive shipwrecks and caverns, some day I hope to add cave diving and tech diving to my specialties.
Favorite Class to Teach: I enjoy doing scuba reviews, discover scuba and have a blast with the “Bubblemaker” birthday parties. I recently taught a PADI Seal team class and had a great time with it as well.
Favorite Specialty: My favorite specialty is deep dive – this is where I can explore many shipwrecks!
Jeff West, Assistant Instructor
Favorite Place to Dive: Cozumel – Lots of beautiful dives and such a variety of wildlife. The drift dives along the wall were amazing. Everyone I met there, from the dive operators to resort staff, were all very friendly and welcoming. My first ever ocean diving was Cozumel in 2002!
Favorite Class to Teach: Open Water – I love introducing people to diving through Open Water, especially during the first night of class. Everyone remembers their first scuba experience!
Favorite Specialty: Underwater Navigator – It always helps to know where you’re going!
Randy Peters, Assistant Instructor
Favorite Place to Dive: Locally, I like to dive at Gilboa Quarry due to the depth and the variety of underwater attractions like the Sikorsky helicopter, the Grumman Gulf Stream airplane, and various vehicles that have been purpose-sunk to make the dive site more interesting. It’s also a great place for classes with training platforms at various depths. Outside of Ohio, my favorite place to dive is the Bahamas, on the BlackBeard Liveaboard. Central Coast offers this trip and I enjoy the wide variety of dives (deep, drift, shallow…) and all of the different types of fish to see there.
Favorite Class to Teach: My favorite class to teach is Open Water, because I like to work with new divers and introduce them to diving.
Favorite Specialty: Diver Propulsion Vehicle. A DPV is an underwater scooter that carries you through the water. It’s like riding an underwater motorcycle!
Bob Wilson, Assistant Instructor
Scott Farwick, Assistant Instructor
Debbie Quinn, Assistant Instructor
Chad Seligman, Assistant Instructor
Tonia Spille, Assistant Instructor
Barry Franz, Assistant Instructor
Dave Freeman, Assistant Instructor
Mike McCann, Assistant Instructor
Tyrone Sweigert, Assistant Instructor
Bobby V Schneider, Divemaster
Nolan Bagadiong, Divemaster
Todd Holden, Divemaster
Favorite Place to Dive: Palancar Reef in Cozumel, Mexico – I love the 150 foot visibility and warm waters!
Favorite Class to Teach: Rescue, because this class is always moving and it’s a lot of fun.