Coach Slayer aka Don E. Watts
Dr. Harvey Gayer

Location: Athens, GA
Coaching Offered: Single sport: running and cycling; Multisport: duathlon and triathlon from short course to long course and major endurance events
Email:  [email protected]
Coaching Specialties:
  • Triathlon training for a variety of short and long course events (Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Rev3/Challenge, GoRace, Setup Events, American-TTT, Georgia Multisports, etc.)
  • Running training 5k to marathons and beyond using pace, effort/power, and heart rate
  • Cycling training indoors and outdoors from time trials, other e-races, to long group rides using power/effort and heart rate
  • Basic swim training and stroke work for triathlons, referring out for more serious swim instruction
  • Basic strength training for endurance athletes, referring out when more in-depth suggestions are required
  • Developing customized hydration/fueling testing and plans for events and assisting on general nutrition, referring out to licensed professionals when warranted


Based in Athens, Georgia, but coaching throughout the world is TCGA’s head coach Dr. Harvey Gayer, a well respected psychologist by day, a former outstanding endurance athlete, and a quality coach by night for some time. He knows the psychology of athletes, pillars of accountability, principles of periodized and focused weight loss, and empirically based training/racing concepts very well. Harvey and his wife, Julie, a local small animal veterinarian, have three grown children – all current or former swimmers/runners/triathletes – and are endurance athletes and solid citizens themselves. Also known as “Coach Slayer” or “Don E. Watts”, Harvey is a master motivator, a psychology applied to athletes expert, a strong supporter of youth and adult athletics and an easily found social networker, willing to give his athletes their props. — His successes as a coach are well documented, varied and innumerable. For example, he has coached himself, and five other qualifiers to Kona 140.6 and numerous athletes to 70.3 world championships (and Boston Marathons), as well as Clydesdales, Athlenas, and Junior Elites to Nationals. Harvey was one of the first age group (AG) team members from outside of the metro ATL area several years ago and was on their AG team until 2014, then moving to ambassador for the brand as well as for Generation UCAN before development of his own brand of sports nutrition with others prior to the pandemic lasting until 2023, SlayRx. He was a volunteer coach for the now defunct local age group youth team TriKidsGeorgia for several years. His athletes have reviewed his coaching very strongly and his own life story from couch potato to hardcore Ironman was detailed in this article from Oconee The Magazine. Coach Slayer Pushes Past Injury to Qualify for Kona – Featured Article in Oconee Magazine Winter 2016.


  • Coaching full roster of endurance athletes since 2011 including through pandemic
  • Head Coach of TCGA since 2011 (partnered with Brian Patterson who ran our well attended Augusta and Chatt 70.3 camps)
  • Mentor for many new coaches in the profession
  • Coached himself and five others to 140.6 Kona World Championship qualifiers, and many 70.3 and BQ qualifiers
  • USAT Level 2 Short Course, Long Course, and Youth & Junior Certified, former USAT Applicant for L3, former Level 3 USACycling Coaching certification, Road Runners Club of America Coaching certification, Slowtwitch Certified Coach
  • Completed formal triathlon mentorships with L3 Coach Kris Swarthout and sports psychologist Dr. Lisa Lewis
  • Has worked closely with UGA’s Swimming Associate head coach, Jerry Champer, and is STGRID(TM) certified and Swim Speed Secrets certified
  • Licensed Psychologist State of Georgia in private practice continuously since 1997
  • Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Georgia, Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program
  • Formerly obese man (maximum weight of 290 lbs) and maintained healthy weight since 2003

Personal Achievements

  • Multiple year USAT All-American
  • 70.3 World Championship Qualifier (Mont Tremblant 2014)
  • 140.6 World Championship (Kona) Qualifier (2015) and finisher (2016)
  • Many times Ironman Finisher (PR 9:23) with 3 x 10 hour finishes. He has done IMAZ twice, IMFL, IMCdA, IMMD twice, finishing 2AG/14OA in 2015 IMMD, and IMWC (Kona)
  • Many time Half Ironman Finisher (PR 4:26) including 1AG in Rev3 Maine 2012, 4:32 Augusta 2013, 5th AG at 2014 Panama 70.3, 4th AG at 2014 NOLA 70.3 (70.3 Worlds Qualifier where he was 17th USA finisher in AG)
  • Competed at British Middle Distance National Championship 2012 (Cowman)
  • Competed at American TTT 2012
  • Completed Mountain Mist 50k Trail Run 2012
  • Awarded numerous Clydesdale titles at regional (e.g., Augusta 70.3 x2, Rev3 70.3, Philadelphia Olympic x2), local short (Tri the Parks Series, Georgia Multisports, Setup Events), and long course races prior to Age Group shift in 2011
  • Won many AG titles and Overall Masters Richard B. Russell, Olympic 2012
  • Won Setup Events Georgia Triathlon Series (AG 40-44) in 2012
  • Achieved 17:51 5k PR, 38:29 10k PR, 1:27 13.1 PR and earned Multi-Boston and London Marathon Qualifiers (PR 3:04)
Coach Slayer with his family


Taylor Lewis, RN – a.k.a. HappyFloatyTaylor (HFT)
“I have become both an Ironman and an Ultrarunner with Harvey as my coach. He has helped me understand training principles, nutrition, and recovery. He has also taken the time to help me balance training with a hectic work and family life. His feedback is invaluable and I continue to learn from him. Tri Coach Georgia is a team that feels like family and even though I train with Harvey from a long-distance (I live about 8 hours away), he is the perfect mix of ever present, but not overbearing. He is an amazing coach!”

Eric Brown – a.k.a. Sharky
“Consistently amazing results thanks to Coach Slayer working me smarter (and a bit harder). Bring on the next race!”

Seth Waltman – a.k.a. TaxSlayer
“I was overweight and out of shape when I approached Coach Slayer about helping me finish a half ironman race in Augusta, GA. That was in December 2012. As I reflect on my training and racing, it is hard for me to believe what I was able to accomplish with Coach Slayer’s coaching. I have completed several half ironman races, a few full ironmans, and many sprint and Olympic distance races. I have set new personal records in a 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon too. Coach Slayer knew how to push me to new limits and provided support along the way. He asked questions about how my body felt and discussed my training and racing with me in context of my busy family and work life. I know I could not have done what I have without his support. Also, he coached my two children as part of the TriKidsGeorgia team. They have made dramatic improvements with his leadership. My family and I were very lucky to have him as our coach and friend. I highly recommend him to anyone looking to change their life.”

Lt. Col. Dan Fall – a.k.a. Chief Wahoo (CW)
“Have sat on this for a couple days… Wanted to be certain I knew what I wanted to say. You have helped me achieve a PR in literally every single race I’ve done as your athlete after many events. I am in the overall best health of my life (down 18 pounds and blood pressure lower than it’s ever been [I’ve been hypertensive for 12+ years — probably a combination of hereditary health and work stress since it was first diagnosed in Iraq when I was 26]). And I’m very optimistic about the opportunities moving forward and glad that I’m a part of the team!”

Tara Owens – a.k.a. TaraBull
“Here I was from NC going to the TriCoachGa Augusta 70.3 camp. I met Harvey and rode in his bike group. They were the nicest group of people. I decided to contact him about coaching and it was nothing but great the whole time. He was very encouraging and wise! My first ironman (Choo 2014) ranks in the top 3 best things I’ve ever done and my coach and that team was a major reason for the fantastic experience. He had me at hello…just kidding…he had me very prepared. Thanks again Slayer!”

Chris Keysor – a.k.a. Gator
“I just want to say a special thanks to Coach Slayer and Julie Fretwell Gayer. My first ironman would have most likely been a casualty of my errors and poor planning. But Slayer and Julie really made the day a great experience. Slayer not only coached me on the course, but Julie and him made sure my kids got to see me throughout the race. Truly meaningful. I know Slayer has had many mentors, friends, coaches and training that positioned him to be a great, caring and competent coach. He also had some great role models to follow on how to make a team a family. But it is the extra effort he puts in and the support of his lovely wife and kids that have made him such an important person in my life. Once again, thanks to Slayer and Julie for all you did.”

Jane Moore – a.k.a. Jane Of Arc (JOA)
“You are a great coach, Harvey, and I’m so grateful for your guidance. I didn’t know what I didn’t know what I needed to know. With my past races, my basic training didn’t warrant good results, I was frustrated with overreaching and slowly realized I needed a lot more substance. I’m on a more realistic path now, Thanks, Harvey!”

Judith Schroeder Garrard – a.k.a. Judas Priest (JP)
“Coach Slayer is an amazing coach, motivator, and mentor. He takes the time to get to know each of his athletes and their goals and tailors training plans to take many factors into consideration. He communicates with his athletes regularly and instills in each of us the concept of consistency and accountability which enables us to meet and in most cases exceed our personal goals. I assure you there are not a lot of coaches out there that would be willing to work with a 69-year-old woman competing in her first Ironman. I will be forever grateful to Coach Slayer for his advice, support and encouragement!”

Estevan Price – a.k.a. Emanboom!
“I am thankful to Coach Slayer for keeping me on track to get my A goals and beyond. I’m thankful to all of the TriCoachGeorgia team and family. We are a very mixed bunch, with very different beliefs and lives, but when it comes to the sport of Triathlon, and the support and encouragement we provide each other, we are one in the same, and that’s what really matters.”

Carol Robinson – a.k.a. Carole King (CK)
“Coach Slayer helped more than the miles run in training because he said he knew I could and I believed in him! Thank you Coach for all you have done to get me to this point in fitness, and in confidence. Merci beaucoup, mille fois!”

Melissa Kinmartin -a.k.a. Lava
“Thank you to my Coach Slayer from TriCoachGeorgia – his support and coaching is outstanding! The amazing results I had would not be possible without all of the TCGA team’s support and advice either. Time to take all that in and prepare for my next races coming up. See ya on the next race course!”

Lorand Batten – a.k.a. FIve
“We all have bad days in our lives, sometimes it’s just plain terrible and life sometimes sucks and we don’t understand it. Today was a good one. It was one you just want to relive just a little more. Had a good race at 2018 Augusta 70.3 (one of the biggest in the world ) against a very tuff (sic.) field. Made the podium. This comes as a result of hiring Coach Slayer and TriCoachGeorgia. I worked for almost 7 years and I only placed on the podium one time at Ironman. Now I’m 2 for 2. And you don’t have to live in Georgia to hire them, they’ll coach you where you’re at. I am in South Carolina. You don’t have to be doing Ironman either. If you want them to help you finish anything from a 5k run, a 10k, marathon, sprint triathlon, or go to the Ironman World Championship, or just to get FIT, they will help you. Very Proud to be a part of this team. Nothing better than to get the right help at the right time. I’m going to sit on the porch now and listen to some McCreery’s Five More Minutes.”

Greg Kuebrich -a.k.a. Small Pitchers
“I am probably the fittest I have ever been, Coach Slayer. Thank you for all you did to help me be prepared for my many races done with you!”

Fred Mehrer- a.k.a. The Cube
“Two years ago I had a decision to make. Stay with a coach I felt was demeaning and self-absorbed or changing things. I talked it over and interviewed several coaches. I chose Coach Slayer and since that time, I’ve become a better athlete, husband, stepfather, and human being. I eventually became a coach and started a business too. I took on more work challenges. More training challenges. More weather and environmental challenges. All the time Slayer was there with support and counsel. The results speak for themselves of what a great team can accomplish.”

Rhonda Webb McGinty – a.k.a. McGritty
“How awesome everything was!!! The praise I said last year still applies. What I do need to add is I met this dude who was called “Pops” a while ago. His name may have changed multiple times over the past years but he is still the same crazy, motivated, slow talkin, southern-sounding, former lardass, badass, guy from Jersey who made a wonderful impression on me!! He goes by the name of Don E. Watts now and I am so glad that he was my coach and the entire TriCoachGa team are now part of my extended family!! TCGA rocks!”

Troy Garland – a.k.a. Rolling Thunder
“Thank you for being the best coach (and half-ass Sherpa) for my first Ironman. I probably don’t show it as much as most, but I enjoyed the process and the race, no matter how brutal Ironman got. It helped tremendously having you, Coach TaxSlayer, and the other members of the team around for advice and anxiety relief (without being on top of me all the time). I’m pleased with my results and was proud to be one of your athletes.”

Scott Whalen – a.k.a. Phantom
“I had known Coach Slayer for 4 or 5 years and always counted on him for good info via social media, blogs, camps etc. and even though I wasn’t one of his athletes we talked now and then through private messaging and phone calls. I quickly learned he is a great person as well as a great coach. He is passionate about the sport as well as about the people. So when I decided to make a change in how I trained for triathlons,he was the top of my list to contact. We started mid-season which was not ideal but quickly got down to business. He changed my training, raised the bar and kept me sane all at the same time. He is not only a great coach technically, he is great on the personal side as well. He totally gets it!! Thank you for being a great coach, role model, friend and person.”