MAC Partners
Coaches & Directors
We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.
Coaching Staff

Paul Lewis Smith

Owner, Director of Coaching-CEO


Since assuming the "helm" of MAC in April of 2009 Paul and his wife Laura have lead a top to bottom transformation of the club. The process has involved reorganizing the training groups, adding dry land training as a component for all age groups, adding "family" that includes coaches, a team manager and a volunteer corps that all together have taken the club from a little over 100 to 495 USA Swimming athletes (and over 200 masters registered in 2012). The past year also saw dozens of new team records, USA Swimming Level 3 Club Recognition achieved, a final ranking of #223 in the USA Club Excellence program (6th best in Arizona) and a VCC score of 167,553 ranking us at #143 of the close to 3000 year around swim programs in the country! In addition, with arguably two of the finest outdoor pools in the country MAC has become one of the top meet hosts in the world headlined by the 2013 & 2014 Arena Grand Prix events along with Age Group, Senior and 8 and Under Championships, USA Swimming IMX Championships a USMS Masters Nationals and co-host of the annual Memorial Day Speedo-Arizona Invitational that hosted over 900 athletes in 2014.


Paul has a B.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Coaching Minor from the University of California, Santa Barbara and went on to obtain his Masters Degree in the same field from Antioch University. He was a World University Games Gold Medalist and Record Holder in 1981 and is a two time Olympic Swimming Trials Qualifier. Paul was an NCAA Swimming All-American in 1980 and 1981 for UC Santa Barbara where he held the 100yd butterfly record of 48.86 set in 1981 for almost 20 years, he was recruited by and played for their Division l Water Polo Team as well including the 81' & 82' NCAA Championships. Since 2000 Paul has been a two time USMS Master Swimmer of the Year recipient; is a multiple USMS World and National Record Holder; has been a USMS All Star 5 times and is a 10 time USMS All American. He has acquired 174 Age Group Top Tens in USMS to date. Paul is a USA Certified Coach and an ASCA Certified Coach. Paul and his wife are Co-owners of Mesa Aquatics Club, which also encompasses Mesa Masters, MAC Swim Shop and Mesa Water Polo.

Laura Smith

Co-owner, Age Group & Strength Coach


Laura Smith is an Arizona native with a life long passion for athletics.  She attended Coronado High School, where her  achievements included multiple State Records in swimming, State Record in the 800 (Track), Varsity Letterman in Track, Swimming and Cross Country,  National Honor Society, President Spanish National Society, and Arizona Scholar Athlete of the year 1984. Laura turned down Academic Full Ride Scholarships to A.S.U.; U of A; and N.A.U. and decided to attend college out of state.  She was a Division I Backstroker for University of California, Santa Barbara where she double majored in Comparative Religions and Exercise Science with a Coaching Minor.  

 Laura worked abroad for  4 ½ years in the Bahamas, West Indies, Dominican Republic and Mexico designing and implementing sports and fitness programs for both children and adults.  Post Graduate,  Laura has acquired over 12 National Certifications in the Health and Fitness Industry (A.C.E.; A.F.F.A.; Cooper Institute) and was the Fitness Director / Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Vail Athletic Club and the Arrowhead Alpine Club in Colorado.  She is a three time USMS National Champion and was a part of the 800 Women’s Relay National Record team. 

Laura and her husband Paul are the Head Masters Coaches and Co-Directors of Mesa Aquatics Club.  She currently holds a Level llI ASCA Certification, USMS Level II Certification, and works with our age groupers on deck and all ages running MAC's dryland program.

Meg M Zajdzinski

Age Group Director


Meg Rich-Zajdzinski, better known to us all as Coach Meg, is now making an impact on the swimming world in Arizona for a fourth decade. Her roots in swimming, and specifically here in Mesa, began long ago as part of a swimming family who spent numerous hours at the pool for practices and meets as her own competitive career was in its infant stages. She progressed through the swimming ladder, including an extremely successful age group experience with the original version of Mesa Aquatics, continuing on through her years at Westwood High School, where she was not only an individual State Champion herself but also a leader on some excellent teams that vied for State Championships. Her dedication allowed her qualify for a college scholarship, first at Arizona State and finally at Colorado State University. For most, that list of accolades would be enough to last a lifetime, for her that was really just a thorough preparation for all that has ensued.

Meg reached out to some of the same coaches that had helped build her own competitive career and sought their advice and counsel on getting started on a new adventure, a coaching career of her own. She has worked in different programs throughout the valley, working side by side with some of the longest tenured and most experienced coaches in our sport and she has clearly benefited from those friendships, which now pay dividends daily in her work with our own young swimmers. Meg returned to Mesa Aquatics Club in its newest version 5 years ago and has risen to become our Age Group Director, responsible for the development of several hundred youngsters often younger that she was when her own swimming dream began. To watch her teach a skill as simple as drop pushes from the wall, is to understand the depth of her knowledge and the unique style of her coaching, as she incorporates in rhyming mnemonics, often incorporated into a jingle, and small movements which blend into an integrated whole that will become a part of those tiny new swimmers base of knowledge for a lifetime.

She is also a big part, along with her husband Chris, in building a team within a team, as they have 4 children between 12 and 16, all swimmers of course, who you will see daily as part of our program. You will also often see Chris swimming with our Masters program, and when the competitive spirit moves her, Meg also will jump back into competition as she did when we hosted Masters Nationals here in Mesa a few years ago, and what was her contribution to that effort, National Championships in the 200 and 500 freestyles. They are a family that will sometimes take part in an open water swim simply because the family that swims together at least gets to carpool. They live the typical lives of swimming families, up early, often just as transportation for teenagers who have 5 am practices at different pools or to coach one of her own practices. 

Meg is an ASCA certified Level III swim coach, in addition to also being ASCA II certified as a masters coach, but those are not the most important measures of her value to our program. She and her family are one of many shining examples of our team philosophy, "Water is life, swim for life" and each and every day she instills those same values into athletes as young as 6 or 7 years old, ensuring that the torch will be passed for many more generations.

Jonathan Shaw

Senior Group Director


Jon Shaw grew up in Indiana where he was a standout age group swimmer and achieved the #1 ranking in US in the 100 fly & 400IM, set state records in the 100 fly, won multiple state age group and senior championships and is still ranked in the top 100 in 4 events (40th all time in the 400IM as a 13-14 year old).

Jon was recruited by and swam for ASU from 2000-2004 where he was a Pac 10 semi-finalist in the 200 fly and 400IM, he graduated with a BA in Elementary Education and currently teaches 7th grade Social Studies. Jon's passion for swimming has never died, he has coached for Sun Devil Aquatics as well as Sun Devil Masters and joined the MAC family in September of 2009. Jon's forte is technical instruction, in addition to coaching masters and assisting with MAC's Senior group Jon also does private instruction.

Jack Giles

Senior Coach-Kino



Jack joins our team with long history of coaching in Arizona.  He graduated from Saguaro High school, where he swam for the Varsity Team.  From there, he coached a summer Rec league at South Lake Tahoe, a team of 80 kids.  He came back to the valley and spent 13 years with the City of Scottsdale working as the summer team coach, team program coordinator and pool manager.  He graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1983 with a BS in Psychology and Child Development.  He was the Assistant Coach for the Marcos de Niza swim team for two years before moving to the Arcadia district where he coached Arcadia High School to 9 State Championships!  Jack was the Aquatics Director at the Village Athletic Club for three years before returning to school to obtain his Law Degree from ASU.  He has always been a fan of swimming, a participant of swimming, and his passion and knowledge of the sport has led to the success of his swimmers.


Glen L Coy

Age Group Coach-Skyline


Eagle Scout, Glen Coy, is a Utah transplant who moved to Arizona for the availability of year round outdoor activities. Glen’s full time job is teaching junior high and high school physical education. When he isn’t teaching or coaching, he can usually be found enjoying his boat on one of the Valley’s many lakes, practicing for or participating in wakeboarding tournaments.

Born and raised in Utah, Glen swam for Clearfield High School Swim Team, graduating in 1984. He still holds the school record in the 500 free. In college, he swam for Truman State University in Missouri, where he held records in both the 200 back and the 800 free relay.

Glen has coached at the club level since 1993, mainly coaching the 14 and under age groups.   He holds a Level V ASCA certification. Several of his age group swimmers, both former and present, have earned National Age Group Recognition, hold State Records, are State Champions as well as top 8 finishers at State Championships and Far Westerns.  Glen also has coached several age group swimmers who have gone on to be Olympic Trial Qualifiers. One former swimmer is a National Record Holder, as well. Swimmers who had Glen as their age group coach have gone on to swim for many colleges around the country, including U-Conn, Stanford, BYU, Washington, U of A, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, and Drury.  

In addition to club coaching, Glen coaches at the high school level. He has been a high school swimming coach since 1995, coaching at two 5A schools: Mountain Pointe boys from 95-98 and  Mountain View girls from 1999 to present. During that time, he has earned numerous coaching recognitions, including High School Coach of the Year in 02, 03, 05, 06 and 11. Among his high school swimmers, are several High School State Champions, High School State Record Holders and High School All Americans.

Glen has been wakeboarding for 14 years and has been the Masters State Champion from 2003 to 2010. Glen is a big fan of PB and J sandwiches, cheese pizza and chocolate chip cookies! He stays busy with teaching, coaching and wakeboarding.

Eric Dimmery

Age Group Coach-Kino



Eric Dimmery is an Army brat that moved around every three years. He got to see and experience many places in the United States and abroad. He moved to Arizona in high school and graduated from the Mountain View. From there Eric went to the University of New Mexico on a swimming scholarship. He graduated with a degree in Education.
He moved back to Arizona in 1997 to teach and coach swimming. He has coached all levels of swimmers and has been very successful with each. His swimmers have had all levels of success from achieving best times to swimming at Olympic Trials. Eric quit coaching for a few years to further his education and get his masters in Administration for Educators. He started coaching again at the high school level for Apache Junction the last three years where his team made tremendous gains in achievement. He is happy to be joining our team as a13-14 age group coach.

Marissa Walz

Novice, Pre-Comp Coach


Paul and Laura noticed  Marissa Walz’s natural talent for coaching young children while she was working for the City of Mesa. She has been swimming since she was a little girl, and is still in love with the sport today.  She attended Mt. View High School where she trained under the Legendary Glen Coy.  

Currently she just finished her associates degree at Mesa Community College and plans on returning to receive her Bachelors this Spring! She would like to become an English professor and have a part time job as a Fitness Trainer…but we’re trying to convince her to stick to coaching!!! She is excited to start spending more time around the pool deck and getting to know all of the amazing MAC swimmers!

Erin Shields

Team Administrator


Erin Shields grew up in Northern California and swam as an age grouper and in high school.  At 15 she was hired to coach the "Belmont Bullets"- a summer rec. team and quickly realized that she enjoyed the administrative side of competitive swimming much more than participating.  Erin coached each summer for 4 years.  

Quickly after moving to Batesville, Arkansas to attend Lyon College word got out about Erin's aquatic experience and she was hired to teach the swimming courses at the college.  Soon after she was hired to coach the county's year-round team and spent one year coaching the local high school team.  During Erin's last season as coach with the "Batesville Torpedoes" the team brought a state title to the team on her last day as a coach- which was also her birthday!

Erin moved to Arizona in 2005 and has been working as a full time swim team administrator since that move.  She has served multiple terms as the corporate secretary for Arizona Swimming, Inc., and is on the USMS National Championship Committee.  Erin is passionate about the future of swimming in Arizona and hopes to continue to be able to bring world class swimming and competition to Mesa!

When Erin is not running a meet or hanging out at the pool she is busy chasing 7 year old Connor who is thrilled to finally be an official MAC-ster!

Heather Solomon

Senior Coach-Skyline


Heather Haynes Solomon, joined the MAC family as a six year old. She grew up swimming with the likes of Meg, Sheila and Eric!   She was a top finisher in breaststroke and sprint freestyle events, and swam both at Junior National’s.  After graduation, while attending ASU (BA Communications 1991), she coached MAC age groupers six years and concurrently coached the Mountain View Girls, leading them to five consecutive State Runner-Up titles.  She was AIA Coach of the Year 1992.  By 1994 she had four little rambunctious boys and left the deck to raise them and a girl born in 1998. 

Heather continued to teach learn to swim, technique and adult swimming lessons.  Together with husband Warren, they’ve enjoyed an active lifestyle:  hiking, backpacking, running, and adventure racing when they weren’t at their boys' football games and wrestling matches. Their daughter, London, passed away in 1995 at 7 years old from Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  To help other families in crisis situations like the one London experienced, Heather was Executive Director of London’s Run (6 years).  Directing events and leadership positions has schooled her in mentoring and organizational experience.  They are now proud grandparents and are thrilled to see their family growing up.

When her youngest son joined the dive team, Heather returned to the deck (!) to coach the Queen Creek High School swim team as both assistant and head coach (2007 to present), and is excited to be back in the club swimming scene both as a Masters swimmer and coach! She loves working with all ages.  Her love is seeing swimmers “get it”, learn to love it, and experience success in competition.  With a focus on detail and technique, she believes that swimming is a portal to learning life lessons that will bless and enhance lives... and that swimming is fun!

Sheila Arredondo

Coaching Staff


Sheila began her coaching career assisting her father at the Lakes Beach & Tennis Club in Tempe. Over the past 30 years she has implemented comprehensive learn-to-swim programs and coached swimmers of all ages from novice to elite. She is authorized as a water safety instructor by the American Red Cross and volunteers with this program.

Sheila’s coaching philosophy — Less is More — evolved while working for U.S.A. Swimming at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Her initial responsibilities included the World Championship Tracking and National Developing Elite Athlete Testing programs. She later served as Coordinator of Sport Science Services and was responsible for conducting biomechanical, metabolic, nutritional, physiological, psychological, and technical analyses. She was also the first person to experience the internationally acclaimed flume or swimming treadmill, and conducted numerous specialized training and research studies using the flume.

The years spent studying the science of swimming and art of coaching affirmed that individualization is essential and quality matters most. Consequently, Sheila’s programs emphasize building endurance through technique and skill development as well as kinesthetic awareness, efficiency, specificity, recovery, relaxation, balance, speed, flexibility, variety, and most importantly — FUN.

In addition to being a coach, scientist, and educator, Sheila is also a swimmer. She began swimming competitively at the age of 5 and is a former Arizona age-group state champion and record holder. She earned most valuable honors throughout high school and college. Sheila graduated from Occidental College (NCAA Division III) with records infour individual and four relay events and was selected as a member of the All-America Collegiate Swimming Team in thirteen events over four years.

Sheila joined masters swimming in the early 1990s. In 1994 she won the 50- and 100-yard breaststrokes as well as the 100-yard individual medley at the U.S. Masters Swimming Nationals held at Arizona State University. In 2003 she achieved the honor of “All American Masters Swimmer” by recording the fastest times in the 50- and 100-yard breaststrokes for women ages 35-39. She also swam to three individual and three relay top-ten finishes at the 2006 FINA World Masters Championships held at Stanford University.

Sheila met her husband, Dave Faulkner, at the Olympic Training Center where he was a resident athlete and member of the U.S.A. National Judo Team. Dave continues to enjoy and coach judo at a local club. Married nearly 20 years, the couple has two daughters — Darian and Devyn (yes, they swim and play a little judo too). Sheila earned a BA from Occidental College, a MS in exercise science from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in higher education from the University of Denver. She has worked at Colorado College, Colorado State University, the University of Colorado, the University of Denver, Education Commission of the States, and WestEd.

Nichol Dowell

Age Group Coach- Kino


Nichol started swimming at the age of 5 and swam at Kino with the original Mesa Aquatics Club alongside her coaching colleagues, Coach Meg and Coach Eric.  She was a 4 year scholar athlete at Westwood High School and a Junior National qualifier in the  200 and 400 IM and 200 fly.  She was top 4 in numerous events for four years in AZ state meets, including the IM, fly, and distance free events.
She swam on scholarship at Brigham Young University where she continued competing in distance free, fly and IM events. She was part of a dedicated team that won the WAC 3 of her 4 years.   In 1991 was a Cougar Club Scholar/ Athlete. She was 1991/92 WAC scholar athlete. She was a final at the WAC championships in the mile and 400 IM. Nichol was co-captain her senior year at BYU.
While competing at BYU she met and married her husband, a sprinter on the BYU men's team. They have been married for 21 years and have 4 children. 
Nichol coached for Scottsdale Aquatics in 1997, then went on to teach first grade for a few years at the Franklin schools.  She was a stay at home mom for several years and has spent the last 6 years as a reading specialist with Kyrene Schools.  Three of her kids swam for Sun Devils, so when the merge of teams happened, she was blessed to be able to step back on deck with her old teammates. In addition to coaching, Nichol is a youth leader at her church for 40 young women. Besides teenagers, she also enjoys reading, hiking, the movies and a good nap. 

Haley J Gordon

Novice, Precomp, Age Group Coach


Haley grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she started swimming at the age of 7. Her parents put her and her two brothers in the pool and they never got out. She quickly fell in love with the sport and joined the Sioux Falls Snowfox Swim Team, where she was coached by her mom and swam with her brothers. The family aspect of swimming has always been her favorite part of the sport, and she is very grateful that it continually brings her family together. 


Haley set many SD state records through the years and competed at the Junior and Senior National levels. She was recruited and swam at the Big Ten level for the University of Iowa, swimming alongside her older brother as an Iowa Hawkeye. During her sophomore year, she was elected Team Captain and began serving on the Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC). She served on ISAAC for three years, in which she was Secretary her junior and senior years. Her junior year at Iowa also welcomed her younger brother as a swimmer for the Hawkeyes, bringing all three siblings together on deck. At the Big Ten Championship Meet her senior year, Haley set the Iowa School Record in the 100 Butterfly and contributed to another Iowa School Record in the 400-Medley Relay. 


Haley became a Certified Health Education Specialist in April 2014 and graduated from the University of Iowa in May with a BA in Health and Human Physiology. She held an internship in Des Moines, IA over the summer, working as a wellness intern in a retirement community and moved to Arizona in August. She began coaching for MAC in September and continues to swim with the MAC Masters. She is excited to be a part of the MAC family and share her enthusiasm for the sport with all the amazing MAC swimmers! Go Narwhals!

Kara Keithley

Age Group Coach - Skyline


Kara Keithley is a native to Arizona. She grew up in Northern Arizona. Kara began swimming at the age of five. She grew up around water sports: boating and fishing. At the age of fifteen she began to work for parks and recreation and just completed her thirty-third year. She has been a swim instructor, swim coach, and pool manager. She has taught lifeguard training courses for twenty-eight years as well as teaching instructors how to teach swim lessons. Kara is involved in many aquatic advisory committees. She graduated with a BA in Elementary Education and currently teaches 7th grade English. She also holds a MA in Administration and MA in Counseling.  


Kara has two children. She taught both children to swim as soon as they could crawl. Her daughter swam for Red Mountain High School and graduated in 2012. Her son is in 8th grade. 


Kara holds an SG (Starguard), SGIT (Starguard Instructor Trainer), SSI( Swim Lesson Instructor), SSIT(Swim Lesson Instructor Trainer), and Coaches Safety Training Certifications.