RIO Salado Swim Club is
owned and operated by David Tait. David was an accomplished athlete
in the sport of swimming. In his career he was a 3-time state
champion and former state record holder, a Junior National
Champion, a Senior National qualifier, and a competitor at the 2000
US Olympic Trials. David coached a number of high school athletes
to the State, Junior National, and National levels and took one
athlete to the 2008 Olympic Trials. He has over 2 decades of
experience teaching children, teenagers, and adults how to swim.
His real passion is helping kids learn how to swim and enjoy a
sport that has brought him a lifetime of rewarding experiences.
David's expertise has benefited children and adults of all ages and
all levels of aquatic participation.
David’s professionally trained staff, the RIO Salado Swim
Club prides itself on developing the "total athlete." They
believe each swimmer has an opportunity to use the sport to learn
the skills necessary for a successful life, while having fun and
swimming fast at the same time. Physical, mental, emotional,
and social traits are all aspects of their philosophy that help to
develop each athlete at every level in swimming to their greatest
potential. They strive to ensure that swimming maintains a
bright and respectable future in the world of sports through the
development of new training techniques in order to achieve greater
and greater levels of human potential.
Head Coach (AG II & SEN II)
Bob Chen has been with
Rio Salado Swim Club since 2010 and has been Head Coach since
August 2015. In his time leading RIO, Bob has guided RIO swimmers
to success at Junior Nationals, Sectionals, AIA HS State
Championships, Arizona Age Group, and Arizona Senior Championships
and set over 30 new team records. Bob has also continued RIO's
legacy of producing college bound swimmers who excel in the
classroom as well as the pool.
In addition to taking
over the Senior program, Bob still is the lead coach for Age Group
2. RIO's Age Group program has consistently placed in the top 5 at
Age Group State Championships every year and produced multiple
Sectional and National Top 100 qualifiers. Prior to coaching on the
club side, Bob was the former Development Team Head Site Coach at
Hamilton HS where he helped grow the program to over 500 swimmers
across 4 sites.
Bob began swimming
competitively at the age of 11 and continued competing until his
senior year of high school; throughout his brief career he achieved
NRT’s in multiple age groups and events, while qualifying for
Sectionals and Junior Nationals. He is a former national record
holder as a member of Pacific Swimming's 11-12 boys 400 yd medley
relay, and is still the meet record holder in the 200 IM at
RIO’s own Lost Dutchman Invitational.
Head Age Group Coach (CJ, AG I & SEN I)
Melissa Belote was born
on October 16, 1956 in Washington D.C. and grew up in Springfield,
Virginia. She has been called one of America's greatest
swimmers. Melissa is the middle child of Florence and Buddy
Belote. She has two sisters, Barbara and
Melissa first appeared
on the national swimming scene at the age of 12 when she qualified
for her first United States National
In 1972, Melissa won
both the 100 and 200 meter Backstroke at the United States Olympic
Trials and set a world record in the 200 meter
Later that year at the
Summer Games in Munich, Germany, Melissa led the women's American
Swim Team as she won three Gold Medals. She placed first in
the 100 meter Backstroke, setting an Olympic and American
record. She finished first in the 200 meter Backstroke setting
a World, Olympic, and American record. She also swam the lead
off leg on the World, Olympic, and American record setting 400
Medley Relay team.
In 1973, Melissa
continued her dominance when she won the 200 meter Backstroke at
the World Championships.
In 1976, Melissa made
her second Olympic team, which competed in Montreal,
Canada. Melissa finished fifth in the 200 meter Backstroke,
setting a new American record.
From 1970 to 1979,
Melissa won 8 AAU Individual National Championships and was a 16
time AAU All-American. She also won 6 individual National
Collegiate Swimming Championships and led her college team, Arizona
State University to two National Championships. Melissa was a
four-year All-American at Arizona State
In 1972 and 1973,
Melissa was the runner-up for the Sullivan Award, the highest
amateur award recognized in the United States. In 1977, she
won the Broderick Award as the Outstanding Women's Collegiate
Swimmer in America.
Melissa is in the
Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the Washington Hall of Stars, the
Arizona State University Athletic Hall of Fame, and the
International Swimming Hall of Fame. In 1999 Melissa was selected
to the United States Swimming “Team of the Century,” as
well as, Sports Illustrated top 50 athletes from the state
of Virginia, and the Arizona Republic Newspapers top 100
Athletes of Arizona.
Melissa has been
involved with swimming, either as a swimmer or coach, since 1965
when she started competing as an 8 year old at her community swim
club, Springfield Swim & Racquet Club. In addition to her
coaching responsibilities at RIO, Melissa is the Head Swim Coach at
McClintock High School.
Melissa is married to
Richard A. Ripley and they have two children, Rachel Alexandra (27)
and Erik Alexander (25). Rachel graduated from
the University of Missouri where she competed all 4 years and
is now working in the fashion industry in New York. Erik
recently graduated after swimming 4 years at Towson Univeristy in
Maryland and is currently RIO's Senior 2 assistant
coaching age group swimming
Four time All-American
for Arizona State University
Six time National
Collegiate Champion for Arizona State
Olympian (1972 &
Three-time Olympic Gold
Medalist (World, Olympic and American Record
World Champion 1973
– 200 m Backstroke
Runner-up (1972 & 1973) - Top Amature Athlete in
Broderick Award for
Outstanding Women's Collegiate Swimmer (1977)
Newspaper - Women Athlete of the Year (1977 &
Inducted into the
Arizona State University Athletic Hall of Fame
Inducted into the
International Swimming Hall of Fame (1983)
Inducted into the
Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (1989)
Arizona Republic 100
Greatest Arizona Athletes
Sports Illustrated Top
50 Virginia Athletes
USA Swimming - Female
200 Backstroker of the Century
2008 Arizona Swimming
Age Group Coach of the Year
AG1 Assistant Coach
Charissa Miller began
swimming competitively at the age of 9 while growing up in
Cinncinnati, Ohio. She eventually moved to Arizona during high
school where she swam at Gilbert High School focusing on sprint
freestyle and butterfly and swimming at the Arizona H.S. State
Championships. She competed on USA Swimming teams in Ohio, Texas,
and Arizona and was also a trained lifeguard and swim
Charissa previously worked with Melissa, serving as Head Counselor
at Sparky Swim Camp held at Arizona State University. This camp
focused on stroke technique for swimmers from elementary through
high school. She served as an admin official at RIO's Lost Dutchman
meets while in college.
Charissa moved back to the Phoenix area in 2013. She and her
husband, Stuart, have been married for 9 years and have two girls:
Akiha, age 7, has been swimming for 6 years and is currently
training with RIO's Competitive Junior group; Adelé, age 5,
has been swimming for 4 years and swims at EVO in the Dolphin
class. Charissa enjoys being able to share her passion of swimming
with her daughters and is excited to be back teaching and coaching
Development Team Director
Born and raised right here in the East Valley, Patrick Tolson has been involved with swimming since birth. He began swimming rec leagues for the City of Mesa at age 5. He continued with his swimming career at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, where he was a middle distance and sprint freestyler. In his 2 years with the Mountain Lions, he qualified and competed at the Arizona H.S. State Championships in the 100 and 200 freestyle. After high school, Patrick attended Northern Arizona University. Whilst in college, he was a volunteer coach for the Flagstaff Snow Sharks. During his breaks from college at NAU, Patrick coached rec league swimming for the City of Mesa during the summers. He was the Assistant Coach, and eventually the Head Coach, of two teams during his 9 years with the City of Mesa.
Upon graduation from NAU in 2001 with a degree in Elementary Education, Patrick went on to teach 10 years of Elementary School in Gilbert, primarily First Grade. While still teaching, Patrick began coaching for Mesquite High School in Gilbert. In his 14 seasons with the Wildcats, his Men’s Team has ranked in the Top 10 in the State of Arizona 6 times. He has overseen many eventual collegiate swimmers and his teams have achieved All-American Honors under his guidance and coaching.
Patrick joinded the RIO staff as the Head Coach of the Gilbert Jr. facility in 2011. Starting in April of 2014, Patrick assumed the role of Development Team Director from predecessor Bob Chen, who moved on to the Competitive Team. He continues to run practices at the San Tan location for the Development Team and is also the Head Coach of the RIO Masters Team. Patrick teaches lessons at EVO Swim School multiple times each week and runs private lessons for both children and adults.
Patrick and his wife Hilary have been married for 12 years. They have 2 sons; 8 year old Kyler, who just started Third Grade this past Fall and swims with the Competitive Juniors Group and their youngest son, Teagan, who is a 5 year old swimming in the Porpoise Class at EVO. They also have a daughter, named Maleah, age 2, that keeps mom and dad on their toes. As much as Patrick enjoys his work in and around the pool, what he truly enjoys is spending time with his family.
Development Team - Hamilton Head Coach
Andrea Courtney was born and raised in Arizona. She started swimming competitively when she was 6 years old in Wray, Colorado, where her grandparents live and continued every summer until she was 17. She graduated from Marcos de Niza High School in 2004 where she swam on the Varsity team for 4 years and also played basketball all 4 years. Her specialties included 100 back, 50 free, 100 free, and she was also an active member on the relays. After high school she began coaching at Marcos de Niza for 1 year and then moved over to Corona Del Sol, where she coached for 5 years. Andrea was the head swim coach at the Tempe Lifetime Fitness for 7 years. She began her career with RIO in March 2013. Currently she attending school to earn her degree in Substance Abuse Counseling.
Development Team - San Tan Head Coach
Jesse Hodges was born in Utah, and grew up on military bases
overseas in Germany and Japan. He started swimming with local swim
teams at the age of 8 and with the European Forces Swim League
(EFSL) in middle and high school. Upon graduating high school in
Japan in 2012, Jesse started college at NAU and also began
lifeguarding during the summer back in Japan where he taught kids
to swim in the Water Safety Instructors (WSI) program. This is
where Jesse learned of his passion for coaching and re-ignited his
love for swimming. In 2016 he moved to Phoenix and started coaching
with the RIO Swim Club at the San Tan and Queen Creek locations.
Jesse is currently enrolled at DeVry University, where he is
studying on how to be a Network System Administrator.
Development Team - Mesa Head Coach
Jodi Bushor was born in Denver, CO and began swimming at a young
age. She decided to try diving around the age of 12 and loved it so
much that she continued diving through high school and college.
After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health from
NAU in 2003, Jodi continued working in aquatics while furthering
her education. In 2007, Jodi graduated from the University of
Phoenix with a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. She
then started her teaching career, teaching high school health and
coaching the swim team. After five years of teaching high
school students and coaching, she changed her focus and started
teaching elementary P.E. in Tempe beginning in 2012. In March
2015 Jodi joined the RIO team of coaches and started coaching a
couple days per week after work. Now Jodi works full-time for
EVO/RIO and loves sharing her passion of health and fitness with
young athletes. Her goal is to encourage young kids to stay
active by being involved in a sport they can continue their whole
Jodi and her husband Christopher have been married since 2004.
They love cooking together and entertaining guests. They have an 8
year old daughter named Kaylie who is in third grade and loves
sports. She is a competitive gymnast at Gold Medal
Gymnastics. Kaylie loves to compete and her passion and
dedication in gymnastics makes mom and dad really proud!