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Coaches

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.


Zach DeWitt - Head Senior Coach / Lead Senior HP Coach

Zach DeWitt was named Head Coach of FRST Swimming in March 2012.  As Head Coach, Zach has oversight of  many aspects of the club, while maintaining lead coach duties of High-Performance Senior.  DeWitt has been a progressive reformer of the program, working to re-structure the groups and coaches with an aim for high expectations and performance.  DeWitt’s leadership has led FRST to improving its finish at the Age Group State meet from a 21st place in 2012 to a 3rd place finish at this past season’s Long Course Championships.

Before becoming the Head Coach at FRST, DeWitt led and built a program at Club Mart Swimming from less than 20 swimmers to over 70 swimmers in his 3 years there. During his time at Club Mart, the sharks not only built in numbers, but also performance. Club Mart went from 0 state qualifiers to 12 from just 2011 to 2012.

A lot has changed since DeWitt’s arrival to FRST Swimming:  FRST gained its 1st 2 Junior National qualifiers in 2013/14 with Adam Destrampe/Carla Gildersleeve as well as boosted its numbers at the championship meets (4 members - 2012 to 38 members - 2015) as well as Central Zone Championships (2 members - 2012 to 13 members – 2014).  DeWitt’s swimmers have captured 55 Individual State Titles, 11 Zone Titles, 5 Indiana State Records, 3 Zone Records, 7 Individual State High-Points, and 3 Individual Zone High-Points.

Coach DeWitt is also the Head Coach at Franklin Community High School. DeWitt won the school’s first ever sectional titles with the completion of a "three-peat" Boys Sectional Championships in 2013, 2014, 2015. DeWitt’s teams captured the Boys and Girls Mid-State Conference Titles in 2013, 2015 with the boys also champions in 2014.  There have been 15 varsity school records broken in the past 2 years, which accounts for well over half the records at FCHS.

Zach DeWitt has attempted to dedicate his energy both for the greater good of FRST as well as Indiana Swimming by hosting the “Catching the Spirit” camp in 2014 as well as being selected as 13-14 Associate Head Coach for Team Indiana at the 2013 Central Zone Championships in Geneva, OH.

DeWitt is employed by Franklin Community Schools as a Spanish Teacher at FCHS.  He enjoys a plethora of sports, mostly including his hometown Colts, Pacers, and Indiana Hoosiers.  His biggest passion is traveling around the world learning about other cultures, foods, music, art, and history.  


Alex Jerden - Head Age Group Coach / Lead Eclipse Coach / SR 1 Lead Coach

Alex Jerden, Head Age Group of Franklin Regional Swim Team (FRST), came to Franklin in the fall of 2014 after serving as Head Coach of both the Bloomington Wahoos and CCiST.  Since his arrival, Coach Jerden has had FRST in the top-10 of Indiana Swimming each of the past 4 seasons, highlighted by 3 top 5 performances in the last year and a half.

  • 3rd – 2015 Long Course Age Group Championships
  • 3rd – 2015 Short Course Age Group Championships
  • 5th – 2014 Long Course Age Group Championships

Equally impressive as the team placing, remarkable for a club of around 100 athletes, is the number of podium finishes that Coach Jerden has consistently had throughout his career at FRST.  With over 25 age group individual state titles over the past few seasons (from more than 6 different athletes), Alex has made his marks not only with the team performances but also individual performances as well.

Alex originally comes to us from the Bloomington Wahoos, where he founded and was Head Coach of an innovative, athlete-centered program.  Alex controlled the day-to-day season planning, training, and specializes in stroke mechanics.  Alongside his experience with WAHU, Jerden was also formerly the Head Coach of Counsilman Center Swim Team (CCiST) where he coached CCiST to a 3rd place finish on the men’s’ side at the 2014 Indiana Senior State Championships!

On the school side of things, Jerden spent 2010-2014 coaching under legendary Bloomington North Coach Dave Tanner.  Bloomington North was able to capture its 1st sectional title in over a decade in 2013.  Coach Jerden has also helped coached 2 IHSAA State Champions over the past few years.

Alex's coaching philosophy centers on the concept of a strong team-mindset, enthusiasm, and positive attitude behind an awesome work ethic. We felt like his feelings on work ethic allows him to fit in perfectly with our motto, "Hard Work Pays."  Alex's goals for FRST Swimming are to create a championship club that seeks excellence through creativity and willingness to do what others will not. "Love the team, love the sport, love the work."

Finally, Alex is a 2009 graduate of Purdue University (B.A. Exercise Science) and a 2016 graduate of Ohio University (Masters in Athletic Administration).  


Paul Ziegler - 
 

Paul Ziegler has been Mr. Consistency and FRST's mainstay staple for many years now.  Coach Ziegler grew up swimming from age 6 to age 17. He was a utility swimmer who swam whatever his coach needed but spent most of his time swimming back, fly and I.M.. 

While his kids swam for FRST he was asked to help by taking kids to meets when the High School coaches were not available. The following season he was asked to work with the youger kids on the team and has been a constant presence on the pool deck representing FRST for the last four years. Ziegler specializes in drill instruction with a heavy emphasis on strokes and techniques.

Paul is an Information Technology professional who works in downtown Indy during the day. He has 4 kids who range in age from 10-17. Two of whom, Nicole (13) and Sarah (10), swim for FRST.

 


Chris Service - 

Chris Service is entering his 2nd official season with FRST, after coaching with both Franklin Parks and Recreation as well as Franklin Community Middle School.  With a background in physical training and biomechanics, Chris has been an asset for the technique of our athletes as well as training program.

This past summer, Chris fostered a group that increased the number of state athletes by nearly 3x over the course of the season.  Chris was also able to increase the number of Divisional athletes by nearly 2x as well.  We're excited that Chris will be leading one of our most transitional groups in terms of training.  There are many great things yet to happen for this rising coach!

 

 


Jake Gildersleeve - 

Jake Gildersleeve has been assisting with our Developmental program, which has been rapidly growing for the last 2 years.  Jake's commitment to bettering himself was apparent last summer as he was selected as a camp counselour for the Indiana Swimming Camp in Bloomington, IN.  At the camp, Jake learned, taught, and implemented the latest drills used to teach great technique in all four strokes.  

Jake believes that learning and fun can go hand-in-hand, which is easy to see each and every practice.  There's no doubt that FRST athletes learn to love the sport in the Developmental Group!

 

 

Coaching Staff