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 HP Blue Coach
Zach DeWitt was named Head Coach of FRST Swimming in March 2012. As Head Coach, Zach has oversight of nearly all aspects of the club, while maintaining lead coach duties of both the Senior Group and High Performance Blue. 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 5th place finish at this past season’s Long Course Championships.
Zach brings a great deal of experience to FRST despite his young age. 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 32 members - 2014) as well as Central Zone Championships (2 members - 2012 to 13 members – 2014). DeWitt’s swimmers have captured 47 Individual State Titles, 11 Zone Titles, 3 Indiana State Records, 3 Zone Records, 6 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. He recently bought a home in Franklin and looks to make it the "perfect humble abode."
Alex Jerden - Associate Head Coach / Lead Blue Coach / SR Asst. Coach (Sprint Focus)
Coach Jerden enters his 2nd season with FRST Swimming after a wildly-successful winter season in Franklin. 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 has spent the past few years 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 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."
Ali DeWitt - SR Asst. Coach (w/ Stroke, IM Emphasis)
Coach Ali DeWitt will be beginning her second season coaching as Assistant within our Senior program. Ali comes to FRST after volunteering this past calendar year at Indiana University, where she assisted in day-to-day training of both strong stroke and distance gorups for the nationally ranked Hoosiers. The Indiana Hoosiers finished 10th and 12th at NCAA's for Mens and Womens respectively.
Prior to volunteering at IU, DeWitt coached and operated Club Mart Swimming in Martinsville, Ind. DeWitt was head coach of Senior Group for one year and Head Age Group Coach for three years. In her first season with Club Mart, the Age Group program finished 21st in the state, and continued to grow in numbers under her leadership. ýDuring DeWitt's second year coaching the combined East and West Middle School swim team, in Martinsville, ten school records broken, to go along with several Junior Mid-State Conference Champions. DeWitt also has experience coaching at Martinsville High School.
DeWitt has an extensive background in stroke-specific training with a heavy emphasis on IM performance as well. FRST is fortunate to have someone of her caliber working with our Senior-level athletes.
DeWitt is a 2011 graduate of Ball State University and is the sister of Head Coach Zach DeWitt.
Garrett Surface - Head Age Group Coach / Lead HP Blue Coach / SR Asst. Coach
Coach Garrett Surface returns to FRST after a season coaching the Ben Davis High School swim team to much success. As head coach for Ben Davis, Coach Surface took the girls program from 7th place finish at sectionals to 4th place finish and led the boys program from 12th in 2014 to a 4th place finish in 2015.
Through his experiences in a different environment with varying responsibilities, Coach Surface returns to FRST Swimming with a more comprehensive understanding of coaching and a new perspective on what it takes to build and maintain a successful program.
Prior to his stint at BDHS, Garrett began at FRST in 2012 and assisted in growing the club to over 100 athletes. He also led countless swimmers to Divisionals, 25 swimmers to State and 12 swimmers for Central Zones. After the 2014 Short Course Season, Garrett was selected by Indiana Swimming to represent the state as Lead Coach for both the 2014 Team Indiana Zone and Mid-States Teams this past summer and winter.
Coach Surface’s personality and passion for kids is contagious to all. FRST couldn’t be more excited to welcome Coach Surface back home to coach with the club that he has grown with for the past 3 years.
Paul Ziegler - Lead Black Coach
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..
Bridgette Ruehl - Lead White Group Coach
Bridgette Ruehl, formerly with BDAC, comes to FRST as quite an experienced veteran despite her young age.
Coach Ruehl has over 15 years on the club scene as she grew up both as a swimmer and coach. Her swimming career is quite accomplished, having swam for Lowell High School and later on Ball State University. Bridgette amassed 6 MAC Conference Champion titles, while also competing in the NCAA Championship meet. In 2012, Bridgette competed at the US Olympic Trials in the Breaststroke events.
Bridgette Ruehl has a great deal of knowledge working with younger athletes after her many years at swim camps and coaching 10&Unders. Coach Ruehl is looking forward to coaching at FRST and offering up her experiences to FRST’s youth. Bridgette knows what it takes to improve and reach the next level of swimming, and serves as a tremendous role model for our younger athletes.
Jake Gildersleeve - Lead Developmental Coach
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!