Partners & Outreach

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-20 of Indiana Swimming each of the past 4 seasons, highlighted by three Top-5 performances in the last two years:

  • 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.

While with 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 specialized 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 and had two different teams place Top 8 in the state in 2012-13.  Coach Jerden also helped coached 2 IHSAA State Champions during this time.

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 allowed 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. Movement and Sports Science) and a 2016 graduate of Ohio University (Masters in Athletic Administration).  

Paul Ziegler - Lead Launch 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.. 

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 six years. Ziegler specializes in stroke construction with a heavy emphasis on fun and enjoyment in the sport.

Paul is an Information Technology professional who works in downtown Indy during the day. He has 4 kids who range in age from 12-19. Two of whom, Nicole (15) and Sarah (12), swim for FRST.


Chris Service - Lead Discovery Coach

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 - Lead Exploration Coach

Jake Gildersleeve is entering his 7th season with FRST. Jake has coached the previous Developmental, White, and Black groups and, under the new AG system is now with Exploration.  This past summer, Jake finished his 2nd year working with the Indiana University 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.

This past season Jake saw swimmers in his group acheive a handful of club records, new state cuts, and several divisional podiums. We couldn't be happier to have Jake with FRST.

Jake also maintains a part-time job at Franklin Community High School and is actively pursuing a career in Fire Service.  


Sarah Brechenser - Co-Exploration Coach

Sarah is entering her first season with FRST after previous seasons as a coach and collegiate swimmer in the last few years. She will be helping with both Exploration and Launch groups this season and plans to teach the FUNdamentals in a cohesive environment. Sarah previously worked under Tom Johnson with Concord Swim Club and swam at Eastern Michigan and South Bend St. Joseph's. Already Sarah has made immediate contributions - we are looking forward to having her work with both groups and being able to see them progress throughout the season.

Sarah is a 2016 graduate from Ball State University where she received her degree in Exercise Science. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Occupational Therapy at IUPUI.



Carrie Utterback - Lead Spark Coach

Swimming adopted Coach Carrie Utterback.  She was a collegiate track athlete who went on to a career working in Chicago for 2 large international law firms and then went on to teach law school.  Promising that "if I ever had kids, they will learn to swim" since she was never given that opportunity as a youngster, that is exactly what happened.  In 2008, her oldest 2 daughters became competitive club swimmers and swimming started becoming a constant in Coach Carrie's life.  She started out as a swim mom, volunteering at meets being in leadership of her daughter's swim club.  When her youngest child became a competitive swimmer himself in 2011, she became a USA Swimming official.  She coached Junior Olympic track from 2010 through 2013 and started coaching swimming in 2014.  In those 2 years, she lead a developmental team teaching them to embrace the sport that adopted her.  Her athletes' hard work paid off with her swimmers qualifying for open water state as well as having podium finishes at divisionals and age group state.  Coach Carrie loves educating families about this great sport and has especially enjoys the camaraderie on the deck with the coaching staff as well as all the FRST families.



Coaching Staff