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SWAC COACHES AND EMPLOYEES

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 administrative related questions, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact our Business Manager or a SWAC Board member.

Coaching Staff

Justin Max

SWAC Head Coach, Lead NFG&Senior Coach

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Justin grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and began competitive swimming at the age of 5. Through middle school and high school he competed for the Greater Columbus Swim Team of Ohio (GCSTO) where he was a Sectional and Junior National qualifier as well as a team record holder. Justin attended the University of Kentucky where he was both a 4-year letter winner on the Men’s Varsity Swim Team and a 4-year Academic All-SEC honoree. As a senior, he was selected for the All-SEC Community Service Team and was inducted into UK’s Frank G. Ham Society of Character. Justin graduated from UK in May of 2010 with a double major in Political Science and Spanish, and returned to Columbus to begin his coaching career with GCSTO.

While with GCSTO, Justin spent time as both the Head Age Group Coach and National Team Coach, which allowed him to work with athletes of all ages and ability levels. In 5 years with the team, Justin’s athletes achieved numerous Sectional, Junior National, and Senior National qualifying times, broke more than 50 GCSTO team records, and captured individual and relay state championships at the Age Group, Senior, and High School levels. While at GCSTO, Justin’s athletes achieved national Top 10 rankings from both USA Swimming and the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association.

Justin joined SWAC in August of 2015, and in his first season he led the Age Group Team to a 5th place finish at the Indiana State Championships - a rise of 11 places from the previous year. In Justin’s one year with the team, SWAC athletes have broken more than 60 individual and relay SWAC team records and have won 7 Indiana State Championships. 

Justin is an ASCA Level 4 Certified Coach and also serves as the Head Coach for the Homestead High School Swim&Dive Teams.

Chris Knoblauch

Head Age Group Coach, Lead Blue Coach

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Chris grew up in New Haven, where he started swimming at a young age for the New Haven Barracudas. As he got older, he continued swimming and began swimming year round for Southeast Family YMCA (SEFY). As a high school swimmer, Chris competed for New Haven High School as well as for his year round team. He was able to qualify for the high school state meet. During his club years of swimming, Chris qualified and placed at the state meets several times.

Chris continued swimming in college at The University of Indianapolis. He was a four year letterman and was given the honor of being named mental attitude award winner his senior year. His love for swimming continued after college and he started to coach at various different programs in the Fort Wayne area. After graduating from college with an education degree, Chris came back to Fort Wayne to begin teaching. He met his wife Amber while coaching at Avalon summer swim club. They have been married for 15 years and have six children (Addison 11, Cooper 9, Tate 7, Emery 4, Baylor 2, and Ensley 5 Months).

Currently, Chris is in his 16th year of teaching for Fort Wayne Community Schools. He has been at Weisser Park elementary for the last three years. Chris and his family are looking forward to being a part of SWAC and all it has to offer.

Coaching experience:

Avalon 10 years. First place at the city meet 7 times in a row

Three Rivers Aquatic Club 16 years. Many state finalists and several state champions

Snider high school men and women 10 years. 10 conference titles (girls) 6 conference titles (boys). Numerous state finalists for both boys and girls. State championship boys 100 fly in 2014-15 season

Julie Anderson

Lead Red Group Coach

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Julie has an extensive swimming and coaching background.  Growing up in the Chicago area, she swam competitively from age 6 and continued into college; qualifying for the Junior Olympics, Y Nationals, Illinois High School State Meet (three times), and the Missouri Valley (Collegiate) Conference along the way.  Julie began her swim coaching career at age 15 and has been coaching ever since.  Her coaching resume includes: age group assistant and head coach (DCST, IL), high school assistant (Orono, MN), SWAC Head Developmental Coach (2000-2004), Woodside MS Head Coach (2008-present) and the Orchard Ridge Head Coach (2003-present). Three words to describe her coaching are: passionate, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic.  Julie has taught English at the Middle and High School levels and has a Master’s Degree in Middle School Education.  Julie and her husband Greg moved to Indiana in 1998 and with their two children Riley and Mackenzie are happy to call Fort Wayne home.

 

Theresa Thrasher

Lead Yellow Group Coach

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Theresa joined the SWAC staff in the fall of 2011. Since then, she's helped many of our younger swimmers develop fundamental skills and a passion for the sport. Theresa grew up on a lake, and she's been swimming since she was three years old. By the time she was eight, she was swimming competitively. She continued to swim through high school, ultimately becoming a state finalist and a qualifier for the YMCA Nationals. Theresa began coaching when she was in high school, and although she took a break during college, she began coaching again while she was student teaching. "The swimmers are awesome," she says. "I love teaching a new skill -- a tough skill -- and watching the swimmers get it!" I also enjoy hanging out between events during a meet. The conversations are hilarious!" When Theresa's not at the pool, she loves riding her bike, running and spending time with her family.

Kayla Meinerding

Lead Green Group Coach

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Kayla is a life-long swimmer who swam with FWCY and NACS from an early age thru her high school years. She was a four year varsity letter winner at Carroll High School and was named team captain her senior year. She has also lifeguarded, taught swim lessons and coached for summer league swimming.

Kayla holds a BA in Elementary Education from Ball State University, and currently teaches 5th grade at Saint Joseph Catholic School.

In her first year coaching with SWAC, Kayla worked primarily with our Exploration I&II swimmers, and was an integral part in developing our Swim School program.  She's excited to be back for another great season, and ready to get to work with her own group of athletes!

Sally Martin

Lead EX I and EX II Group Coach

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Sally Martin came to SWAC with a long swimming and coaching history. Sally was born and raised right here in Fort Wayne and is Homestead graduate herself. Sally began her swimming career as a very young child and has never left, she was a Spartan athlete and a state team member both her junior and senior years at HHS. She began coaching at 16 by teaching prepsters at Poco, she has also coached at FWCC, and most recently she coached Woodside and Orchard Ridge. Sally graduated from University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Exercise Science and worked outside the home for several years before deciding to stay at home with her three children. Sally knows that joining SWAC wouldn't be possible without the support from her husband (Aaron) and flexibility from her kids Owen (7), Grace (5), and Max (1). Sally is extremely excited to join SWAC and hopes to pass along her passion for swimming to as many swimmers as she can. Her philosophy for a successful swimmer is have FUN, master the details, and reap the benefits.

Sarah Lohman

Assistant Coach

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Sarah grew up in Fort Wayne and started swimming for SWAC when she was 7 years old. Sarah swam for SWAC for 11 years, and still holds multiple team records from her time with the club.  During her Junior and Senior years of high school, Sarah began assistant coaching with some of the younger athletes on the team.  Sarah attended Homestead High School, where she was a Sectional and State Meet qualifier all four years of her high school career. While at Homestead, Sarah set several school records that are still in tact, and, during her senior year, she qualified to swim at  Junior Nationals at Stanford University.  Sarah graduated from Homestead in 2012 and is currently attending IPFW, where she will graduate with a degree in Psychology.  

Sarah re-joined SWAC in the fall of 2015, and is in her second year of coaching with our Exploration groups. She has loved spending time with the kids every week and looks forward to seeing them grow! 

Matt Ranochak

Volunteer Assistant Coach

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Coach Matt joined the SWAC family in September 2009 as one of the instructors for our Betta Fish group. From there he moved on to be the Head Coach for the Barracuda group, he is currently our Senior Assistant, and also an Assistant Coach for Homestead High School's Swim & Dive Team. Coach Matt brings with him over 14 years of experience in competitive swimming as both a swimmer and a Coach, Matt is also an ASCA Certified Level 2 Coach.

His background includes: Coaching a team in Fort Wayne's Summer League to two second and two first place finishes, club swimming, swimming for four years at the Varsity level for Homestead High School (GO SPARTANS !!), and swimming for a U.S. Masters team. Coach Matt is a proud graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington (GO HOOSIERS !!), with a B.S. in Public Affairs. Following graduation he moved to Colorado Springs, CO. While working for Northrop Grumman as a contractor with the Department of Defense, he earned a Master of Science in Management degree with specializations in I.T. And project Management. Coach Matt is enjoying working with such a dedicated and knowledgeable coaching staff, as well as the amazing parents and swimmers at SWAC.

Scott Lazoff

Volunteer Assistant Coach

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Coach Scott became a part of the SWAC coaching staff in 2004.  Before joining SWAC, he had 7 years of USS club coaching experience in the Fort Wayne area and coached boys swimming at Snider High School for four years until 2003.  He has led his swimmers to great success and has been recognized by his peers for coaching excellence.

Professionally, Scott has:

  • Nominated as Indiana Swimming’s Age Group Coach of the Year in 2005.2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013

  • Staff member on USA Swimming’s Catch the Spirit Swim Camp in 2005 and 2006

  • Current member of Indiana Swimming’s Age Group Planning committee

  • Produced 6 Indiana State Age Group Champions

  • Led swimmers to numerous Top-16 national rankings

  • High School Sectional Coach of the Year in 2003

In addition to coaching for SWAC, Scott teaches middle school science at Summit Middle School

Diane Wilson

Business Manager

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Diane became involved with SWAC after moving here from England in 2007.  Her children swam for six years.  During that time, Diane became a Board Member, a USA swim Official and later took on the role of Business Manager for SWAC. 

As Business Manager, Diane deals with the day-to-day running of the program, which includes membership questions, billing, website maintenance, sponsorship and fundraising, and coordinating volunteers for meets, and so much more.  Diane can answer any questions you have about SWAC, or direct you to someone who can.  

Board of Directors

Justin Max

Head Coach

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Matt Sackett

Board President

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Mike Hembree

Treasurer

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Allison Brown

Member at Large

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Matt Ranochak

Member at Large

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Nicky Nolot

Member at Large

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Diane Wilson

SWAC Business Manager

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Maureen O'Neil

Board Secretary

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Courtney Poswinski

Member at Large

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Brian Forsyth

Member at Large

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Brian Risley

Member at Large

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Mike Benedek

Member at Large

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