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Coaching Staff

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 head coach, Ben Gill.

Coaching Staff

Ben T Gill

Head Coach

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Group currently coaching: Any and all groups

Swimming Background: My competitive swimming background began with the Wave many years ago! Growing up in La Crosse, I swam for the Wave and Central High School until moving on to college.  I swam four years at St. Cloud State University and having been coaching ever since. I have been a head coach in Arizona of a club team and a High School team, I coached a couple years in Appleton with the YMCA and most recently at was the Head Coach of St. Cloud YMCA and an assistant coach for  St. Cloud State University.

Favorite Event: My favorite events were the 100 Fly, 200 and 400 IM, and the 200 Breaststroke

Favorite part about coaching: I love the moment in which a swimmer understands a specific stroke technique that they have been working on; the “light bulb” moment when a swimmer really gets it.

What you like to do in spare time: I enjoy running, biking, playing guitar, and hanging out with my Basset Hound, Lucy.

Eric Wojta

Senior Group Coach

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Name: Eric Wojta

Group: Seniors

Swimming Background: Eric started swimming as a junior in high school as rehab from a back injury. He then went on to swim for UW-L. Eric has been coaching the Senior group for the past 18 years! He has also working at the University of Michigan and the University of Georgia swim camps. His biggest swimming accomplishment is beating All American Swimmer Chris Maury in the 25 Backstroke in Federal Way Washington in 1991.

Favorite Event: Sprint Freestyle, the shorter the better

Favorite Part About Coaching:Eric's favorite part about coaching is the opportunity to work with swimmers toward a common goal, getting a chance for people to work together, and mentioning there are no better people to work with.

In his spare time Eric enjoys camping, riding bike, eating ice cream, smiling at his newborn son Grady, and being with his wife (Jill), dog Miki and two cats Gracie and Studly.

Chris Babinec

Novice Group Coach

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Name: Chris Babinec

Group: Novice and Junior

Swimming Background: Chris swam for the Y for 5 years and has been coaching for the past 20 years!

Favorite Event: 400 IM

Favorite Part About Coaching: Chris loves working with children and building relationships with them. She also finds joy helping them accomplish new skills and improving

In her spare time Chris likes to watch her children in their activities.

Tiara Delapp

Junior Eliete Group Coach

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Name: Tiara Delapp

Group: Junior

Swimming Background: Tiara began swimming in 6th grade. She swam on various club teams throughout high school and swam for UW-L for two years. Tiara has coached swim teams in Minnesota and Wisconsin for four years before coming to the Wave. She has also been a swim instructor for nine years.

Favorite Event: 50 Free

Favorite Part About Coaching: Her favorite part about coaching is seeing the kids smiling and having a good time while reaching their goals.

In her spare time, Tiara enjoys traveling and spending time outside.

 

Deb Ondell

Junior Group Coach

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Brad Fischer

Senior Group Coach

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Group: Seniors/Junior Elite

Swimming Background: I started swimming my freshmen year of high school for the Watertown Goslings and continued through my freshman year of college at UW-La Crosse. I also swam for the YMCA at Pabst Farms while competing in High School.

Favorite Event: 200 and 100 Freestyle, 100 Fly

Favorite Part About Coaching: My favorite part about coaching is being able to watch swimmers achieve their goals and be a part of the experience with them. I have already made so many great memories and can't wait to make more.

In my spare time I enjoy running and occaisionally swimming as well as getting out to fly fish around the area.

Katie Kula

Novice Group Coach

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Jake Larson

Senior Group Coach

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Swam four years at St. Cloud State University, two year captain and held two school recoreds. After college swimming, coached both diving and swimming for the Holdingford High School Girls team in Holdingford Minnesota, and is now the assistant swim coach at UWL.

Heather Foley

Senior Group Coach

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Name: Heather Foley

Group: Senior

Swimming Backgroud: Swam for the La Crosse YMCA swim team for 9 years and 4 years at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Favorite Event: 100 Butterfly

Favorite part about coaching: Watching young athletes work hard to achieve their goals and see how they grow as a person in and out of the pool.

In her spare time, Heather enjoys spending time with family and friends.

 

 

Em Howe

Assistant Coach

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Adam Way

Assistant Coach

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Group currently coaching: Novice, Junior and Junior Elite

Swimming Background: My swimming background includes all levels of competition, starting at the age of 5 for my local city team all the way through swimming for UW-La Crosse. 

Event: My favorite events were the 100 Fly, 100 Back, 100 Breast, 200 IM, and the 200 Breaststroke

Favorite part about coaching: My favorite part of coaching is seeing a swimmer understand and implement the stroke techniques that we've been working on throughout practices. 

What you like to do in spare time: I love to run, lift weights, read, watch the Badgers, Brewers, Bucks and Packers, and get out with my German Shepherd, Dierks. 

 

Afton Enervold

Assistant Coach

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Group Currently Coaching:  Novice :-)

Swimming Background: I've been swimming for the Wave since I was 7 years old and this is my 2nd year coaching the Novice group.  

Favorite Stroke: Freestyle and backstroke.

Favorite part about coaching: I love encouraging the kids to do their best and have fun while working hard to achieve their goals. 

What you like to do in spare time: I love swimming, music (I play the harp and piano), reading, and spending time with my family and friends.  

Alex Jones

Assistant Coach

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Brooke Reynolds

Assistant Coach

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Group currently coaching: Seniors & Sub for all groups :)

Swimming Background: I grew up swimming for the Wave from age 9 through graduating high school. I also swam for the Onalaska co-op high school team. I am currently in my fourth year swimming for UW-La Crosse. My first coaching experience was at the La Crosse Country Club during the summers in high school and part of college. I started coaching the Wave last season, where I was an Assistant Coach for the Senior Group.

Favorite Event: My favorite events are the 100 and 200 Backstroke, 100 Fly, and 50 Free.

Favorite part about coaching: I love seeing all of the hard work the swimmers put in during the season pay off, whether that be understanding technique or having a great practice or race. I also love to see the lifelong friendships being made and the camaraderie among the swimmers and coaches.

What you like to do in spare time: I enjoy swimming, running, hiking, biking, water & downhill skiing, reading, hanging out with family & friends, & playing my chocolate lab Bo :) 

Carleigh Olson

Assistant Coach

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Hello Everyone! My name is Carleigh and I have been coaching for five years. I coach with a summer team in Madison and started coaching with The Wave last January. I swam at UW - L and my main events were the 200, 500 and 1000 free. I am studying Community Health Education and Spanish and will be graduating in the Spring of 2015. I primarily coach the Novice and Junior groups.

Emily Christopherson

Assistant Coach

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Another Wave veteran! Emily swam for the Wave for many years and has now become an integral part of our coaching crew. She loves the enthusiasm of the swimmers that she gets to work with. Emily is also an excellent Logrolling instructor at the YMCA. She is currently in school at UW-L working on her teaching degree

Erin Owen

Assistant Coach

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Mariah Schisler

Assistant Coach

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Group Coaching: Novice 

Swimming Background: I started club swimming when I was 8 for St. Cloud and then moved to the metro area and swam for SEMS.  Along with club, I also swam for Woodbury High School and my first year of college at UWL.

Favorite Event: 100 and 200 Free, and 100 Breaststroke 

Rachel Medenwaldt

Assistant Coach

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Spring Spaeth

Assistant Coach

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