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Coaches & Directors

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 coaches...

Coaching Staff

Paul Smith

Co-Head Coach

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Paul has been a lifetime swimming enthusiast.  From participating, to coaching, to studying the sport, it captivates him and is a significant part of his life. 

Paul has a B.A. & M.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Coaching Minor; was a World University Games Gold Medalist and Record Holder in 1981; is a  two time Olympic Swimming Trials Qualifier; was  an NCAA Swimming All-American in 1980 and 1981; has been a two time USMS Master Swimmer of the Year recipient; is a multiple USMS World and National Record Holder;  has been a USMS All Star 5 times; is a 10 time USMS All American; and is the owner of Paul L. Smith & Associates Sales & Consulting. 

He is a very involved coach and enjoys getting to know each team member as a swimmer, and as a person.

Laura Smith

Co-Head Coach

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Laura Smith is an Arizona native with a life long passion for athletics.  She attended Coronado High School, where her  achievements included multiple State Records in swimming, State Record in the 800 (Track), Varsity Letterman in Track, Swimming and Cross Country,  National Honor Society, President Spanish National Society, and Arizona Scholar Athlete of the year 1984. Laura turned down Academic Full Ride Scholarships to A.S.U.; U of A; and N.A.U. and decided to attend college out of state.  She was a Division I Backstroker for University of California, Santa Barbara where she double majored in Comparative Religions and Exercise Science with a Coaching Minor.  

 Laura worked abroad for  4 ½ years  in the Bahamas, West Indies, Dominican Republic and Mexico designing and implementing sports and fitness programs for both children and adults.  Post Graduate,  Laura has acquired over 12 National Certifications in the Health and Fitness Industry (A.C.E.; A.F.F.A.; Cooper Institute) and was the Fitness Director / Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Vail Athletic Club and the Arrowhead Alpine Club in Colorado.  She is a three time USMS National Champion and was a part of the 800 Women’s Relay National Record team. 

Laura and her husband Paul are the Head Masters Coaches and Co-Directors of Mesa Aquatics Club.  She currently holds a Level llI ASCA Certification, USMS Level II Certification, and works with our age groupers on deck and all ages running MAC's dryland program.

Jonathan Shaw

Coach

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Jon Shaw grew up in Indiana where he was a standout age group swimmer and achieved the #1 ranking in US in the 100 fly & 400IM, set state records in the 100 fly, won multiple state age group and senior championships and is still ranked in the top 100 in 4 events (40th all time in the 400IM as a 13-14 year old).

Jon was recruited by and swam for ASU from 2000-2004 where he was a Pac 10 semi-finalist in the 200 fly and 400IM, he graduated with a BA in Elementary Education and currently teaches 7th grade Social Studies. Jon's passion for swimming has never died, he has coached for Sun Devil Aquatics as well as Sun Devil Masters and joined the MAC family in September of 2009. Jon's forte is technical instruction, in addition to coaching masters and assisting with MAC's Senior group Jon also does private instruction.

Meg Zajdzinski

Coach

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Meg Rich-Zajdzinski, better known to us all as Coach Meg, is now making an impact on the swimming world in Arizona for a fourth decade. Her roots in swimming, and specifically here in Mesa, began long ago as part of a swimming family who spent numerous hours at the pool for practices and meets as her own competitive career was in its infant stages. She progressed through the swimming ladder, including an extremely successful age group experience with the original version of Mesa Aquatics, continuing on through her years at Westwood High School, where she was not only an individual State Champion herself but also a leader on some excellent teams that vied for State Championships. Her dedication allowed her qualify for a college scholarship, first at Arizona State and finally at Colorado State University. For most, that list of accolades would be enough to last a lifetime, for her that was really just a thorough preparation for all that has ensued.

Meg reached out to some of the same coaches that had helped build her own competitive career and sought their advice and counsel on getting started on a new adventure, a coaching career of her own. She has worked in different programs throughout the valley, working side by side with some of the longest tenured and most experienced coaches in our sport and she has clearly benefited from those friendships, which now pay dividends daily in her work with our own young swimmers. Meg returned to Mesa Aquatics Club in its newest version 5 years ago and has risen to become our Age Group Director, responsible for the development of several hundred youngsters often younger that she was when her own swimming dream began. To watch her teach a skill as simple as drop pushes from the wall, is to understand the depth of her knowledge and the unique style of her coaching, as she incorporates in rhyming mnemonics, often incorporated into a jingle, and small movements which blend into an integrated whole that will become a part of those tiny new swimmers base of knowledge for a lifetime.

She is also a big part, along with her husband Chris, in building a team within a team, as they have 4 children between 12 and 16, all swimmers of course, who you will see daily as part of our program. You will also often see Chris swimming with our Masters program, and when the competitive spirit moves her, Meg also will jump back into competition as she did when we hosted Masters Nationals here in Mesa a few years ago, and what was her contribution to that effort, National Championships in the 200 and 500 freestyles. They are a family that will sometimes take part in an open water swim simply because the family that swims together at least gets to carpool. They live the typical lives of swimming families, up early, often just as transportation for teenagers who have 5 am practices at different pools or to coach one of her own practices. 

Meg is an ASCA certified Level III swim coach, in addition to also being ASCA II certified as a masters coach, but those are not the most important measures of her value to our program. She and her family are one of many shining examples of our team philosophy, "Water is life, swim for life" and each and every day she instills those same values into athletes as young as 6 or 7 years old, ensuring that the torch will be passed for many more generations.

Jack Giles

Coach

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Jack joins our team with long history of coaching in Arizona.  He graduated from Saguaro High school, where he swam for the Varsity Team.  From there, he coached a summer Rec league at South Lake Tahoe, a team of 80 kids. When he came back to the valley he spent 13 years with the City of Scottsdale working as the summer team coach, team program coordinator and pool manager. 

Jack graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1983 with a BS in Psychology and Child Development.  He was the Assistant Coach for the Marcos de Niza swim team for two years before moving to the Arcadia district where he coached Arcadia High School to 9 State Championships!  Jack was the Aquatics Director at the Village Athletic Club for three years before returning to school to obtain his Law Degree from ASU. 

He has always been a fan of swimming, a participant of swimming, and his passion and knowledge of the sport has led to the success of his swimmers. 

Bear Behrmann

Coach

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Bear grew up in Arizona where he swam for Mesa Aquatics Club and Mesa High School.  He swam in the state meet all four years of high school and still holds school records in the 50, 100, and 200 yard freestyle.  After high school he left for a two year LDS Mission to Germany and Switzerland.  When he returned from his mission he married his wife Tycee (who is also a swimmer) and attended school at Arizona State University.  There he competed on the swim and triathlon teams while earning his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.  Bear and Tycee have been married almost six years and have two beautiful children.  Their four year old daughter, Berlyn, can already swim freestyle across the pool.  They also have a seven month old little boy, Bridger, who is starting to love the water as well.  Bear has 5 years teaching and coaching experience with swimmers of all ages.  He loves everything to do with swimming and continually seeks to improve not only as a swimmer but as a coach.  He enjoys watching swimmers improve and helping them to reach their goals.

Dillan Keith

Coach

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Dillan loves the sport of swimming. He grew up swimming rec league at Brimhall and Shepherd Junior High. He has swam competitively for 5 different clubs throughout the valley growing up and has been exposed to multiple idelogies regarding stroke acquisition and training. He medaled at the high school state championships his senior year in high school and competed at the same meet all four years. After graduating high school, Dillan served a 2 year LDS mission in Louisiana. Upon his return home, Dillan swam at the club level while attending Arizona State University where he graduated with a B.S. in industrial and organizational psychology. He will enjoy attaining his masters at the University of Southern California shortly. He has coached high school for four seasons and has learned valuable skills from top coaches throughout the valley coaching club.  

Dan Leibrand

Coach

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Cindy G. Clutter

Coach

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ASCA Certified

Michael S Herrmann

Coach

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Mike Herrmann moved to Arizona in 1970 and swam rec teams from 4-10 at a private club in Phoenix until we moved to Tempe in 1977. In 1978 I started swimming with the Tempe Makos which eventually turned into the Tempe Swim Devils. For a 2-year period I swam for Mesa Aquatics 1980-1981 but returned to Tempe Swim Devils in the fall of 1981 when I started High School at Marcos De Niza where I swam all 4 years and competed in the state meet every year. After graduation I had a decision to make if I would walk on at Arizona State University or quit swimming. One of my biggest regrets was to quit swimming at that point. I attended Arizona State University and graduated in 1990 with a degree in Marketing with an emphasis on sales and sales management. In January of 1991 I opened the Michael S Herrmann Insurance Agency, Inc, a Farmers Insurance Agency. Our agency has prospered over the years and allowed us lots of time to do the things that I am most passionate about such as swimming and coaching. I have been an assistant coach with Corona Del Sol High School for the past 5 years. I am very grateful for the opportunity to coach in the USA swimming ranks and have a goal of being able to free up enough time to be able to coach more.  We are excited to welcome Mike to our coaching staff, primarily working with Coach Eric at Kino with our S1/NTG groups.