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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 board members.
Coaching Staff

Kevin Zacher

Head Coach/National

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Coach Kevin has been with Scottsdale Aquatic Club since 2002. In that time, he has coached every level within the program. In August of 2007 Coach Kevin was named Head Coach and CEO of SAC. During his time leading SAC, he has coached a number of our Scottsdale swimmers to National Age Group Records, Individual National Champions, National Top 10 rankings in respective age groups, numerous Junior/Senior National Qualifiers, Olympic Trials qualifiers and Olympic Medallists.

In 2007, 2014 and 2016 Coach Kevin was named the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Arizona Coach of the Year. He is an ASCA Level 5 certified coach (highest level inside ASCA). In each year, under Coach Kevin's leadership, the club has improved its stature nationally. In 2013, SAC started its ascent to National prominence, by winning the Senior Sectional Championship for the first time, had its highest ever finish at Junior Nationals (4th) and was named a USA Swimming Gold Medal Club (first time in club history). Since then the club has annually won team titles at both the Sectional level and the Arizona State Championships. Additionally, the SAC women's team won the 2014 Junior National title; at the 2015 Winter Junior Nationals SAC place second (2nd) overall, with both mens and womens teams placing in the top three. In 2016 SAC won the Junior National overall team title. Coach Kevin has been invited to speak at several International Swim Clinics over the past few years as well as invited to visit other National Team programs.

Prior to Coaching at SAC, Coach Kevin was the Head Age Group Coach and Senior Assistant Coach for King Aquatic Club in Federal Way, WA for 5 years. While at KING, Coach Kevin was instramental in the development of National Top 10 swimmers, Junior and Senior National Qualifiers, as well as several National Age Group Relay Records.

Coach Kevin graduated from Iowa State University in 1998, with a BS Degree in Finance. He was a four-year letterman on the men’s swim team, team captain during his senior year and is the school record holder in the 400 Individual Medley. Coach Kevin is happily married to his beautiful wife, Tere, and they have a daughter, Kori, who is a competing with SAC.

 

Click here to read Coach Kevin’s Philosophy Statement.

Bob Platt

Director of Operations/National

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Bob is a native of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and Bob moved to AZ in September of 2004. In the fall of 2012, Bob joined the coaching staff Scottsdale Aquatic Club.

Bob attended the University of Maryland, College Park before graduating from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. During his time at Temple University, Bob participated in a year-long marketing internship with both General Motors and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

As a full time college student, Bob began his swim coaching career at a small community team outside of Philadelphia before being recruiting to be an assistant coach for Germantown Academy Aquatic Club under the direction of Dick Shoulberg, widely regarded as one of the best swim clubs in the world. While an assistant coach at Germantown Academy Aquatic Club, Bob had the experience of helping to place 4 men on the 1992 USA Olympic Swim Team. In the fall of 1992 Bob began his career as a head coach at Spirit Swimming in Newtown, Pennsylvania and would remain as the head coach for the next 12 years. After the 2004 Olympic Trials, Bob moved to Arizona where he became the Senior Program Director at the Southwest Valley Family YMCA in Goodyear, AZ. 

Bob’s volunteer and community involvement have included supporting such non-profits as the American Cancer Society of Philadelphia, The AIDS Fund of Philadelphia, 1n10 of Phoenix and he is currently on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS.

Bob currently resides in Paradise Valley, AZ. 

Laurel S Hill

13-14 Director/13-14 Gold

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Coach Laurel joined the SAC coaching staff in the fall of 2010, after she’d hung up her watch after coaching collegiately at Boise State for two years. While at SAC, she has worked with both the 10 & Under developmental programs (White, Red and Blue groups) as well as with the Senior level helping the 13 & Up swimmers get ready for the National training group. In her time at SAC, Coach Laurel has developed a number of Age Group/Senior State Champions and Record Holders, Sectional Qualified swimmers, National Age Group Top 16 athletes, and hopefully, many lifelong swimmers.

Prior to Boise State, she spent some time in a number of different programs. Spending time with Pleasant Valley Swim Team (Camarillo, CA), Santa Clara Swim Club, Irvine Novaquatics and finally, with the Goldenwest Swim Club in Huntington Beach, CA, as Head Age Group Coach and Head Coach. Along the way, she has worked with swimmers of all ages and developed and produced many JO Qualifiers/Champions, CIF Finalists, NAG Top 16 swimmers, as well as Sectional and Junior National level swimmers, several of whom went on to swim collegiately and at the National and International level. Overall, she has over 30 years of experience teaching swimming from lessons, to Age Group, Senior, and Masters.

Truly, she loves coaching and gets excited everyday about ways to combine her knowledge and technique based philosophy with the vast experience the SAC staff already brings to the pool. She believes in treating her athletes with respect and honesty while pushing them to where they want to be, teaching them the foundations of the sport and what it means to be a good teammate even within the context of an individual sport like swimming.

She currently competes with Masters and has been known to show up for an event or two at a home meet. Coach Laurel lives in Scottsdale with her husband, Peter Ney, two children, Kieren and Kylie, (both of whom swim for SAC), two dogs, two guinea pigs, fish, a frog, and a gecko. Life is never dull!

Joey Morgan

11-12 Director/11-12 Gold & Silver

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Coach Joey Morgan joined the Scottsdale Aquatic Club staff in April 2019. He is originally Warner Robins, Georgia and has been involved in the sport since 2001 as an athlete and coach. He brings a passion for the sport of swimming and athletic development that has helped athletes succeed at all ages and ability levels. Joey previously worked as a Lead Coach for Phoenix Swim Club from 2013-2019 in which he worked with age group, senior and professional athletes. He has coached two US National finalist, a US Open qualifier, mutliple Junior National qualifiers and Sectional Champions. On the age group side, he led athletes that set 14 club records and won numerous individual and relay Arizona state titles. 

Joey has previously coached at Swim Macon Aquatic Club in Macon, Georgia in 2012 and Delta Aquatic Club in Cleveland, Mississippi from 2008-2011. He is a 2012 graduate of Delta State University earning a BS in Sport Management while competing as a member of their NCAA Division II swimming program. At DSU, he was a 12-time conference finalist in Freestyle, Backstroke and IM events and was named to the NSISC All-Conference Academic Team in 2010. Joey earned his MS in Sport Administration from Mississippi State University in 2013.

In addition to his coaching responsibilties, Joey serves as the Technical Chair for Arizona Swimming LSC, along with serving as a member of the Nominations Committee. He also was one of four coaches selected to the lead the Arizona LSC All Star Team in January 2020. 

He is excited to be a part of the SAC family and for the opportunity to be a leader and role model for the athletes as they pursue their passion in swimming.

Crystal Strimple

10&U Director/10&U Gold & Silver

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Coach Crystal has been teaching swim lessons and coaching swimming since 1997. Her passion for coaching started in high school, where she began her love of teaching swimming at the local YMCA and this passion continued throughout her college career. Since moving back to the valley in 2005, Coach Crystal has assisted in starting and developing recreational swim teams for the YMCA and Lifetime Fitness in Scottsdale.
Coach Crystal has completed a B.A. in English Literature and a Masters of Educational Leadership. She grew up as a competitive tennis player, She developed a strong passion for swimming getting into this sport “later in life.” Her love of both education and swimming has afforded has given her the opportunity to help young swimmers learn to enjoy the sport.
Often, children approach swim lessons and/or joining a swim team with some apprehension. Coach Crystal believes, "I do my best to help the young swimmers develop a love of the water and encourage them to seek higher swim goals. Through this process, the swimmers have forgotten any apprehension they had and have moved forward with confidence in the water. I then move towards the technical development of competitive swimming."
Through Coach Crystal's formative years of tennis, she has a unique understanding of the process involved with development and has shown to be a great teacher of the basic, fundamental skills of the four competitive strokes. We have had many of Crystal’s recreational swimmers join SAC over the past few seasons and they were very capable from the outset.

Tyler J Messerschmidt

SAC South/National & Sectional

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Tyler Messerschmidt returns to the pool deck, this time as a coach and hopefully once again as a swimmer.  Tyler is an Arizona native, attending Desert Edge High School and competing for both Westside Silver Fins and for SAC during his formative years.  He attended University of California - Berkeley, earning his degree in American Studies which focuses on history and pop culture in the current developing society.  

During his competitive years he was a 2x NCAA Div I Swimming & Diving National Team Champion; 5x NCAA Div I National Champion; 15x NCAA All-American in the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free; 4x NCAA Honorable Mention All-American; and Junior National Team Member, 2009-2011.

Tyler is excited to be able to give back to a sport that afforded him so many opportunities and mentor young athletes in their development as athletes.  

 

Thomas J Cheetham

SAC South/12&U

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Coach TJ was born and raised in small-town Hamilton, Montana where he attended Hamilton High School. With few indoor pools throughout Montana, TJ started competitive swimming in the Montana Federation of Swimmers, a summer only league for towns without indoor pools, at age 9. He won State in the 50 Backstroke his second year at age 10 and culminated his swimming career with a state record in the 100 Backstroke at age 14 and multiple State Championships, including high point honors at State his senior season, winning the 50 Free, 100 Back, and 50 Fly (yes, he was able to race the 50 Fly at age 18...it was awesome).

TJ began teaching swim lessons in 2002 and started coaching at 2005 where he was a swimmer/coach with the club team he grew up with at age 18. After high school, he attended Montana State University and was introduced to USA swimming where he got a job working with the Bozeman Barracudas as a lead coach of their 10 & Under program for six years. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, TJ took some time off for travel and even worked teaching swim lessons in Melbourne, Australia. After returning for one more year to coach the Barracudas, TJ and his future wife moved to Rochester, Minnesota where he coached for three years with Med-City Aquatics. After his first year, he was promoted to Head Age Group Coach and continued coaching there for the next two years.

TJ and his wife Katelyn moved to Arizona in November of 2016 where he decided to take a break from 10+ years of swim coaching and pursue and passion for professional golf. After a year of rigorous training he decided the dream was just not financially possible and stepped away content with his decision. Feeling refreshed with his time away from swimming and reinvigorated to start teaching again, he reached out to SAC and was hired on in October of 2017. As a coach and teacher of children, TJ brings ample enthusiasm and an eye for technique to each practice. His favorite part of coaching is breaking down complicated skills into simple steps and watching the light bulbs come on. TJ is a happy Scottsdale resident and at last content to finally be living in sunny Arizona.

Nikita I Denisyako

Sectional & Senior

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Coach Nikita joined Scottsdale Aquatic Club in May 2018 after spending four years as a coach at Gator Swim Club in Gainesville, Florida.  While he was in Florida he trained with the Florida Gators under Gregg Troy in their international and professional group.  When he was not training he was actively involved in coaching the club team, Masters program, and learn to swim lessons program.  He was an integral part of the coaching staff and was promoted to group leader by the end of his time.  Prior to joining the Gators he spent a year at Canyon Aquatics Club under Coach Coley Stickels in Santa Clarita, California.  He attended and swam for Texas A&M University where he competed at the NCAA level and was an All-American.  Nikita had a very successful career with the Aggies holding school records and achieving national recognition.  He has experienced on the collegiate level, national level, and international level and is excited to share this experience with the swimmer of SAC and help them achieve their goals. Nikita was born in Riga, Latvia but spent his childhood and teenage years in Moscow, Russia.  He competed at the international level for team Russia for many years.  He currently resides in Scottsdale and is enjoying his time in the desert!

Max Laney

13-14 Silver & Bronze

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Max Laney was born in Denver, CO.  He started swimming for the Univ. of Denver Hilltoppers when he was 11 years old. In his high school years Max was named MVP all four years, was a two-time 5A Colorado State Champion in the 200 IM and 100 back, and earned seven All-American honors. After high school he was recruited by ASU and finished his fourth year in March of 2010.  Max was the Captain of the men’s team his senior year and earned the 6th all-time ASU record in the 200 back and 9th in the 100 back.  He completed his Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies in Math and Education from ASU in 2011.

His first step into club team coaching was in 2010.  He has learned a great deal of swimming knowledge over the course of his own swimming career and from Kevin and Maryanne over his tenure working for SAC.  In the eight years he has been coaching his main group of swimmers have been 10-14 years old whom have really stood out on the podium for their individual AG State finishes. 

Max recently got Married in August for 2017!  They just closed on their first home in Scottsdale and couldn’t be happier with the city and now being able to work there as well!

Emily Davis

10&U Bronze & Blue

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Emily Davis came to Scottsdale Aquatic Club in February of 2019 as an assistant to our 10&Under program.  Born in San Francisco, she started swimming competitively at age 9 and continued through her formative teenage years, specializing in the 200 breaststroke and 500 freestyle.  
 
Emily has always had a passion for working with children, actively volunteers in the children ministry at her church and works as a nanny during the day.  She has found that her skills in early childhood development, along with her soft spoken, compassionate coaching style, have given her tools to allow children to develop their active listening skills and focusing ability by tuning out all distractions that inhabit daily practice routines.
 
Emily now lives in Phoenix with her husband Noah and their dog Buster. 
 

Sasha Trichler

SAC South/13-14

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Coach Sasha swam competitively from Age 6 through college and has had the privilege of coaching various teams from Coast to Coast, and with that the opportunity to share her love of the sport and coach a range of successful swimmers from Age Group State Record holders, Top 10 National Age Group Swimmers, High School State Champions, and Zone and Sectional Finalists. She has coached in CT, PA, MT, MI, and OR. Most recently, Coach Sasha lived in Oregon where she was the Head Swim Coach of South Coast Aquatic Team and the Head Coach for North Bend High School Swimming. Her club team broke over 30 team records during her term, and the High School Girl’s team won the 2018 State Title, with her Boy’s Team placing Second.  Sasha was awarded the 2017-18 4A-1A Girls Swimming Coach of the Year Award from the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association.
 
Sasha has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Masters in Education. She is a mom of 4 children: two girls who are post-college/college students and two boys who currently swim on SAC in the National and Pre-Nat Groups. Her husband, Jason, is a pilot and avid athlete. They have moved over 9 times with her husband’s military career which has afforded her family the opportunity to live all over the country. Sasha enjoys the ocean, traveling, baking (brownies-yes!), sunshine, family adventures and keeping one step ahead of her children.
 
Sasha is excited for her new role on SAC as the Lead Red and White Coach as she has an extensive background in stroke and turn technique. She firmly believes in developing the whole swimmer: physical, mental, and emotional. From the hours, days, month and years of competing and training, she believes anyone can be successful with the right tools, inner strength, and perseverance. Many athletes underestimate the significant impact proper sleep, recovery and nutrition play in an athlete’s success. Most importantly, these elements should be taught at an early age to build the necessary skills for athletes to grow and succeed.

Kris Edwards

High School Development

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Coach Kris Edwards is a Utah Native, but found her love for Arizona in 1992 when she accepted a swimming and Regency academic scholarship to Arizona State University. While swimming with ASU from 1992-1995, Kris achieved the Athletic Director’s Honor Role, received two Varsity Athletic Letters and was the team’s Spirit Leader for two consecutive years.

Prior to swimming with ASU, Kris swam for West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was honored with MVP for four consecutive years. She held numerous state records with National Top 10 reportable times, received multiple All-American honors and never lost a race, making her an eight-time Utah State Champion. She also was inducted into the West High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Kris has always loved the sport of swimming and started her coaching career in 1997 as Head Coach with the Sports Academy Marlins in Logan, Utah. Kris has coached with various age group, senior and United States Masters Swimming programs in Utah including: Steiner Youth Aquatic Club, South Davis Aquatic Team and the South Davis Masters Swim Team.

Coach Kris has developed many Age Group and Senior State Champions, Utah State record holders, Sectional, Junior and National qualifiers, and USMS Utah State and National record holders.  

In 2000 Kris completed her Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education with a Social Studies Composite from Utah State University.  Kris is happily married to Cody Edwards and they have two children, Sadie and Jesse who currently compete with SAC.  The Edwards family recently moved from Utah to Arizona and joined the SAC family in November of 2016.

Anthony D Covell

11-12 Bronze & Blue

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Robert Ostrander

13-14 Blue

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Coach Bob has been with Scottsdale Aquatic Club since 2017 as lead coach for our Bronze Group.  Bob brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm having coached swimmers of all ages including age group, middle school, high school to adult masters swimmers.  He enjoys coaching swimmers new to swimming by providing proper stoke technique drills as well as providing challenging workouts for all levels he coaches. 

     Bob has to his credits coached multiple Masters National Champions across a variety of events, along with being recognized as Coach of the Year in his first High School coaching experience.  Along with a love for swimming, Bob has been recognized as “Volunteer of the Year” for his work as Head Swim Coach with the Buehler YMCA Masters Swim Team in IL where he was responsible for rebuilding the program from a handful of swimmers to over 40 swimmers. This program has developed a number of National Champions at the Masters Level under his leadership.

     Bob is currently Head Swim Coach for Scottsdale Prep Academy (Middle School and High School) along with being an Assistant Coach for Swim Devil Masters swim team and Lead Coach for our Bronze Group. He is also Western Regional Sales Director for SportTech which produces a high tech swim device called “Firebelly” that provides real time verbal feedback (times, splits, stroke rate, stroke count) to swimmers via bone conduction during their swims.  Bob is also Director of Operations Sales and Marketing for Raintree Apothecary where he is a principal owner.

     Bob also enjoys the sport himself and is a High School All – American, in addition to being a YMCA Nationals Top Ten qualifier.

Bob graduated from Edinboro University PA with a BS in Health and Physical Education so is well versed and studied in the principles of athletic training and conditioning. Prior to moving into coaching Bob had a very successful career with 3 major pharmaceutical companies where he rose to the level of Regional VP Sales. 

     Bob is married to his lovely wife Marybeth and they have 2 daughters (Erin and Christine) who live locally. Additionally Marybeth and Bob have 3 grand children and another on the way and are very active in their lives.

     In addition to coaching Bob and Marybeth RPH have recently opened a new business called “Raintree Apothecary” in Scottsdale AZ which focuses on providing prescription compounded pharmaceutical products to meet the unique and individualized needs of patients.

Maryanne Graham-Keever

Assistant Coach

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Coach Maryanne has been an integral part of the Scottsdale Aquatic Club coaching staff since 2002 and was appointed as the head age group coach in 2010. In her time at SAC, she has produced a number of Far West and State Champions and record holders, in individual events and in relays.

In 2012, our 10 & under boys relay broke the National record for the 200 free relay, this was a 28-year-old record. She has had a number of her swimmers get NAG top 16 times. To date, ten 12-year-old girls have made sectional cuts from her Gold group. For her efforts around the pool, coach Maryanne was voted Arizona’s age group coach of the year in 2016; adding to her 2011 ASCA (American Swim Coaches Association) Age Group coach of the year.

Maryanne began swimming on a year round a USA swimming program when she was 14 and has been fortunate to have been coached by some of the best coaches in the world: Bob Gillette, Walt Schleuter, Ron Johnson, Mark Schubert and Mona Plummer. Coach Maryanne entered the international swimming spotlight as a member of the 1973 World Championship Team that competed in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1974, Maryanne made the elite squad of 12 women and 12 men that swam against the East Germans in a dual meet in Concord, CA.

Maryanne went on to swim at Arizona State University where she was All-American in 1974 and 1975 and was part of the 1974-75 National Championship team under Coach Mona Plummer. She was inducted into Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1996, Maryanne was selected to run with the Olympic Torch in Sun City with John Nabor. In 2004, she was inducted into the Mesa Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1976, while swimming for Mark Schubert and the Mission Viejo Nadadores, she broke the Olympic Trials record in the 100 meter Back. Maryanne made the Olympic team after winning the 200 meter Backstroke at the Olympic Trials, breaking the Olympic Trials record and the American record. At the 1976 Olympics, Maryanne placed 10th in the 200 meter Backstroke. From 1972-1976, she was one of the most well- rounded swimmers in the country, holding Top 20 World Rankings in the following events: 1972--100 Back; 1973--100 Back, 200 Back, 200 IM, 400 IM; 1974--100 Free, 200 Free, 100 Back, 200 Back, 200 IM; 1976--100 Back, 200 Back.

Maryanne loves coaching our swimmers and enjoys giving back to the sport. She tries to instill a passion in all of her swimmers and every swimmer is important to her. She had great mentors in her path during her swimming career, and she learned so much from every one of her coaches. She incorporates her knowledge of the sport every day in workout.

Maryanne has been happily married to John and they have three children, JoshSean & Sarah & Brayden & Lindsay, Eric & Michael. Coach Maryanne loves her new role of being a Grandma. “It has to be one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced”. 

Timothy Scott Hotchkiss

Assistant Coach

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Coach Scott began swimming in 2007 when he was 13 years old with the McDowell Mountain Ranch recreational swim team. After a month and a half and really enjoyed the sport and the following year he joined Scottsdale Aquatic Club. Coach Scotty swam High School all 4 years and qualified for state in the 100 backstroke in his sophomore, junior and senior years and the 50 freestyle my senior year.

Coach Scotty started coaching February of 2010 for the City of Scottsdale team, and because of his age, he officially became the youngest swim coach the city of Scottsdale ever hired. During the spring Scotty coached 5 - 7 year old swimmers and was a summer rec coach spot and would coach the 11 & Over age group all summer. In 2012 he started as the assistant coach for Desert Mountain High School. In August of 2013 he began coaching with Marryanne and has been with us ever since.

Coach Scotty is a firm believer that everyone has the ability and potential to be great and his job as a coach is to not only develop and improve the technique of swimmers but to also teach them that if they are willing to put forth high amounts of effort and are willing to work hard that they can be successful at anything. Teaching our athletes that hard work does pay off is the most important part of his job.