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 administration, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact Mike Chasson.

Coaching Staff

Michael Chasson

Head Coach and President


Mike Chasson has been involved in competitive swimming for over 45 years and has coached at every level of swimming.  He began his career as an age group coach at Los Altos Aquatic Club in 1971.  Since then, he has coached at Santa Barbara Swim Club, Stanford University, Harvard University, Mass Bay Marlins, Arizona State University, and Sun Devil Aquatics.  He has coached Olympic Gold Medal winners, USA Swimming National Champions and Junior National Champions, NCAA Champions, and many NCAA and High School All Americans.

Mike coached swimmers at every Olympic Games from 1984 through 2008.  He has been a USA National Team Coach for many international trips, including Head Men’s Coach at the 1997 World University Games and an assistant coach at the Olympic Games in 1988 and Pan Pacific Championships in 1993.  He has had teams place in the top five at every major swimming competition in the United States.  He has been a speaker at the American Swim Coaches Association Convention as well a number of regional clinics.

While at Stanford, Mike coached five different NCAA Champions, and helped coach the team to the NCAA Championship in 1989.  While at Harvard, he won six Ivy League Championships and helped Harvard achieve an 11th place finish at the men’s NCAA’s in 1998, which is the highest finish ever for a non-scholarship school.  While at Arizona State, the men’s team finished in the top 20 nine times, and the women’s team did so six times.  This included three top ten finishes.  Mike coached 52 All Americans and helped swimmers to 58 school records.  His swimmers also achieved seven Pac-10 Championships and earned 165 Pac-10 All Academic honors.

Currently, Mike oversees and coaches the Cactus Aquatics program, which has included coaching every training group on the team at various times.  His background in club swimming for 18 years before going into college swimming gave him great preparation for guiding Sun Devil Aquatics, now Cactus Aquatics, which he started in 1998.  He previously started age two club programs and one masters program from scratch.  Mike believes strongly that age group swimming should promote technique, sportsmanship, and academic excellence.  A successful program should help swimmers develop a passion for the sport and encourage them to compete through high school and college, depending on their academic interests and school choice.

Mike is proud of the fact that he has remained in contact with swimmers he coached in the 70s, 80s, 90s and the 2000s.  These swimmers went on to successful academic and professional careers.  Mike has always encouraged his staff to have this same type of connection and interest in their athletes, which differentiates Cactus Aquatics from many other teams.  Mike will continue to build a positive environment that encourages future athletic, academic and personal growth.


Jens Nielsen

Gold Coach and AG Assistant


Kyle Johnson

Assistant Age Group Coach