Meg M Zajdzinski
Head Coach, Age Group Director, Coach
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
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
Co-owner, Age Group & Strength Coach
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.
Senior Group Director, Coach
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.
Senior Group Coach-Kino
Eric Dimmery is an Army brat that moved around every three
years. He got to see and experience many places in the United
States and abroad. He moved to Arizona in high school and graduated
from the Mountain View. From there Eric went to the University
of New Mexico.
He moved back to Arizona in 1997 to teach and coach swimming.
He has coached all levels of swimmers and has been very
successful with each. His swimmers have had all levels of success
from achieving best times to swimming at Olympic Trials. Eric
quit coaching for a few years to further his education and get his
masters in Administration for Educators. He started coaching again
at the high school level for Apache Junction the last three
years where his team made tremendous gains in achievement. He
is happy to be joining our team.
Senior Group Coach-Kino
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. He came back to the valley and spent 13 years with the City of Scottsdale working as the summer team coach, team program coordinator and pool manager. He 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.
Senior Group Coach - Kino
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
Senior Group Coach-Skyline
Heather Haynes Solomon, joined the MAC family as a six year
old. She was a top finisher in breaststroke and sprint
freestyle events, and swam both at Junior National’s. While
attending ASU (BA Communications 1991), she coached MAC age
groupers as well as the Mountain View High School Girls,
leading them to five consecutive State Runner-Up titles
and was AIA Coach of the Year 1992.
She stopped coaching to raise 4 sons and a daughter
but returned to coaching in 2007. Her love is seeing
swimmers “get it”, learn to love it, and experience
success. When not at the pool she loves spending time with
her grandkids, hiking, and playing the piano.
Senior Group Coach
Bill spent 18 years of
his life as a competitive swimmer. He grew up in El Paso,
Texas and was named to the "50 greatest High School Swimmers of El
Paso" for his swimming accomplishments. After graduating from
Bill went on to be a 4
year Letterwinner for the University of Arizona Men's swim program
as a Distance Freestyle specialist. At the 1991 US Swimming
Bill finished 13th
overall in the men's 1650 Freestyle.
Bill graduated from the
University of Arizona with a degree in Exercise Sciences and has
worked as a swim coach in a number of capacities since completing
his competitive swimming days. He is very excited to be
joining the "MAC Coaching Team" and working with this outstanding
swim program and its' swimmers.
Senior Group Coach
Dave works as a Captain for The Superstation Fire
and Medical Department. He also works part-time as an
RN for the Emergency Department at Chandler Regional Hospital. He
is a proud alumni of Mesa Aquatics
Club. As a freshman at The University of California Irvine he was
Rookie of the Year breaking the school
record in the 1000 Free.
Glen L Coy
Age Group Coach - Kino
Eagle Scout, Glen Coy, is a Utah transplant who moved to Arizona for the availability of year round outdoor activities. Glen’s full time job is teaching junior high and high school physical education. When he isn’t teaching or coaching, he can usually be found enjoying his boat>
Born and raised in Utah, Glen swam for Clearfield High School Swim Team, graduating in 1984. He still holds the school record in the 500 free. In college, he swam for Truman State University in Missouri, where he held records in both the 200 back and the 800 free relay.
Glen has coached at the club level since 1993, mainly coaching the 14 and under age groups. He holds a Level V ASCA certification. Several of his age group swimmers, both former and present, have earned National Age Group Recognition, hold State Records, are State Champions as well as top 8 finishers at State Championships and Far Westerns. Glen also has coached several age group swimmers who have gone>
In addition to club coaching, Glen coaches at the high school level. He has been a high school swimming coach since 1995, coaching at two 5A schools: Mountain Pointe boys from 95-98 and Mountain View girls from 1999 to present. During that time, he has earned numerous coaching recognitions, including High School Coach of the Year in 02, 03, 05, 06 and 11. Among his high school swimmers, are several High School State Champions, High School State Record Holders and High School All Americans.
Glen has been wakeboarding for 14 years and has been the Masters State Champion from 2003 to 2010. Glen is a big fan of PB and J sandwiches, cheese pizza and chocolate chip cookies! He stays busy with teaching, coaching and wakeboarding.
Age Group Coach - Kino
Hello, MAC family! My name is
. I just finished my fifth semester over at Mesa Community College
and I’m almost done with my prerequisites for an Ultrasound
Program at Gateway Community College I’m hoping to get into
next fall. I started swimming my sophomore year of high
school at Mesa High School in 2012 and I started swimming with Mesa
Aquatics Club the following spring. I swam competitively for
three years and loved every second of it! My favorite stroke is
Breaststroke! I’m so excited to start working with the kiddos
and help them on their swimming journeys.
Frederick Herman Behrmann
Age Group Coach-Skyline
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 Sean Keith
Age Group Coach - Skyline
Dillan began swimming at the age of 2 where his swim instructor probably still has scars from his bruising and scratching her. Now he considers himself both a student and competitor of the sport. Dillan grew up swimming for a few different clubs where he gained an understanding of different philosophies and volumes of training. He swam with Rio Salado Swim Club, Desert Thunder Aquatics, and Mesa Aquatics Club. Once in high school he broke several school records and went to state all 4 years. His senior year he medaled in two events. Dillan enjoys instilling successful skill acquisition strategies and seeing his swimmers gain water confidence while performing their best. Preceding college, he served a two year mission to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Once he returned from his mission, he coached the swim team for 4 seasons at Queen Creek High School, EVO Swim School, and Lifetime Fitness Swim Club. He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He has interned for a few leadership development firms and has a passion for workplace performance and effective negotiation and conflict resolution. He plans on furthering his education while staying close to the sport of swimming and is excited to be a part of the MAC family.
Age Group Coach- Skyline
*Born and raised in Upstate New York
*Age group swimmer since age six
*Top 16 National ranking from age nine through age fourteen
*Top 8 finish in all individual events at the New York State High School State Meet for all 4 years of high school. Events included… 100 fly, 500 free, 200 IM and 100 back
*Junior and Senior National qualifier
*Villanova University Women’s Swim Team 1989 - 1993.
--Captain of the Women’s team
--Big East Champion in 100 Fly and 800 Free Relay
--Big East Team Champions 1992 and 1993
--Academic All-American 1992 and 1993
*Inducted into Victor High School Athletic Hall of Fame - 2002
*United States Masters Swimming All-American, 1996 and 2003
*Inducted into Western New York State High School Swimming Hall of Fame - 2012
Maria is well versed in working with a variety of athletes, from
teen, college, to former professional athletes. The benefits
from yoga to strengthen and lengthen muscles help improve recovery
and prevention of injury has recently been highly recognized in
both the professional and Olympic worlds. Learning to move with
ease is what allows swimmers to develop that “easy
speed” One of the greatest benefits to incorporating
consistent yoga practice, is that is teaches the ease of movement
by connecting your breath with your movement, develop greater body
awareness, and strengthen the mind-body connection.
Precompetitive - Kino
Nichol started swimming at the age of 5 and swam at Kino with the original Mesa Aquatics Club alongside her coaching colleagues, Coach Meg and Coach Eric. She was a 4 year scholar athlete at Westwood High School and a Junior National qualifier in the 200 and 400 IM and 200 fly. She was top 4 in numerous events for four years in AZ state meets, including the IM, fly, and distance free events.
She swam on scholarship at Brigham Young University where she continued competing in distance free, fly and IM events. She was part of a dedicated team that won the WAC 3 of her 4 years. In 1991 was a Cougar Club Scholar/ Athlete. She was 1991/92 WAC scholar athlete. She was a final at the WAC championships in the mile and 400 IM. Nichol was co-captain her senior year at BYU.
While competing at BYU she met and married her husband, a sprinter on the BYU men's team. They have been married for 21 years and have 4 children.
Nichol coached for Scottsdale Aquatics in 1997, then went on to teach first grade for a few years at the Franklin schools. She was a stay at home mom for several years and has spent the last 6 years as a reading specialist with Kyrene Schools. Three of her kids swam for Sun Devils, so when the merge of teams happened, she was blessed to be able to step back on deck with her old teammates. In addition to coaching, Nichol is a youth leader at her church for 40 young women. Besides teenagers, she also enjoys reading, hiking, the movies and a good nap.
Precompetitive - Skyline
Kara Keithley is a native to Arizona. She
grew up in Northern Arizona. Kara began swimming at the age of
five. She grew up around water sports: boating and fishing. At the
age of fifteen she began to work for parks and recreation and just
completed her thirty-third year. She has been a swim instructor,
swim coach, and pool manager. She has taught lifeguard training
courses for twenty-eight years as well as teaching instructors how
to teach swim lessons. Kara is involved in many aquatic advisory
committees. She graduated with a BA in Elementary Education
and currently teaches 7th grade English. She also holds a MA in
Administration and MA in Counseling.
Kara has two children. She taught both
children to swim as soon as they could crawl. Her daughter
swam for Red Mountain High School and graduated in 2012. Her
son is in 8th grade.
Kara holds an SG (Starguard), SGIT
(Starguard Instructor Trainer), SSI( Swim Lesson Instructor),
SSIT(Swim Lesson Instructor Trainer), and Coaches Safety Training
Adult Learn to Swim
Paul and Laura noticed Marissa Walz’s natural talent for coaching young children while she was working for the City of Mesa. She has been swimming since she was a little girl, and is still in love with the sport today. She attended Mt. View High School where she trained under the Legendary Glen Coy.
Currently she just finished her associates degree at Mesa Community College and plans on returning to receive her Bachelors this Spring! She would like to become an English professor and have a part time job as a Fitness Trainer…but we’re trying to convince her to stick to coaching!!! She is excited to start spending more time around the pool deck and getting to know all of the amazing MAC swimmers!
Las Sendas Coach
Austin began swimming at age 4. He swam for several recreational
teams until High School. He was a Varsity swimmer for Red Mountain
High School and qualified for State in the 100 fly. He Graduated
from Red Mt. High School in 2015 and is a junior at ASU. He will
earn his degree in Aeronautical Management Technology (Unmanned
Aerial Systems) and will join the Air Force. He will then go to
Pilot Training to become an Air Force Pilot. Austin is a City of
Mesa Lifeguard and enjoys sharing his love of swimming. When Austin
isn’t in the water, just look up and you might see him fly
Jessica started swimming at the age of six for the summer recreation programs and continued to do so each summer through high school. She swam on the varsity team at Westwood High School in Mesa all four years of high school. At age 13 she joined the summer recreational water polo team and never stopped playing. She has played on several club teams, including the early Mesa Water Polo and the youth Sun Devil Polo team at ASU. She traveled to Colorado, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Texas to play for different teams in various tournaments. At age 16 she was selected for the zone team for the Olympic Development Program run by USA Water Polo. Jessica joined a girls team from Texas to play in two consecutive Junior Olympic tournaments and her senior year of high school, her team won the State Championship.
Jessica began coaching age group water polo with the city recreation league for three summers in a row. She moved on to coach for Mesa Water Polo when the club first began in 2012 and has been with them ever since. She is now team manager for both Mesa Water Polo and Mesa Aquatics Club and hopes to continue to provide opportunities for kids to fall in love with the water, just as she has!
Paul Lewis Smith
Since assuming the "helm" of MAC in April of 2009 Paul and his
wife Laura have lead a top to bottom transformation of the club.
The process has involved reorganizing the training groups, adding
dry land training as a component for all age groups, adding
"family" that includes coaches, a team manager and a volunteer
corps that all together have taken the club from a little over 100
to 495 USA Swimming athletes (and over 200 masters registered in
2012). The past year also saw dozens of new team records, USA
Swimming Level 3 Club Recognition achieved, a final ranking of #223
in the USA Club Excellence program (6th best in Arizona) and a VCC
score of 167,553 ranking us at #143 of the close to 3000 year
around swim programs in the country! In addition, with arguably two
of the finest outdoor pools in the country MAC has become one of
the top meet hosts in the world headlined by the 2013 & 2014
Arena Grand Prix events along with Age Group, Senior and 8 and
Under Championships, USA Swimming IMX Championships a USMS Masters
Nationals and co-host of the annual Memorial Day Speedo-Arizona
Invitational that hosted over 900 athletes in 2014.
Paul has a B.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Coaching Minor
from the University of California, Santa Barbara and went on to
obtain his Masters Degree in the same field from Antioch
University. He was a World University Games Gold Medalist and
Record Holder in 1981 and is a two time Olympic Swimming Trials
Qualifier. Paul was an NCAA Swimming All-American in 1980 and 1981
for UC Santa Barbara where he held the 100yd butterfly record of
48.86 set in 1981 for almost 20 years, he was recruited by and
played for their Division l Water Polo Team as well including the
81' & 82' NCAA Championships. Since 2000 Paul 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
and is a 10 time USMS All American. He has acquired 174 Age Group
Top Tens in USMS to date. Paul is a USA Certified Coach and an ASCA
Certified Coach. Paul and his wife are Co-owners of Mesa Aquatics
Club, which also encompasses Mesa Masters, MAC Swim Shop and Mesa