DSA Coaching Staff

Presently, our coaching staff consists of Nick Frasersmith, Chris Koerber, Erik Downs, Kevan Valenzuela and Kat Schmidt; each bringing a vast wealth of experience and a true passion for the sport.


Coaching Staff

Nick Frasersmith

Head Coach-Senior Group Coach


Nick Frasersmith - Nick's coaching career started in the early 1980'scoaching in a summer club league for seven years and a graduate assistant coach for Metropolitan State College for one year,  In 1988, Nick founded Riptide Aquatics and worked as head coach until 1993.  He helped form the Colorado Stars in the fall of 1999 and was head coach through October 2008.  While Head Coach of the Colorado Stars, Nick lead the team to seven Short Course and five Long Course State Championships.

Nick has been a member of the 21 time State Champion and four time NISCA National Champion Regis Jesuit Boys High School coaching staff as an assistant since 1985, taking on the Head Coach position in 2013.  Nick has been the Head Coach for the four time State and one time Independent School NISCA National Champion Regis Jesuit Girls team from 2003 to the present.  Nick was selected as the National Girls High School Coach of the Year in 2013 and the Denver Post Colorado High School Girls Coach of the Year in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

In 2009, Nick started Denver Swim Academy with Carla Andrews and Chris Koerber.  Over the years, Nick has coached Junior National Champions, State Champions, Swimmers of the Year, Junior National and Senior National qualifiers, along with Olympic Trial qualifiers.  He has coached USA National Junior Team members as well as several National Select swimmers.

His philosophy for a successful swimmer is the combination of sound technique, hard swimming, and a good social environment. Swimming is FUN!!

Chris Koerber

Head Age Group Coach - White/Blue Groups


Chris Koerber – Chris has over 20 years of coaching experience with a few teams in Colorado, but has definitely found a comfortable home the past 8 years with Denver Swim Academy. He appreciates the DSA coaching staff's commitment and dedication to their swimmers and the sport. He is also a firm believer in the team's philosophy of stressing quality fundamentals and practice habits at an early age.  This approach, as he says, will help with short-term success but more importantly, long-term growth.  Chris also enjoys the team building atmosphere and positive learning environment that has been established at DSA.

Chris admits that he' s been fortunate to have coached some very talented and special athletes, including many State Champions and Zone finalists.  In 2004, 2012, and 2014 he was honored by his peers as Colorado Age Group Coach of the Year.

Erik Downs

Black and Senior 2 Coach/Strength Coach


Erik started coaching over ten years ago with a summer league team in Austin, Texas. Since then he has worked with several teams in the Austin area, most notably, Nitro Swimming. While there, he worked with several groups, alongside some of the best coaches in Texas. His primary focus was the senior level swimmers and the strength and conditioning program. During his five seasons with Nitro, the team won three Texas Age Group State Championships and a Junior National Title. 

With a Degree in Kinesiology and multiple certifications in swimming, strength and conditioning, and biomechanics — Erik brings a unique coaching style to the pool deck. His philosophy is based around producing well-rounded athletes with a profound mastery of basic swimming skills. 

As a swimmer, Erik started later than most of his peers. He learned how to swim his sophomore year of high school and improved quickly enough to finish tenth in in the state in the 100 fly and 200 I.M. his senior year. After High school, he swam for The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

Kevan Valenzuela

Silver Group Coach


Kevan is from the Imperial Valley, California. Kevan started coaching in May of 2010 for Imperial Valley Desert Aquatic (IVDA) for whom he swam with throughout high school. Kevan was Head Site Coach at IVDA Holtville satellite program. During the summer Kevan has run Summer Recreation Swim Programs in Calipatria (’12 &’13) and Holtville (‘14). Each of these had 40-50 swimmers varying in ability. During the summer of  '14, Kevan acted as Interim Head Coach for IVDA.  During the summer of '16 Kevan ran the Willow Creek Wahoos summer league team. Kevan holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from CU.

Kevan has a strong passion for swimming and believes in technique and high effort as the platforms for long term success. He has coached all levels of swimming from swim lessons to Jr. National Qualifiers.

Kat Schmidt

Assistant Coach


From being on a competitive swim team, teaching swim lessons, and coaching a summer swim league, swimming has been a huge part of Kat’s life.  Kat has found a passion and love not only for the sport, but for the kids she has had the opportunity to work with throughout the years. To Kat, one of the most rewarding parts about being a coach is watching the kids she works with overcome hard challenges that they would have never thought were possible.