Coaches & Directors

We’re proud of our professional coaching staff.  Click on the links below to learn more about our coaches, their styles of working with swimmers and experience coaching. Individually, and as a staff, they have many complimentary strengths and talents that benefit our swimmers.  Whether you are already a member in the club or thinking about joining Club Wolverine, please feel free to contact our coaches.  

If you have questions about issues related to swimming such as group assignments, workouts, meets, what events to swim, goal setting, and specific concerns about your swimmer, our coaches are happy to help.

For all questions related to administrative matters, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact our business administrator, Laura Bowen.  

Coaching Staff

Gunnar Schmidt

Head Coach/National Team


HEAD COACH/ National Team/ Pre-Team                                                                  

Gunnar has been coaching with Club Wolverine since 2014.  Gunnar started out as the lead coach for Senior Blue, Intermediate White, and Brighton Head Site Coach.  Gunnar was appointed as Club Wolverine’s Head Coach in 2016. During his time at Club Wolverine, Gunnar has coached Michigan State Champions, Central Zones Champions, and USA Swimming Sectional Champions. On top of that Gunnar has qualified swimmers for USA Swimming’s Junior Nationals, USA Swimming U.S. Open, Olympic Trials, and Jr. Pan Pacs. During his time with the Club Wolverine age group team, Gunnar was also an assistant coach for Club Wolverine’s Elite team. During tis time, Club Wolverine Elite qualified multiple athletes for several international competitions including Pan Pacs, World Championships, and the Olympic Games.

Prior to working at Club Wolverine, Gunnar was the Head Age Group Coach at the West Cook YMCA (TOPS). During his time with TOPS, Gunnar developed a program that produced numerous Illinois State finalist, Illinois State Champions, ranked athletes in the top 16 nationally, and qualified athletes for YMCA Nationals, Junior Nationals, and US Nationals.

Why are you coaching swimming?: I have an incredible passion for the sport and teaching the process of success. My goal as a coach is to teach and encourage young athletes to achieve their own highest level of personal development. Through this process athletes learn life skills that can be applied to their life outside the sport of swimming.

Previous swimming experience: Swam at the University of Michigan from 2005 – 2009, four year varsity, 2008 Big Ten finalist in the 1650 Freestyle, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Trials Qualifier.

Previous coaching experience:  Big Blue Aquatics: Head Coach (2010-2011); West Cook YMCA Swim Team: Head Age Group Coach (2011-2014); Club Wolverine Elite Assistant Coach (2014 - 2016); Club Wolverine Brighton Head Site Coach (2016); 

Where are you originally from and where do you live now: Hometown: Phoenix, AZ; Live now: Ann Arbor, MI

Pat Wickering

Associate Head Coach


Associate Head Coach, Intermediate Blue

Laura Cowley



Associate Head Coach, Junior Blue

Samantha A Wakefield





Previous swimming experience: swam at Kenyon College from 2001 - 2005 and was an All American in the 200 Backstroke and NCAA qualifier in the 100 backstroke. Part of a team that won three NCAA D3 national championships.


Previous coaching experience: I have been coaching for almost 16 years, and have spent the last three years as an assistant coach with CW. I began coaching a local country club in high school and have not looked back since! I have coached country club, high school, middle school, and club. My recent experience includes: Laurel School Head Middle School Coach (2008-2013), University School Assistant Coach (2008-2013), Canterbury Golf Club Head Swim Coach (2011- 2013), Hartland Girls Varsity Swim Coach (2015).


Any coaching accomplishments?:  While at University School, the team won four state titles (2009-2013),  and set eight state records and eleven school records. Additionally, the team achieved 27 All-American Awards and 4 Olympic Trial Qualifiers in 3 events.

Why are you coaching swimming?: I truly enjoy sharing my passion for the sport with my swimmers and helping them come to appreciate the sport that I love so much. I find it incredibly rewarding to help swimmers become students of the sport as they learn more about technique and how to improve their swimming.

Where are you originally from and where do you live now : I am originally from Buffalo, NY and currently live in Whitmore Lake with my husband and former CW coach, Will.

Do you have another job besides coaching?  I have been a teacher for almost eight years and recently began teaching in Ann Arbor as a middle school Social Studies teacher.

Josh Wood




Previous swimming experience: Swam club for 5 years and was on the Varisty Swim team at Walled Lake Western for all 4 years of high school.

Previous coaching experience: Coached at Lakes Area Tridents for 5 years, including 2 years as the Head Coach prior to joining Club Wolverine. Volunteer with the Walled Lake Northern Women’s Swim Team.

Any coaching accomplishments?: Developed numerous JO, State, and Zone swimmers.

Why are you coaching swimming?: I’m very passionate about the sport and desire to give back to the sport I love so much. I want all my swimmers to reach their maximum potential.

Where are you originally from and where do you live now: Novi

Alex Cremer





Junior Blue and White Coach at Brighton

Previous swimming experience: I swam for 6 years starting in 7th grade and swimming through my senior year in High School. After Freshman year I started swimming year round on a club team and on my High School team.

Previous coaching experience: I started coaching two years ago on a small club team in Ohio. This previous summmer I helped coach a 4 week stroke clinic with my High School and Club team coach. This is my first year at CW.

Coaching accomplishment: I have worked with Brendon Mulcahey, a high school All American who is now swimming at Denver. His senior year in High School he was the 5th fastest 50 freestyle swimmer in Ohio and 11th in the 100 freestyle. I have also worked with Isaac Lumely who is now a senior in High School. Last year he qualified for YMCA nationals in the 100 freestyle.

Why are you coaching swimming?: I am coaching because I want to share my knowledge of the sport that has taught me to be dedicated, self-motivated, and the importance of teamwork. I want to teach every swimmer I have the privilege to coach how to not only be a great swimmer but a well round person as well.

Where are you originally from and where do you live now: Born in Canton, Michigan. Now live in Stow, Ohio.

Do you have another job besides coaching?  In school?  I am attending Eastern Michigan University with a major in Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Justin Duong



Intermediate White/Ann Arbor
Coaching Background:
I have been coaching for a little over 5 years.  I began coaching at SST for a year before putting a pause on coaching for collegiate swimming.  After my collegiate swimming career, I joined the amazing staff at CW and have spent the last 4 years here
Swimming Background:
Swam at Eastern Michigan University 2009-2012, 3 year varsity, 2011 MAC finalist in the 100 Backstroke
Swimming/Coaching accolades:
Coached several 11-12 and 13-14 State Champions along with several State Champion relays

Ryan Piza



Junior Blue Coach

Previous swimming experience: I swam for Foxjets, based out of Eden Praire, MN. Never swam for my high school. Swam at UM from 2007-2009.

Previous coaching experience: I coached back in 2009 for CW and then started coaching with CW again in 2013.

Why are you coaching swimming: I started coaching because of how natural the sport felt to me.  Now I enjoy helping swimmers with that passion and drive to become better. In my years of swimming I have been coached by some great swim coaches (Jon Urbanchek, Ann Urschel, Richard Quick, Coach Mo, Bob Bowman). I also have worked with some very good personal fitness trainers. I enjoy passing that knowledge to up-and-coming swimmers.

Where are you originally from and where do you live now: I am from Eden Prairie, MN. I live currently in Ann Arbor, MI.

I am currently in school at the University of Michigan

Brandon King



Lead Senior Blue Coach

Brandon has been coaching with Club Wolverine since 2017 and works primarily with the Senior Blue swimmers.  Before Club Wolverine Brandon started coaching at Neuqua Valley High School, in Naperville,IL, as an assistant boys and head girls swim coach in 2010.  While coaching high school coach Brandon received the Illinois coach of the year award in 2012. In 2011 he began working with Fox Valley Swim Team with the Senior group.  In 2013 Brandon was hired as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa and took over recruiting for all male swimmers.  During his three seasons at Iowa he coached multiple athletes to school records, Olympic trials cuts, and qualified a swimmer to the Pan Pacs.

Brandon also assists the University of Michigan with video work including practice review and analysis.  He coached Club Wolverine Elite in 2017 Summer which he helped coach World University and World Championship swimmers.  


Alan Duski



Lead Intermediate White Coach

Emily Klueh



Pre Team, Cubs White, Cubs Blue, Mental Health

Lance L Bergmann



Lead Senior White Coach

Karl Shaffer