Paul began swimming in Indiana where he swam club in Indianapolis and college at Wabash College. During his collegiate career he excelled as a butterfly and IM specialist; and won HCAC Conference Champion in the 200fly his sophomore year.
He began teaching and coaching swimmers when he was 17 years old. Paul currently teaches swimming to youth and adults at a swim school in Chicago.
At practice expect to be challenged, encouraged, and exhausted after a solid workout. Practices are designed to incorporate specific drill work, interval training, aerobic training and anaerobic training.
Paul is the loving father of two children who are also auxiliary coaches. This is Paul's third season with the Illinois State Champion Chicago Smelts!
Vicki moved to Chicago from Southern
California in mid-2009 for grad school, discovered the Smelts in
early 2010, and never looked back. A swimmer since childhood, she
swam competitively on high school, club, and college teams in SoCal
and played water polo on high school and club teams. She has been
teaching swimming to adults and kids since 2014, and enjoys helping
people make small adjustments that yield big results. She also
enjoys helping triathletes learn that swimming is actually the best
part of triathlon, not the worst, so please come talk to her about
that if you are a triathlete! Outside the pool, Vicki can be found
doing triathlons, running, cooking, and advocating for the Oxford
comma. She also has a hound named Messi who is objectively the
mellowest, best dog ever.
Rudy Espino started swimming at the age of 8 in Panama City, Panama. He loved the competitiveness and individual traits of the sport but mostly he loved the swimming community.
At his first meet, Rudy took 1st place in the 25 meter backstroke and 25 meter freestyle, and 3rd in the 25 meter breastroke (shedding a few tears for not touching the wall first). He moved to the United States and 1985 and when he set foot at LAX he said to himself, “I’m Home,” and never looked back.
Rudy had a great swimming career, and retired from the sport in 1995. He joined the Chicago Smelts in 2003. At his first swim practice – a Saturday workout – Channing Greene was the first person who introduced himself to Rudy.
Rudy is excited to work with the Chicago Smelts and help our swimmers achieve their goals, from improving their swimming techniques to swimming their best times at the State Meet.
Rudy coaches at Gill Park on Tuesday nights.
Steve started swimming
when he was eight years old. In an early act of defiance, he
registered for the local swim team to sidestep his mother's rule of
"no swimming unless it's over 80 degrees outside". That was
the beginning of his five-day-a-week swims. Steve joined the
Chicago Smelts in 1992 to prepare for the 1994 Gay Games in New
York, then took about eight years off and rejoined in 2006 for
the Gay Games held here in Chicago, and has been swimming with the
Smelts ever since. His favorite stroke is butterfly and his
favorite event is the 50 Fly. (He enjoys the 100 Fly as well, but
Steve is a substitute
coach. Subs cover for the full-time coaches when they're ill
or have a conflict.
What Steve likes most
about the Chicago Smelts is the sense of family, and the best part
about coaching for Steve is making a difference in another
swimmer's life. He takes great pleasure in working with
swimmers to improve efficiency and speed. Steve likes to
compete, so his favorite time of year is the winter competition
season, December through April.
As a former Co-Chairman
of the Chicago Smelts (2013-2014), Steve has a lot wrapped up in
swimming - it's his sport, hobby, volunteer work, and a good
portion of his social life. Steve loves his Smelts! In
addition to swimming, he likes spending time with his family, his
partner, and his handsome dog, Joey.
Brock Hamilton Jones
Brock grew up in Pacific
Northwest and spent his summers swimming in the mountain lakes and
his family's back yard pool and swam at the age-group club
Spokane Area Swimming throughout high school.
In high school, Brock
began coaching for the city rec-league and went on to
lifeguard and teach swimming throughout college, including a
master's swim team in Portland, Ore. He has taught countless kids
and adults to swim and believes swimmers of any level can
improve their focus, technique, and feel in the
In 2013 Brock swam in his
first IGLA (International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics) Championship
and found the family of gay swimmers across the globe. He joined
the Seattle Orca Swim Team shortly afterward and coached for this
team as well. In 2014 Brock won Gold in the the 2 Mile Open Water
swim at Gay Games 9 in Cleveland and has medaled in subsequent IGLA
championships. He is committed to promoting inclusion in athletics,
especially among queer people in aquatics, and to promoting
community through sport.
Dan started swimming competitively at age 8 with the Crafton Crocodiles, the same team his dad grew up swimming for, where he won the "Future Great" award and set a record in the 25 back. At age 12 he came to his senses, ditched backstroke and became a breaststroker, but unfortunately told his coach he could "swim pretty much anything" and got stuck doing the IM for the rest of his life. In high school he finally got good at swimming and was Pennsylvania all-state in the 100 breast. After not being good enough to swim for the Big East, he got back into the swimming life when he was recruited to be an assistant coach at the Carlynton Aqua Club and then had the privilege of returning to head coach the Crocodiles before moving to Chicago and joining the Smelts.
When not coaching, Dan works at a museum, enjoys brewing his own beer, roots for the Pittsburgh Pirates, trains for triathlons, and waits for Jeopardy! to call him. While Dan is decidedly not a morning person, the Smelts make the 4:31am alarm every Thursday worth it.
Dan coaches at JCP on Thursday mornings.
Barry started swimming in
his bathtub at 3 weeks old and never looked back. He swam
competitively in high school in the DC area, where he discovered
his lifelong love for breaststroke, and then in college for MIT.
Somewhere in that time frame, he discovered the international
swimming scene and has been hooked ever since - even when that
means having to wake up at 2am in
order to watch the live feed from the Shanghai World Championships.
Last year, Barry found an outlet to channel his insatiable swim
nerddom as a semi-regular contributor for SwimSwam Magazine. You
can recognize his writing by the excessive ratio of numbers to
words. When not swimming, talking about swimming, or writing about
swimming, you can find Barry answering questions on StackOverflow
or trying to do this new fangled running thing.
Barry joined the Smelts in
2014 and is excited to be making his coaching debut in