Asst. Coach and Administrative Support
Hello! I am the original founder of the Tiger Sharks Swim Club. At this time I am currently living in Colorado and helping out Coach Dan with workouts and administrative support.
Previous to my work with the Tiger Sharks I have coaching experience both in the United States and overseas, coaching all ages and abilities. I earned my bachelors in Kinesiology at UIC where I swam NCAA Division I all 4 years. In addition, I am currently a swim instructor for the U.S. Navy along with coaching the Tiger Sharks.
I believe that swimming as an age group swimmer and above allows the athlete to learn a sense of discipline and what it means to be part of a team. A major component of competitive swimming is the fact that there will always be improvement with hard work, which translates to the real world that with hard work success will follow.
I believe that swimming is a great teaching tool. Firstly it teaches the children sportsmanlike competition in and out of the pool. Swimming also allows the athlete to learn about a healthy lifestyle and the benefits of being physically fit. In addition, it creates a team atmosphere where everyone improves solely because they are around other like-minded athletes.
My goal as a coach is to create a fun, competitive learning environment in which the Tiger Sharks Swim Club can grow as a team!
I first joined my hometown swim team in Grosse Pointe, Michigan at 6 years old. I wanted to be on the team so badly that I swam with all my heart to get across that pool, with the hope that dog paddle would count of course, and became the youngest swimmer to make the team. Forty years later I am still in love with the sport and I bring that passion to the Tiger Sharks.
I coached the Grosse Pointe City summer team for over 10 years and was an Assistant Coach for Grosse Pointe Aquatics. During those years I became a collegiate swimmer at John Carroll University swimming fly and sprint free events. One fateful day we had a meet where freshmen had to pick events out of a hat. I had to swim the 1650 (“the mile”). After coming in 2nd to my nationally ranked distance swimmer teammate I began competing in distance and sprint events. Swimming at that level elevated my “game” and helped me in all aspects of my life.
I took a break from coaching to get a Masters in Education from the University of Michigan and made a career as a Corporate Trainer/Instructional Designer. When my husband Dave and I first moved to the Chicago area we lived in Naperville. I was so happy to be back in the mid-west and wanted to coach swimming again. I coached the Naperville Swim Team in the evenings and weekends over the next few years. While working in the business world I never gave up on my love of the environment and the desire to teach children about nature and our role in protecting the earth. So I received an Aquatic Biology Certification from Shedd Aquarium and worked at Brookfield Zoo developing and teaching programming for children and adults with disabilities. Ending my tenure at the zoo as Manager of School, Group, and Teacher programming when our daughter (also a Tiger Shark) came along.
I am so proud of what Coach Gusel has been able to do building this team and its excellent reputation. With a focus on stroke technique and areas of a swim such as streamlines and finishes our swim team is producing great swimmers who are having fun.
The sport of swimming stayed a part of my life whether swimming or coaching (and watching as a parent!) and I hope that Tiger Sharks can inspire and motivate your children to love this amazing sport.
Hello! My name is Nicole Wagemann and I am a USA/ASCA certified swim coach, Red Cross Water Safety/Lifeguard Instructor, StarGuard 2 Lifeguard Instructor, and Certified Pool Operator.
I started my swimming career at the age of one, with my parents taking me to Red Cross swim lessons. At the age of five my parents were approached by a coach to train me for the Olympics. However, they decided I was too young and Florida was too far of a distance for me to be away from home. Regardless, I still remained a “fish” by taking swim lessons, synchronized swim classes, and joining various swim teams, including my high school team at Leyden High School. During my senior year, I missed qualifying for the State 50 Freestyle event by a mere tenth of a second. From there, I went on to attend Illinois State University. At ISU I swam every day, was a lifeguard for an after-school program, and I also worked with children who had adapted needs through aquatic therapy.
My coaching career began at the age of 16 by working as an assistant coach with the Mannheim Swim Team. In 1999-2000 I was the assistant swim coach for the Addison Trail/Willowbrook High School Girls team. The following summer I worked at my local park district as the Co-Head Coach of the Villa Park Mariners. Upon earning my Bachelor of Science degree, I obtained a Physical Education/Health Teacher position in Mannheim School District 83, where I remain educating children as of today. Over the past 16 years, I have also worked with swimmers in the South Suburban Swim Conference, as well as the Bloomingdale Barracudas and the Addison Frogs.
Today, I have the pleasure of working for the Tiger Sharks Swim Club, as well as teaching private swim lessons for infants through adults. Everywhere I have taught or coached my emphasis is always on technique. With deep understanding behind the technique of each stroke and practicing that technique on a daily basis, swimmers will see times drop and overall improvement. Most importantly, through the leadership of the Tiger Shark coaches, our swimmers will know that swimming is not only for competition but something they can enjoy throughout their life.