- LEAD COACH FOR ELITE, GOLD, PRE-NAT, NAT & HS
Ryan has been the only head coach of the Lincoln-Way Swim Association since 2000. Previously, Ryan has served as the Head Coach for Tinley Park Swim club. Ryan started his swimming career with the Chicago Heights Sting Rays at Bloom High School.
As the head coach of the team, Ryan monitors all groups and mentors all the lead coaches. Primarily, Ryan works with the Elite, Gold and National Groups, but you will see him at many other groups watching or providing feedback.
Coach Ryan has spent most of his coaching career working with age group swimmers and National swimmers who have been Sectional medalist, Nationally Top 16 Ranked, Age Group State Champions, Zone Champions and State Record holders. Ryan has seen LWSA place as high as 6th place at the Illinois Age Group Championship and had a relay ranked 3rd in the nation. Aside from his work with LWSA, Ryan is currently on the Illinois Swimming Board as Safe Sport Chair; he has been a Team Illinois Zone assistant coach twice and has served as a coach for many Illinois Swimming Clinics.
Educated at Olivet Nazarene University Ryan has a Bachelors’ Degree in Social Work. He continues to work for One Hope United on the Quality Improvement Team.
Philosophy when it comes to swimming:
- Having fun, making friends and making memories for life
- Getting the swimmers to believe in themselves as much as the coaches believe in them
- Teaching swimmers life values
Ryan resides in New Lenox Illinois with his wife Nicole, daughter Brea, son Bryce. Some fun facts about Ryan…
- He loves watching Notre Dame football
- Favorite movie- A Few Good Men
- Favorite color- Blue
- Favorite food- pork chops and party potatoes
- Favorite Baseball team- Chicago Cubs
- His favorite saying “You may think you’re tired but you’re not”
- Ryan enjoys watching his son Bryce play soccer for Legacy soccer and his daughter Brea dance.
Years coaching with the Gators: 16
Years coaching with the Gators: 16
- STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH
- LEAD COACH FOR ELITE
- LEAD COACH FOR GOLD
- ASSISTANT COACH FOR ALPHA 9 & UP, DELTA, PRE-NAT, NAT & HS
Coach Steve swam age-group for Homewood Flossmoor and played Water Polo at Southern Illinois University. Steve's best stroke was Breast and his favorite was Freestyle. Steve is a former graphic designer and presently teaches PE at Hilda Walker Elementary School in Frankfort, IL. Hobbies include photography, graphic design, movies, working out & spending time on the Chicago lakefront. Favorite Quote: 'Wisemen say forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for pizza' - Michelangelo, TMNT. Favorite color is blue, favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz.
Years coaching with the Gators: 9
- LEAD COACH FOR DELTA
- LEAD COACH FOR OMEGA
- ASSISTANT COACH FOR ALPHA 8 & UNDER
Erik swam age-group for both Hickory Willow and the Gators, then all years in high school at Stagg - where there are still relay records on the wall with Erik's name on them. Erik then swam for Monmouth College and was a conference champion in the Mile. Erik's best stroke was the IM and distance Freestyle. His favorite stroke was Breast. Erik works in Marketing & Communications, is married and has a daughter. Hobbies include golf, White Sox baseball and gardening. Erik has a cat and a dog, favorite color is Gator Green, favorite movie is Caddyshack.
Years coaching with the Gators: 8
- LEAD COACH FOR PRE NAT & NAT
- LEAD COACH FOR HIGH SCHOOL
- ASSISTANT COACH FOR ALPHA 8 & UNDER
Coach Kate swam age-group for many teams, including the Valley View Gators in Lancaster, OH. She then went on to swim all 4 years in high school at Homewood Flossmor as well as 4 years at Eastern Illinois University. Kate's favorite events were the 400 IM and 200 IM. Her best stroke was Distance Freestyle. Kate has been coaching for the Gators since 2005 and is the Head Swim Coach for the girls team and Assisant Coach for the boys at LW East High School. Kate also teaches Health and PE at LW East. Coach Kate is married and has 2 girls who swim for the Gators. Hobbies include running, working on and showing old cars. Kate has 3 dogs and 2 cats, favorite color is blue and favorite movie is When Harry met Sally.
Years coaching with the Gators: 11
- LEAD COACH FOR BETA
- ASSISTANT COACH FOR ALPHA 9 & OVER
Coach Jory swam age-group and all 4 years of High School at Eisenhower and then went on to swim 4 years at Western Illinois University. Jory's best stroke was Freestyle and her favorite was Butterfly. Coach Jory is married and has 4 kids, Calie swim for the Gators. Hobbies include tennis, traveling, swimming, nascar and stockcar racing - actually owns a car. Jory has 2 dogs - Belle and Roxy, her favorite color is purple and her favorite movie is The Notebook.
Years coaching with the Gators: 2
- LEAD COACH FOR ALPHA 8 & UNDER
- ASSISTANT LEAD COACH FOR BETA
Coach Jenni swam age-group for BR Ryall and then swam for LW Central High School, (still has records on the wall). Jenni also swam for Purdue University and qualified for the NCAA Championships and placed 2nd in the Big Ten Conference in the 200 IM. Coach Jenni is married and has 3 daughters, with one (Kylie) swimming for the Gators. Coach Jenni enjoys photography, has 2 dogs and a cat. Her favorite color is Gator Green and favorite movie is Finding Nemo.
Years coaching with the Gators: 1
Coach D DeMaertelaere
ASSISTANT COACH FOR
Coach D swam age-group in Oelwein, IA. Her favorite events
were the 200IM and 100 breast stroke. Jenni attended the University
of Northern Iowa where she was involved in Camp Adventure.
This was a non-profit program that took her to military bases
in Japan to lifeguard and teach Learn To Swim classes to military
children on base. Jenni is married to Mike and they have a
son, Benjamin and daughter, Leigha. Both kids are also
members of the Gators. They have a dog named Sadie, a dwarf
frog and love to raise monarch butterflies in the summer.
Jenni enjoys spending time with her family. They enjoy
taking day trips to New Buffalo beach, weekend trips to Iowa, apple
picking in the fall, and swimming in the summer. Jenni enjoys
swimming, running, yoga, T25 and snowboarding. She also
enjoys finishing quilts for people on her long-arm quilting
machine. Jenni doesn’t have a favorite
color….she loves all colors:) Currently her favorite
movie is Moana and favorite song is Yesterday by Imagine
Years coaching with the Gators:
I am originally from
Plainfield (IL) where I graduated from Plainfield High School in
2002 and went to Lewis University and graduated in 2006 with a
Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Social Work. My high school did not have a
swim team but I
represented them at
Sectionals for my first 3
swam my first 2 years at Lewis University. I primarily swam sprint freestyle and
butterfly. I have a full time job working
at a medical billing company.
I have been consistently
coaching for club swim teams for the last 6
years, mostly working with the
group (ages 6-9) and
intermediate group (ages
Hobbies/Interests I have include traveling as
much as I can. Traveled quite a bit through Europe as well as many U.S.
states. My favorite places to visit in the
U.S. are Las Vegas and a family
cottage in South Haven, Michigan. My favorite places I visited in
Europe were Prague, Czech
and Rome, Italy. One of the most
interesting experiences I had was seeing my cousin get ordained a
Cardinal by Pope Francis (in Italy in 2016). I also enjoy watching movies, hockey and college
football, crochet/knit, gardening and
listening to music.
Music: anything from Led
Zeppelin, The Doors and Bob Marley
Hockey team: Detroit Red
Football teams: Michigan State
and Notre Dame (grandpa played football at Notre Dame – his
name and picture are in rec center area across from the football
Movie: This Is Where I Leave