Coaches & Directors

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please use the Contact Us form and someone from the aquatics staff will get back to you ASAP.

Coaching Staff

Justin Merriss

Head Coach


Justin started his swim career over 20 years ago.  He last competed as a NCAA Division I swimmer at Bradley University, Peoria, IL.  While at Bradley he was team captain and competed in 400 IM, 500, 1000, and 1650 freestyle over his four years.  He also started his coaching career in Peoria, working as an Assistant Age Group Coach for the Peoria Area Water Wizards from 1997-2000.  His next coaching stop was with the Arlington Heights Muskies from 2003-2008 (3 years as Assistant, and 3 years as Head Coach).  Under his guidance and that of the coaching staff the Muskies program grew from 40 swimmers to over 200 swimmers in 2008. 

Justin then had the opportunity to start and build the Women’s Swim Team at Robert Morris University (Chicago, IL) where he served as the Head Coach from 2008-2011.  In each of those first 3 seasons the team qualified for the NAIA National Swim Championships.  Justin then had the opportunity to help Robert Morris Athletics grow as the Director of Athletics for Central Illinois, with the addition of 5 new teams and more than 150 student-athletes recruited from 2011-2014. 

Coach Justin believes in a strong emphasis on stroke technique and development.  Always stating that, “Good Practice Habits make Good Meet Habits.”  Through good technique and development endurance and strength will grow.  Justin comes to the Wheaton Sport Center as the Head Coach for the Stingrays program, and the Aquatics Manager.

Sarah Perkins



Coach Sarah began her competitive swimming career at the age of 8 and swam for 11 years. She competed for the Wheaton Co-op team in high school and then swam for College of DuPage. At COD she set the 200 yard breaststroke record and competed at the junior college national championships. Sarah has many years of teaching and coaching experience most recently teaching lessons, coaching pre-team and the masters swim program at WSC. She lives in Wheaton with her husband Brandon and two kids, Emma (4) and Owen (1). Sarah wants swimmers to give their best effort every practice, but also have fun and enjoy the sport!