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Coaches & Directors

Our staff works closely together for the benefit of every family and here to support your needs. We encourage your questions related to but not limited to workouts, competitions, events, goal setting, personal development, and other swimming related needs. 

Coaching Staff

Danny Lucero-Dixon

Head Coach

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Coach Danny began swimming competitively at age seven for the Michiana Marlins and continued through his senior year at Riley High School. At Riley, Danny earned Academic All American and All American Honors, placed 11th at state in the 100 breaststroke, participated in 3rd and 4th place medley relays, and earned a state championship in the 200 freestyle relay in 2007.

Danny completed his USA Swimming certification and began coaching in 2008. Along with the Stars, Danny coaches the Swanson Sharks (summer league), private training for Innovative Endurance (triathaletes), Mishawaka High School Boys/Girls Swim teams, and teaches math at Riley High School. Danny graduated from the University of Notre Dame in December 2013 with an English major and Economics minor. He thrives by working with all ages and abilities.  Danny's wife Heather Dixon is a dedicated swim coach along his side with STARS and Mishawaka High School. Heather also has a swimming background, great passion for the sport of swimming, and committment to the developement of young individuals.

Heather Dixon

Coach

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Andrew Bartolini

Coach

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Quick Bio
• Coaching with STARS since 2014
• Volunteer Asst Coach for the University of Notre Dame varsity swimming 
• ASCA Level II Certified
• PhD Candidate at the University of Notre Dame
• Swam competitivetly through high school in Rhode Island ... Andrew's high school won the team state championship all four years he was there. 

 

Coach Andrew has been coaching at Michiana Stars since the Fall of 2015. Coach Andrew is the lead coach of the pre-senior group and has coached swimmers who have qualified for Divisional, Age Group State and Open Water State Championships. Coach Andrew is an ASCA Level 2 certified coach and is also a volunteer assistant swim coach at the University of Notre Dame.

Andrew swam competitively in Rhode Island through high school at Bishop Hendricken. At Hendricken, Andrew earned four varsity letters and helped the team win the RI State Championships all four years. In addition to recording two top-eight performances at the RI High School State Championships his senior year, Andrew was awarded the Outstanding Senior Swimmer, the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association of America, Inc. (NISCA) Award Winner for Sportsmanship, the NISCA Coach’s Award and the Bishop Hendricken High School Lou D’Abrosca Unsung Hero Award over his four years.  Andrew was one of the team captains his senior year.

Andrew is currently a PhD candidate in civil engineering at the University of Notre Dame where he is currently studying the motion of tall buildings. Coach Andrew graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 2013.

Jodi Mejia

Coach

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Quick Bio

  • B.S. in Biochemistry from Indiana University
  • ASCA  Level III Coaching Credentials
  • 20 + years experience 
  • High energy and true love for the development of young individuals
  • Current Early College Resource Coordinator at Penn High School
  • Current Assistant Coach with Boys/Girls Swimming at Penn High School
  • Coaching with STARS since 2014

Coach Jodi Mejia began year round competitive swimming at age eight; swimming mostly with the Elkhart YMCA and the Michiana Marlins.  During her age group career,  she was a state finalist in many events.  When older, she qualified for and swam at Zones and Junior Nationals.  Coach Mejia grew up in Osceola, IN and graduated from Penn High School where she was a Team Captain her senior year.  Her high school swim teams were Sectional Champions all four years. Coach Jodi won HS Sectionals and placed at HS State. She attended and swam on scholarship for Vincennes University. 

Coach Mejia is married with four children living in Elkhart.  Her two sons are both National level wrestlers and her oldest daughter competed at the collegiate level in Cheerleading.  The youngest, Lizzy is a swimmer in the STARS High Performance Group and a current sophomore at Penn High School.

Annalisa Layman

Coach

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Quick Bio

  • Coaching with STARS since 2016
  • Head Swimming Coach for Yorktown Middle School
  • Assistant Age Group Swimming Coach for Yorktown Swim Club
  • Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts in Speech Pathology from Ball State University
  • Current Speech Language Pathologist at Memorial Outpatient Therapy Services

Coach Annalisa began swimming competitively at the age of seven for Irish Aquatics and continued through her senior year at Mishawaka High School. Throughout her age group swimming career, Annalisa was a top eight finalist at state in several events, including an age group state championship in the 200 freestyle relay in 2007. In addition to her top-eight performances, she also competed at Zones. Annalisa swam for Mishawaka High School at the Varsity level for four years, where she broke several school records and won two sectional titles, qualifying her for high school state championships. At Mishawaka, she received conference honors all four years, was named Athlete of the Year and received Academic All-American honors.

Annalisa works as a speech language pathologist at Memorial Outpatient Therapy Services and has been coaching at Michiana Stars since August of 2016.  She became a certified USA swimming coach in 2014 when she began coaching for a swim club and middle school near Ball State University. She also coached at Notre Dame swim camps for several summers. Annalisa enjoys being a coach, as it allows her to give back to the sport that gave so much to her for so many years. She takes pride in coaching with passion and enthusiasm, and serving as a mentor to her young athletes.

Seamus Lucero-Dixon

Coach

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Lotta Barnes

Coach

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Coach Lotta began swimming at the age of five for Malmö Kappsimnings Klubb, in her hometown of Malmö, Sweden. Throughout her swimming career, Lotta has represented Sweden in several international Championships, including European Championships, World Championships, and the Olympic Championships. Lotta moved from Sweden to Dallas, TX, to swim for Southern Methodist University (SMU) on a swimming scholarship, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2003. At SMU Lotta swam on US National winning relays, finished 6th at the NCAA in the 200 free, and earned All-American status all 4 years.

Lotta works as a senior graphic designer at the University of Notre Dame, and has been coaching at Michiana Stars since January of 2018. Her twins, Max and Molly, are both swimming for Michiana Stars. Her husband, Steve, is a National Champion swimmer with many talents who grew up in this area swimming for Michiana Marlins.

Lynn Kachmarik

Coach

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Honors and Achievements

  • 2007 & 2014 World Championship Gold Medalist (Masters Women’s Water Polo)
  • 2010-2017 Gold Medalist 2010 (USA Masters Water Polo Championships)
  • Two-year Women’s National Team Asst. Coach (World Aquatic Championships Australia 1991-1993)
  • First NCAA DI female coach of any Men’s Team Sport (Water Polo-Bucknell)
  • Ten-year member U.S. Women’s National Water Polo Team (six year team captain,1979-1991)
  • The first woman to play on the Women’s National Team from outside of California
  • All-World Team honors during tenure on the U.S. National Team
  • Athlete in 1980,1984, & 1988 World Aquatic Championships
  • Athlete in multiple FINA World Cup Championships
  • Served as ethics chair on Board of Directors for USA Water Polo (2005-2009)
  • Sullivan Award Recipient for Outstanding Achievements in United States Aquatics (1981)
  • Eight-Time U.S. Water Polo Association All-American Player
  • Inducted into the Bucks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame (2015)
  • Inducted into Bucknell University Athletic Hall of Fame (2014)
  • Among first group of women inducted into the United States Water Polo Hall of Fame (2004)
  • First female inducted into the Collegiate Water Polo Hall of Fame (2003)
  • Inducted into Slippery Rock Athletic Hall of Fame (1991) 

Lynn is the founder and CEO of TRUE BRAND SPORTS LLC, which provides workshops around the world to improve the sport culture at the youth, high school, and collegiate level. Lynn is also the Vice President of Equilibria In Sports. The purpose of Equilibria Sports is to elevate personal, professional and organizational performance through understanding, embracing and leveraging diversity of thought and behavior.  Lynn has developed workshops on exceptional leadership, teamwork, and other topics that resonate with coaches, parents, teachers, students, student-athletes, and corporate executives. She has served as a keynote speaker and presenter at state, national, and international conferences on the need for character-based leadership from administrators, coaches, teachers, parents, and student-athletes. Lynn was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Association of Athletic Administrators and Coaches (IAAAC).

Coach Lynn has 45 years of experience at all sport levels. Lynn was an All-American water polo player and swimmer(at Slippery Rock University where she earned her BS and MS Degrees in Physiology and Education. She was a 10-year member of the United States National Water Polo team, and then served on their Executive Committee. Throughout an 18-year career at Bucknell University, Lynn held various coaching positions, including serving two decades as the head coach for the Men’s and Women’s Water Polo and Swim teams. Lynn served as the Athletic Director at Saint Mary’s College for 10 years, then moved on to become the Vice-President and General Manager of the South Bend Silver Hawks Minor League Baseball Team. Lynn served as the National Outreach Director for Play Like a Champion Today. Under her guidance, the program was transformed from a small organization focused on Catholic youth coaches and parents into one of the top educational programs serving public and private elementary and high schools around the world. Lynn has been inducted into six Athletic Halls of Fame, including the United States Water Polo Hall of Fame, Bucknell University Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Collegiate Water Polo Coach Hall of Fame. She resides in Mishawaka, IN where she and her husband Scott are the proud parents of three college-aged children.