We teach everyone and we're outstanding at teaching everything!

We know how to develop swimmers…And we do it better than anyone else!

While not everyone will achieve at the highest levels of the sport, everyone can receive the best foundation for their own future success.

The WAVES team at every level is an active learning environment.  We give our swimmers the tools they can use to develop the achievement-confidence crucial to their future outcomes.

Parents...give your child the best foundation for success, make the choice to surround him or her with the best learning environment, with the best coaches, and with teammates who share the same growth-oriented and excellence-striving habits of achievement.

The WAVES System...the proven pathway to success!

If you are an experienced swim team family, you can see the difference in programs and the quality of coaching your child is receiving on a daily basis, as well as in the level of performance possible with the WAVES.

Coaching Staff

Charles Yourd

Head Coach


Head Coach Charles Yourd helps WAVES athletes of all ages improve and become the fastest they can be.  WAVES head coach since August 1998.

Coach Yourd is certified by the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) as a Level 5 coach, ranking among the top 2% of ASCA member coaches.

Coach Yourd contributes to a positive training environment of happy, inspired, hopeful, interested, improving athletes...who love to come to practice, and who ask to do more!

Interested in how your child can benefit from the WAVES System?...Contact Coach Yourd.  "I love meeting new people and discovering what they are looking for. Let's get to know each other and have fun learning how I can help you."

The WAVES system provides a proven pathway to higher levels. Some of our achievements since 1998:

  • 15 athletes developed to USA Swimming National Championships (summer meet):  Noelle Peplowski, Eliot Kennedy, Melissa Pish, Grace Ariola, Justin Wolfe, Jacob Hanson, Lissa Tommerdahl, Lindsay Gendron, Matt Houser, Monica Drake, Caitlin Hamilton, Emily Hanson, Jamie Engan, Colleen McReynolds, Kyle Jackson.
  • The only local athlete to compete at FINA World Championships: Emily Hanson 2009, and 2010 Open Water world championships.
  • The only local athletes to become USA Swimming National Team members since the 1960s: Grace Ariola 2018-2019 season, Emily Hanson 2009-2010, and 2010-2011 seasons.
  • The only local athletes to get on the podium at Nationals - USA Swimming National Championships or Trials meet, (top 8 finish against the best swimmers in the country of all ages): Grace Ariola, Monica Drake, Emily Hanson, Caitlin Hamilton.
  • The only local athletes to compete at FINA World Junior Championships: Grace Ariola 2015 and 2017; Melissa Pish, 2015.
  • The only local athlete to compete at FINA World Junior Open Water Championships: Eliot Kennedy 2016.
  • The only local athlete to compete at Junior Pan Pacific Championships: Grace Ariola 2016.
  • The only local athletes to become a member of USA Swimming National Junior Team: Grace Ariola, 2017-2018, 2016-2017, 2015-2016 seasons; Eliot Kennedy, 2016-2017 season; Melissa Pish, 2015-2016 season; Monica Drake, 2005-2006 season.
  • National Age Group record, Colleen McReynolds, 11-12 800m FS.
  • The only local athletes to be honored as NCAA Division I All American 1st team (top 8 finish at NCAA championships), since the 1960s were developed in the WAVES program: Jacob Hanson, Eastern Michigan; Lindsay Gendron, Tennessee; Monica Drake, Arizona; Caitlin Hamilton, Purdue; Emily Hanson, Michigan.  


  • 8-time Illinois Swimming Senior Coach of the Year: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
  • Illinois Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year: 2002
  • American Swimming Coaches Association Coach of Excellence: 2017, 2007

Prior to becoming the WAVES Head Coach, Yourd was an assistant coach with the National squad at the Santa Clara Swim Club, learning from International Swimming Hall of Fame Coach Dick Jochums, and helping them to the 1998 USA Swimming National Championship men's team title.  Athletes in Yourd’s middle distance group at Santa Clara included Tom Wilkens, 2000 Olympic medalist (200 IM) and 1998 USA national champion (200 BS); Tate Blahnik, 1998 ranked 30th in the world (200 BK), and two teenage girls who were sub-1:59 in the 200 yd IM.

As an athlete, Yourd swam at the University of Michigan for USA Olympic Head Coach, Gus Stager.  After being hooked on the sport by coach Rick Han, Yourd was coached as a young swimmer by Olympic 1500m freestyler, Bill Farley (4th at 1964 Tokyo Olympics); by NCAA D-I championships 1650 freestyle finalist Jack Daly; by National High School Team Champion coach Dennis Hill, and by ASCA Hall of Fame coach Jack Simon.  Coach Yourd's vision of the sport was formed by age 8 via his interaction with members of the Ann Arbor Swim Club's 3rd place AAU Nationals women's team coached by RoseMary Dawson (daughter of Matt Mann, 'The greatest coach who ever lived.')  He first purchased and read a swim coaching book at age 13.

Coach Yourd is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a BA in Economics. In his spare time he enjoys reading out-of-print history books and gardening.

Scott Clegg



Scott's hometown is Dana, Illinois, and in his youth he swam for Streator YMCA. He has 35 years experience coaching local swimmers of all ages.  With the WAVES from 2015, and previously from 2008-2012, and in the 1980s.  Since 2007 he has coached the IWU masters team.  While attending the University of Illinois he served as Manager of the varsity swim team.  Scott is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Ag Economics.  He is a math tutor and in demand as a substitute teacher in math subjects.  With his wife Kristin he has two children, Alison and Tommy, both former WAVES team members, and three dogs. 

Paul deDianous



Paul coaches the Level 1 - Discovery squad.  A WAVES coach since 2010. "My primary goal: helping swimmers acquire the foundation to succeed when they move up to their next squad."  Previous experience: Head Coach of Marlins swim team (2009 season) and age group coach with Marlins since 2006.  Paul ran cross country in his youth for the Southern California Road Runners club and was a member of their national champion team in both the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups.  He graduated from Cal State San Bernardino, served in the Air Force Reserves, and is currently a Technical Analyst - Fraud for State Farm.  Paul has four children, two sets of twins.

Amanda Green



A resident of Bloomington since age 7, Amanda first learned to swim at the YWCA, and then at the YMCA.   She has been a swim instructor in our Y Learn to Swim school since 2014.   Amanda has served as Head Lifeguard, and Supervisor of American Red Cross certification for the Y.  She is currently the interim Aquatics Coordinator at the YMCA leading a staff of twenty.   Amanda is attending Heartland Community College finishing her AA degree in May 2019, and then will attend Illinois State starting in August 2019.  After years of observing WAVES practices, Amanda liked the excellence-orientation of our coaches so much, she requested the opportunity to join our staff.  As her first assignment, she researched, developed, and conducts the movement-core dryland at the start of Level 1 – Discovery practices.  Amanda’s hobbies are yoga and horseback riding.

Rachel Holm



Born and raised in southern Illinois, Rachel swam competitively for 14 years on the Centralia Barracudas swim team.  She attended Okawville High School and was a four sport, varsity athlete all four years.  Rachel competed in volleyball, basketball, track/field, and swimming.  She was recruited to swim at Illinois State and began as a freshman in the fall of 2014.  Her first year she set two team records in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke while finishing second at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship meet. Rachel was All-MVC first team member and named to the MVC Scholar Athlete team all four years.  She ended her senior year with a best time and first-place finish in the 100 breaststroke at the 2018 MVC Championship meet.  Rachel graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelors in Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a minor in Spanish.  She is currently attending ISU to receive her Masters in FCS-Nutrition and Dietetics while also working at the YMCA as Head Lifeguard, Deck Supervisor, and Swim Instructor.

Spencer Penland



Spencer swam for the WAVES from age 4 to 18 progressing through each of the practice squads, and swimming ten practices a week year-round with High Performance.  He competed at the Senior Sectional and State levels with distance FS as his best events.  Spencer enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment from the 'long IM sets on Saturday afternoons.'  He competed for Bloomington High School swim team all four years, graduating from BHS in 2016.  Spencer is currently enrolled at Eastern Michigan University, majoring in Finance & Marketing.  He is a contributor to SwimSwam, writing for them since September 2017, and is their Director of Social Media content.  Spencer has a photographic memory for swim times.