Coaches & Directors
Coaching Staff

Jim Whitehead


Jim Whitehead began with Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics in April of 2016.  As Head Coach, Jim oversees all aspects of the club, and he coaches the Senior High Performance groups.  Jim's execution of his vision for Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics has guided the program to recognition from USA Swimming as a Bronze Medal team in 2016, and to Silver Medal status in 2017, 2018, and 2019.  

Jim also has the priviege of being twice named as a USA Swimming National Team Coach in both 2019 and 2020.  

He has been the primary coach for 14 Olympic Team Trials qualifiers, multiple Senior National and Junior National medalists, and has placed multiple swimmers on USA Paralympic national team rosters.  

In the Spring of 2018, Jim guided the club to Speedo Sectional Series Championship Spring 2018 while graduating 11 Scholastic All-Americans that season.  

USA Swimming National Select Camp Home Coach: 2016, 2017, 2018

USA Swimming National Open Water Select Camp Home Coach: 2017

Ian Townsend


Head Coach of Mid Michigan Aquatics 2013-2019

Coached athletes to Senior National, Junior National, NCSA & Sectional Standards

Coached a swimmer to the 2018 Jr Pan Pacs Team in Siva, Fiji

Head Coach of DeWitt Area Swim Team 2012

Head Coach of Grand Ledge High School Boys 2005-2015

Head Coach of Grand Ledge High School Girls 2008-2018

Head Coach of Lansing Eastern High School 2004-2005

USA Swimming Zone Select Camp 2018 (Cincinnati, Ohio) - Assistant Coach

USA Swimming Zone Select Camp 2020 (Tempe, Arizona) - Assistant Coach

USA Swimming Open Water National Select Camp 2018 - Home Coach

USA Swimming National Select Camp 2017 - Home Coach

Alexandra Wilkins

Assistant Coach, SR Sprint Coach


Alex joined MLA in 2018 and leads the Junior Blue group and Senior Sprint Groups.  

Her background in swimming begins with the Hamilton Swim Team and Hamilton High School teams.  She was a sprint freestyler for Albion College, finishing school with a degree in Health Communications from Grand Valley State University.  

Alex has already coached several Sr National qualifiers and medalists in and was the primary coach for her first Jr National qualifier/finalist in 2019.  She has already been on deck representating MLA's National Team at Phillips 66 Nationals and Speedo Winter and Summer Jr Nationals.  

Norm Vermeuln

Assistant Coach


Jean-Luc Miralda

Head Diving Coach


Jean Luc Miralda joined our Michigan Lakeshore staff in  2017 as our Head Diving Coach.

Miralda brings to MLA a weath of local, national and international experiance as both an athlete and a coach. During his athletic career, Miralda broke and set numeros records on both 1, 3  and 10 meter events, graduated an NCAA DIII All-American and MIAA Champion. Miralda was also an olympic hopeful for the 2016 Honduran National Diving Team.

Over the last 2 years, Michigan Lakeshore Diving has grown inmensly producing over 30 state qualifiers in all highschool divisions, 5 USA Zone qualifiers and 1 Jr. National Qualifiers.

Sara Kadzban

Meet Director


Coach Sara's love of aquatics began at an early age developing into a passion for competitive and fitness aquatics.  She learned to swim as a member of our SwimAmerica program at the HCAC and swam for MLA and Holland High School.  A graduate of Northern Michigan University, Sara has a degree in Health & Fitness Management and is excited to work in aquatics in her home community.  She has been a member of the coaching here at MLA for 8 years.

Her resume in the past year as meet director includes successfully orchestrating high school / middle school meets, the MHSAA Division 3 State Championships, Hope College's Invite meets, the MIAA Championships, and multiple Michigan Swimming State Championships.