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 contact one of the board members. The North Suburban Aquatic Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation owned and operated by its parent company North Suburban Instructional Aquatics.  NSAC is governed by a volunteer board of directors consisting primarily of parent members elected bi-annually.  Board meetings are held on the second Monday of every month and are open to any NSAC member.  Members are welcome to attend Board meetings and are encouraged to get involved on the Board or serve on a committee.  Contact any board member if you are interested in learning about volunteer opportunities.  

Coaching Staff

Rory Coplan

Head Coach & Sr/Nat/Gold Lead Coach

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Coach Rory is the Head Coach and lead National, Senior and Junior Coach. He started swimming when he was 7 years old in Alexandria, Minnesota.  In High School he was a Four-year Letter Winner, All Conference, All Section Team, State Qualifier, and School Record Holder in the 100 Backstroke. Coach Rory also lettered in football as a two-year starter, and in baseball, receiving the Coach’s Award in his senior year. Rory swam for four years at Hamline University, where he was a four-year letter winner, all-conference and two year captain.

Coach Rory’s coaching career started in Princeton, MN, as the head coach of the girls’ team and assistant for the boys’ team in 2003 at Blaine High School.  After two years with Princeton, Rory was hired as an Assistant with the girls’ team at Blaine and was later promoted to Head Coach for the Girls’ Team.  In 2009, he also took over the Boys’ Team as Head Coach.  During his tenure at Blaine, Coach Rory has led his team to a Section Championship for the Boys’ Team (the first one in 20 years), back-to-back Section Championships for the Girls' Team in 2013 & 2014.  His teams have set 17 School Records, 6 Section Records, and 3 Pool Records.  Under Coach Rory, Blaine athletes have also had multiple top 16 and top 8 finishers at MSHSL State Championships, 5 scholarship athletes, and multiple athletes competing in college at all levels.

Coach Rory lives in Isanti, MN, with his wife and three children. 

 

Emily Firkus

Co-Junior Lead Coach

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Kristen Luedtke

Co-Junior Lead Coach

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Coach Kristen began her swimming career while attending swim camps with her dad at the age of seven. She watched him coach at St. Catherine University and fell in love with the sport. She joined the Blaine High School swim team in 7th grade, as a distance swimmer turned breaststroker, and served as captain her senior year. She went on to swim at the University of St. Thomas and specialized in the 100 & 200 breaststroke and was elected captain her senior year. She served as an assistant coach for both the girls Lakeville North High School and girls Blaine High School teams. She is looking forward to being back on deck and helping swimmers be successful. 

Randee Cardinal

Co-Lead Silver Coach

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Coach Randee began competitive swimming at eight years old.  Growing up in Blaine, she swam on local club teams and eventually joined the Blaine High School Swim Team in 7th grade. Coach Randee had a great career at Blaine. She was a state participant every year during her six years on the team, as well as, all-conference, all-section and all state honorable mention.  She was also named Team Captain her Senior Year. Coach Randee held five records during her time at Blaine, which includes the 50 and 100 freestyle, along with the three relays.

After Blaine, Coach Randee carried her swimming talents to the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and competed at a Division 1 level in the Horizon League for four years. During her time at Milwaukee, Coach Randee was a pool record holder in the 400 freestyle relay and also helped Milwaukee reach two Conference Championships in 2012 and 2013.  Coach Randee graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2013 with a degree in Kinesiology and a certificate in Nutrition.

Swimming has always been something Coach Randee has been passionate about and she is looking forward to sharing her swimming knowledge with the NSAC swimmers.

 

Tristan Gustafson

Lead Bronze Coach

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Coach Tristan began competitive swimming with NSAC as a 4th grader. He was also part of the Mounds View High School Swim Team, and went on to become a member of the UW-Stout Swim Club. His specialty is long-distance, and he has always considered endurance to be his strong-suit. While attending UW-Stout, Tristan began his coaching career with MAAC as the lead coach of their equivalent to Bronze. After moving back to the Twin Cities in 2017, he began to coach with NSAC. When not coaching, Tristan spends his time as a Graphic Designer.

Jessica K France

Assistant Coach

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Jessica grew up in Eau Claire, WI where she was a multi-sport athlete in swimming, basketball and track. While she continued with her other sports throughout her high school career, swimming was a natural fit for her and she enjoyed outstanding success.

As a result of Jessica's accomplishments at the high school level, she was awarded an NCAA Div 1 swimming scholarship to swim in the (then) PAC-10. Being thousands of miles away from home wasn't for her, though, and she transferred to UW-Eau Claire to swim and continue her studies in Kinesiology and Sports Medicine. At UWEC, Jessica was a six time NCAA Division III All American, a school, pool and conference record holder.

After college, Jessica continued her swimming career with US Masters Swimming where she was a WI and MN state record holder, National Champion, 24-time National Top 10 record holder and placed 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 17th at the World Championships in 2006. Most recently, Jessica reached a long-desired goal of winning US Masters Y National Titles utilizing all 4 competitive strokes. She was a national champion in Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly and the Individual Medley.

More impressive than her swimming accomplishments is her incredibly positive and motivating attitude. Diagnosed with a brain aneurysm nearly a decade ago, and 3 brain surgeries later, she has faced and overcome incredible odds. Jessica knows that sports such as swimming provide great opportunities for children and adults to form lasting friendships, develop lifelong healthy habits and solidify an exemplary work ethic – no matter the obstacles!

Chris Yauch

Assistant Coach

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Coach Chris began swimming lessons at the age of 2, and eventually progressed to swimming with the Northwest YMCA Marlins, and then the Mounds View High School Swim Team, where he was captain for a year.  In 2000, he began working with the Northwest YMCA as a lifeguard and swim instructor, and he is still employed by them.  Also during his work experience at the YMCA, he coached the Marlins swim team for several years and became a Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor.

 Chris became the assistant coach.  He remained the assistant coach there for 4 years, and is now the assistant coach of the Mounds View High School Girls Swim Team.  He has also been the assistant coach for the Mounds View Boys Swim Team for over 6 years.

Coach Chris graduated from Mounds View High School in 2002 and is going back to college to work towards a Bachelor's Degree in Education.

Board of Directors

Rory Coplan

Head Coach

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Melissa Rhodes

President-Elect

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Dan Zebell

Treasurer

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Carrie McCollor

Secretary

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Angie Zebell

MSI Liaison

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Alan J Harris

Safety Officer

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Shane C Smith

Board Emeritus

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Jason McIntyre

Member At Large

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Alicia Marie Bina

Member At Large

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