Our coaches are here to support your swimmers! If your questions are related to swim practice, meets and any other swimming needs, please contact your swimmer's lead coach. Otherwise, feel free to contact with any other questions or concerns.

Mike Parratto – Co-Program Director, Team Head Coach, Lead Senior Elite Coach, Masters Coach

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Coach Parratto is a highly respected coach around the country, not only for what he has done with his athletes in the water, but also for the type of people they have become out of the pool. He is a current USA Swimming National Team Coach. Among his many coaching accomplishments, Coach Parratto has been a member of the United States National Team Trip List, the United States Olympic International Operation Committee, the New England Swimming Board of Directors, Advisory Coach for the 1992 Olympic Team in Barcelona, Spain, Assistant Coach for Team USA at the FINA Junior World Swimming Championships, Assistant Coach for the 1993 National Junior Team in Paris, France, and Assistant Coach for the 2006 National Junior Team in Melbourne, Australia.  He is an American Swimming Coaches Association Level 5 certified coach. During his career, coach Parratto has had many Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals and Olympic Trial qualifiers.  Mike was the Head Swimming Coach at the Seacoast Swimming Association in Dover, New Hampshire from 1984 to 2010. His most accomplished athletes include four-time Olympian and World Record Holder Jenny Thompson and, currently, Junior World Record Holder, 2017 World Championship finalist and USA Swimming National Team Swimmer Regan Smith. After two years as the Head Coach for the Lawrence Swim Team in Indiana, Coach Parratto began coaching for the Riptide Swim Team in the fall of 2012. He is the lead coach for Senior Elite.

Michelle Hopewell – Lead Senior Select Coach

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Along with coaching Senior Select, Michelle is one of our Lead Homeschool coaches. An elite swimmer herself, Michelle is a former captain of the University of MN Women's Swim Team where she received a B.S. degree in Scientific and Technical Communications.  She also served as an Age Group and Masters coach with Twin Cities Swim Team at the U of M for eight years. A full-time mother of three, she is credited with developing the Wave Swim Team at Wise Swim School as well as helping to build Riptide from the ground level. Her laser focus on technique has enabled her swimmers to consistenly outperform their training level. Michelle is an ASCA Level 2 Certified Coach.  She has been with Wise Swim School and now the Riptide Swim Team since 2007.

Amy Parratto - Lead 8 & Under Coach, Lead Senior Coach, Masters Coach and Team Manager

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Amy’s involvement with swimming began in high school and later expanded into diving. She was a captain and a five-time All American in diving at Wellesley College, where she received a B.A. in Psychology and Studio Art. After graduating in 1983, she began coaching  with the Seacoast Swimming Association in Dover, New Hampshire. Amy was the Head Age Group Coach for SSA from 1984 to 2009. From 2010 to 2012, she was one of the lead Age Group Coaches for the Lawrence Swim Team in Indiana. She is an ASCA Level 4 certified coach and also a certified USA Diving Coach. Amy is married to Mike. They have two daughters, Jessica (23) and Melissa (26). She is also one of the coaches and members of Riptide Masters Team. Amy joined the Riptide staff in the fall of 2012.

Emily Blasko - Lead Silver 3 Coach, Lead Junior Select & Junior Coach
Emily is very much familiar with the world of competitive swimming. She swam for Aquajets and Coach Kate Lundsten throughout her high school years and continued her swim journey into college where she competed with Boise State University for all four years. Her specialty was the mile and the 200 butterfly so she gets bonus points for guts!

Emily graduated with a bachelors degree in Communications in December of 2015 and rejoined Aquajets as a coach the following spring. Prior to her time coaching with Aquajets, she served as head coach for one season at Saint Paul Central High School for both the boys’ and girls’ swim teams. Her infectious, lifelong passion for swimming will now greatly benefit Riptide's athletes as she works hard, every day, to improve the swimmers in her groups! 

Emily's interests include hiking and kayaking…and, she says, “making funny faces at kids!” 

Maggie McMahon - Lead Coach Bronze 1/2, Lead Coach Silver 1 or

Maggie grew up in Lakeville, MN, where she developed her great love of swimming. As a 4 th  grader, she joined the Lakeville swim team and continued swimming through high school on the varsity team. Her favored events were distances. She went on to earn a degree in elementary education from St. Kate’s University in St. Paul, MN. Maggie has spent the last 10 years put her teaching skills to work by coaching young swimmers for the South Metro. In addition, she took on other coaching opportunities including coach of the Prior Lake Middle School Girls swim team, being a camp coach at St.Olaf's Swim Camp and Zones coach/ team manager. She also helped grow a new learn to swim program in Prior Lake.  Maggie looks forward to working with the young swimmers joining Riptide.

Leigh Lewis - Lead Silver 2 Coach

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Leigh began competitive swimming with Star Swim Team in St. Paul at age 10. She also swam for South East Metro Sharks Swim Club in Woodbury along with her sister and two brothers. Leigh was a member of the Girl's Swim Team for Harding High School in St.Paul and specialized in 200 IM and backstroke. Leigh went on to compete for St. Cloud State University specializing in backstroke. Additionally, she competed on the Women's Golf Team, and Women's Hockey Team. Leigh earned a B.A. from St. Cloud State in Criminal Justice. She worked as a police officer for St. Paul Police Department from 1993-2002. Leigh has also been a Masters coach and Masters swimmer since 2011. Leigh and her husband Jason have two daughters. Lindsey is a distance swimmer for St. Cloud State University and Lauren swims with Riptide in the Senior Elite group. 

Jim Ertl – Lead Senior Elite-Sprint Coach

Riptide is excited to announce the appointment of Jim Ertl as the new Senior Elite-Sprint coach. Jim brings 40+ years of proven coaching experience to the benefit of our Sprint athletes. Here are a few highlights from Jim’s career:

  • Swam competitively in high school in both Medford, WI and in Placerville, CA
  • Swam 4 years at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he was a National Qualifier
  • Head Club Swim Coach from 1976-‘79
  • Head Swim Coach Logan High School in La Crosse from 1979-‘80
  • Head Swim Coach - Boy’s & Girl’s Teams for Rosemount High School from 1980-2010. During Jim’s tenure, the team lost only a handful of meets in 30 years, produced numerous All Americans, won State Championships and numerous Conference Championships
  • Head Swim Coach – Boy’s Rosemount Middle School from 1980-2010
  • Previous President of the State Swim Coaches Association
  • Awarded High School State Coach of the Year

Marina Rizzo - Lead High School Training Squad Coach

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Peggy Kratz - Assistant Coach

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Peggy has been involved in swimming for many years both as a swimmer and coach.  Some of the highlights of her early competitive swimming career include 2 time MN State High School champion, All American at Hamline University and College of St Catherine’s and inductee into the Athletic Hall of Fame for both of these schools.  In the mid-1980’s she became the head swim coach for both Derham Hall and Cretin High Schools.  She has been part of the coaching staff for several USS teams and other schools working with novice to collegiate swimmers.  She attended graduate school at St. Cloud State University where she earned her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology.  Peggy has worked as a Cardiac Rehab Therapist at Fairview Ridges Hospital for over 20 years.  She is a member of the Riptide Masters Team. As a masters swimmer she has come to enjoy the challenges of open water swimming.  She lives in Apple Valley with her husband and daughter.

Wendy Peterson - Assistant Coach

Wendy Peterson started her swimming career in northern California as a 6 year old and was a competitive swimmer in all strokes until she reached high school and focused mainly on distance events.  She moved to Madison, Wi at the tender age of 13 and swam on her varsity high school swim team for 4 years, setting pool and state records in the 500 free.  She also competed at Junior Nationals in numerous events during her high school years.  Wendy went on to be a “Golden Gopher” and swim varsity at the University of MN for 4 years.  She is passionate about swimming and has enjoyed competing in triathlons and now open water events as a Riptide Masters Team member.  Wendy enjoys working with the younger kids, watching them learn, have fun and improve in the water.  She lives in Eagan with her husband and 3 children.

Sean Maguire - Assistant Coach - Bronze 1/2

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Sean Maguire started his competitive swimming career when he was 10 years old.  He swam for CAA until he was in middle school.  In middle school, he was asked to join the junior varsity for Saint Thomas Academy High School.  He swam on the high school Swim Team until he graduated from Saint Thomas. He is now an Emergency Medical Technician and in school to become a paramedic.  He started teaching swimming in 2010 at Wise Swim School and truly loved what he was doing and tried to learn as much as he could.  He became a Manager at Wise Swim School in 2013. He is a lead coach for the Bronze 1 and Bronze 2 teams at Wise Swim School, and he is an assistant coach for  Bronze 3, Junior Gold, and Junior Elite. Sean joined the Riptide staff in 2014.

Heidi Hausknechts-Wright - Assistant Coach 

Originally from Salt Lake City, UT, Heidi attended the University of Utah on a full ride swimming scholarship and graduated with a BS degree in Family Studies and Human Development.  She was the Women’s Team Captain, first female NCAA Division I All American in swimming at the University of Utah and also competed at the Olympic Trails in 2000. Heidi is passionate about teaching technique and building life skills through athletics. Heidi resides in Apple Valley with her husband and two young children.

Cara Pavek - Assistant Coach

Cara grew up in Lake Forest, MN and began her competitive career in 9th grade. She continued swimming into college at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls where she earned her B.A. in Business Administration and All-American honors in swimming. After college, Cara coached for the girls high school teams in White Bear Lake and Rosemount. In addition to her swimming experience, Cara is also a certified Personal Trainer, A USAT Certified Triathlon Coach and a full-time mom. She lives in Rosemount with her husband and 4 kids and loves to compete in triathlons.

Karl Kindseth - Assistant Coach

Karl started his swimming career in Fresno, CA at the age of 6.  Swimming (and parents) took him to Grand Forks, ND and Bismarck, ND and then back to Napa, CA where he swam for the Napa Seahawks.  Karl swam for the Seahawks for 4 years and was able to participate in the Far Westerns and Junior National Championships.  In 1984 Karl moved to MN with his family and started swimming for Rosemount High School and the RAVE Swim Team.  One of Karl's favorite memories was swimming for and representing the state of MN at Zones in Des Moines, IA in 1985. After high school, Karl took a long hiatus from swimming until 2003 when he was asked to coach at Falcon Ridge Middle School.  3 Years later he started coaching with Eagan High School and soon after that, Dakota Hills Middle School where he is still coaching 12 years later. Karl has two children Evan (13) and Claire (10) who both swim for Riptide and have since its inception. Karl enjoys coaching at all levels working on clean, quiet swimming.  No Thrashing!  Most of all he wants kids to enjoy the sport, enjoy their time in the water and enjoy the friendships they build throughout their swimming careers.


Penny Lindgren - Homeschool and Assistant Coach


Logan Vogt - Assistant Coach


Lexi Vogt - Assistant Coach


Theresa Jurisch - Assistant Coach


Paul Smith - Co-Program Director

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Paul leads all aspects of our program development including staffing, group structure, staff development & training, meet structure/schedules, parent education, instructional clinics, private lessons and program customer service. Paul's daughter, Regan, swims in the Senior Elite group.

Coaching Staff