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Coaches & Directors

  Minnetonka Swim Club offers an experienced, highly trained coaching staff. Our lead coaches are members of the American Swim Coaches Association and all of our coaches are Red Cross certified in CPR and First Aid.

As former competitive swimmers, Minnetonka Swim Club coaches understand the developmental needs of athletes and know what it takes to get better and faster. More importantly, however, they understand that each athlete is an individual--and as such, they put the long-term development of swimmers first.

Our coaches focus on technique and physical strength, giving young athletes the foundation they need to build speed and endurance over time--without getting hurt. While winning is great in the short-term, Minnetonka coaches believe it is better for swimmers to keep developing as they get older. Our coaching staff is committed to ensuring that young athletes swim to the highest level they can and want to achieve, while also preparing them for both the emotional and cognitive demands of competing. 

If you have questions or are interested in joining the Minnetonka Swim Club, please visit the Join our Club section of our website. Our coaches are also available by email (see below) or by calling 952-401-5225

Coaching Staff

Erich J Welton

Head Coach

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Coaches: National, Senior 1, Senior 2

Erich has been a member of the staff since the spring of 2014.  He served most of that time as the Head Age Group Coach before being named Head Coach in the spring of 2017.

Erich started his swimming career as an athlete in Madison, Wisconsin at the age of 6.  He attended Middleton High School where he was a state champion in the 500 Free his senior year and multiple time All-American while in high school.  From there he went on to attend the University of Minnesota where he competed for the Gophers from 2004-2008. While there, he was a member of two Big Ten Championship teams and earned his varsity letter. 

Before coming to Minnetonka Swim Club, Erich coached at Interlachen Country Club for three summers and Edina Swim Club for six years. He also served as a Lead Coach with the Team Minnesota Zone staff from 2013 to 2016.  With Edina, he coached a Minnesota state champion 9 consecutive seasons. After moving to Minnetonka, Erich continues to coach his athletes to being state champions, state record holders and reaching new heights.

Colby Kubat

Head Age Group Coach

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Coaches: Junior 1, Blue 2, Developmental

Coach Kubat joined the Minnetonka Swim Club in the fall of 2014.  In 2017 he was named the Head Age Group Coach.  In the spring of 2018 he coached his first National Age Group Top 20 swimmer and his first individual State Champion.  He is ASCA Level II certified.  Prior to 2017 Kubat previously served as an assistant coach at St. Olaf College, his alma mater.

During his time at St. Olaf, Kubat was primarily responsible for leading the sprint group.  In his first year leading the group, his swimmers broke four school records and achieved nine NCAA 'B' cuts.

Kubat is a St. Olaf graduate who competed for the Oles from 2010-14. He was a nine-time All-American, 19-time MIAC champion, and holds the school record in the 400 Medley and 400 Free Relays. He was also a member of three MIAC championship teams, and runner-up in the 100 breaststroke at the NCAA Division III Championships in 2013.

Kubat also served as an assistant coach at St. Thomas for one season. Helping lead the Tommies to a men's first place finish and a women's second place finish at the MIAC Championships. He had a hadn in coaching 10 individual MIAC champions at UST, four MIAC relay champions, and multiple NCAA qualifiers and NCAA finalists. He has also coached for Cretin-Derham Hall High School.

Kubat is from West Des Moines, Iowa and is the youngest of six siblings.  He currently resides in Chaska.

Emma N Lawrenz

Group Lead Coach

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Coaches: Junior 2, White 1, Blue 1

Emma started swimming with the Detroit Lakes Sunfish at 7 yrs old. After moving to Minnetonka she swam for Twin Citites Swim Team (Now Minnetonka), and Foxjets, where she was a 3x USA Swimming Top 10 Age Group swimmer, swam in 7 Junior National meets, and qualified for USA Swimming SR Nationals twice. On Foxjet she was awarded the Leadership Award, Coaches’ Award, and Best Attendance.

 

For high school she swam 2 years for Detroit Lakes High School and 3 years for Minnetonka High School. She qualified for the high school state meet in 20 out of 20 events over the 5 seasons and was an All-American and State medalist in 12 events.

 

She attended Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL on swimming and academic scholarships. In college she was All-Conference in 28 events over 4 years, including 22 Top-3 Finishes, as well as First Team All-Conference all 4 years. Her senior year she was Captain and led her team to the Conference Championship, Undefeated Dual Meet Record, and 4th Place Team finish at NCAA Championships, with 5 NCAA All-American swims. As a student she majored in Biology with a pre-med focus and minored in Math and Psychology. She was admitted to medical school but made the last minute decision to not go into medicine and instead pursue coaching.

 

She is an avid student of the sport of swimming and is considered a swim nerd by her coaching colleagues. Coach Emma’s coaching philosophy is centered around developing swimmers that still love swimming when they’re 18+ and her belief that “a happy swimmer is a good swimmer.”

 

Emma also loves dogs and is the proud owner of a bernedoodle named Sirius after a character from her favorite book series. 

Jan E Hansen

Group Lead Coach

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Coaches: White 2, White 3

Name Pronounced - "Yohn"

Jan Hansen started at Minnetonka Swim Club in the spring of 2019. Jan began competitive swimming in Beaver Dam WI at his local YMCA. In high school Jan swam for Beaver Dam High School where he was a multiple time state medalist and conference swimmer of the year. In his senior year Jan became the first state champion ever in swimming for Beaver Dam in the 100 free. As club swimmer Jan competed for DFAC Swim Club in Deforest WI. Throughout his club swimming career, he was a regular state qualifier, finalist, and was a state champion in the 200 Free. He also qualified for Speedo Sectionals, and Junior National meets.

In college Jan studied and swam for the University of Minnesota from 2014-2018 earning a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology of Law Crime and Deviance. He primarily swam freestyle events ranging from 50 to 500 and trained in both sprint and distance groups throughout his collegiate career. He was also privileged to serve as a team captain during his senior year.

Jan began his experience on deck as a regular counselor for the University of Minnesota Swim Camps. He then began coaching at Hopkin High School where he worked as an assistant coach for the women’s swim and dive team during the 2018-2019 season. Outside of the pool, Jan is currently working as a substitute paraprofessional in Stillwater while pursuing a future goal of attending law school.

Glenn Dworsky

Group Lead Coach

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Coaches: Junior 3

Coach Glenn grew up on a farm In southern Minnesota near the town of Northfield.   Best known for The Defeat of Jesse James Days.   Also the home of the Gators high school swim and dive team and the Bull Sharks Swim club where Glenn began his competitive swimming and later assistant and head coach for his hometown club team.   Glenn swam for Hamline University and graduated with a degree in exercise science and psychology in 2015. Later then coached with Augsburg College Women’s Swim and Dive program.   Before coming to Minnetonka, Glenn coached 3 high school season with Fridley Tigers as head coach, Assistant Boys coach for the Cougars in Mankato.   Glenn now lives with in St. Louis Park with his wife Audrey and dog Lucy.  

Sara J Bielski

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  Junior 2

Sara joined the Minnetonka Swim Club coaching staff in 2014. Sara started her swimming career swimming for Twin Cities Swim Team where she went on to swim for Minnetonka High School from 2005-2009. After, High School Sara pursued a Bachelors of Science degree in Communication Studies from Kansas State University. As an undergraduate Sara was a competitor for K-State Swimming and Lacrosse Club teams. While in school Sara was a Sports Information Intern for K-State Athletics. She also took part in media coverage for Big 12 conferences and clinics. After college Sara continued her passion for sports working for Van Wagners New Stadium team in correspondence with the Vikings. Sara enjoys swimming for Minnetonka Swim Club Masters team. 

Doug Helm

Assistant Coach/Masters Assistant Coach

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Coaches: National, Senior 1, Senior 2, Junior 1

Doug moved to Minnesota in the Spring of 2016 with his wife Marsha and daughters Penelope and Nadia. He is a project manager at General Mills, a swimmer, a masters coach, as well as an age group coach.

His swimming career began at age 10 in the Naperville, IL park district conference and continued  year-round swimming at age 12.  He attended and swam for the University of Iowa where he earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering.

Doug began his coaching career in Iowa City as the City High and West High boys coach during his 5th year at Iowa.  He continued coaching with Maverick Swim Club in Naperville IL, becoming the head age group coach from 1998-2016.  In addition to head coach activities, he lead 12 and over groups of differing ability throughout the years.  

Luke Johnson

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  Junior 3, White 1, White 3, Blue 1

Luke Johnson grew up in the Elk River Area and has been an avid swimmer his whole life.  He started swim club at 7 years old and competing ever since.  Luke achieved Zone times as a youth, swam at high school state for Elk River, swam, dove and played water polo at St. John’s University.  He also competed in US Masters Swimming earning 3 age group national championships in the 1650.

Luke started coaching in 2001.  He has years of experience coaching all levels.  In 2010, Luke was named Minnesota Swimming Development Coach of the year for the Hopkins Hurricanes. He currently leads the Blake / Providence Girls Swim and Dive team and the Cooper Boys team.  Luke is an Ironman and focuses on his athletes being physically ready and mentally prepared for practice and competing.   His philosophy is swimming should be about fun, personal improvement, and team success!

Jessica Stevenson

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  Blue 2, Developmental

Coach Jessica joined the Minnetonka Swim Club coaching staff in 2016. 

She has been coaching swimming for 15+ years at a variety of levels.  Prior to joining the Minnetonka Swim Club Staff, Coach Jess coached Masters, Age group and Developmental groups for the Twin Cities Swim Team at the University of Minnesota, was the head varsity coach at the high school level, and before that a volunteer student coach for the University of Minnesota Women's Swimming and Diving Team under the legendary Jean Freeman and Terry Ganley.  She has a degree in Recreation Administration and Sport Management with a Coaching minor from the University of Minnesota. 

Coach Jess loves the sport of swimming and is excited to be working with the awesome coaches at Minnetonka!

Christine A Kline

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  Junior 1, Junior 2, Blue 2

Chris joined the Minnetonka Swim Club coaching staff in 2016.

Chris grew up in Duluth Minnesota and swam for 6 years during both Junior High and High School swimming for the Duluth Central HS Girls Swim & Dive team.  She specialized in the 500 Free as a distance swimmer but also swam backstroke and the IM.   Chris currently swims as a member of Minnesota Masters Swimming and practices with Minnetonka Masters 3 to 4 days a week.

Chris is married and has two boys that have been swimming for the club for over 5 years with the oldest now swimming for Minnetonka HS as well.   They currently reside in Chanhassen and when not at the pool or spending time with her family, Chris works for General Dynamics as a Lead Software and Project Engineer.

 

Scott Walker

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  White 1

Scott began his swimming career just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, swimming on the Nor Gwyn summer swim team, the North Penn Aquatic Club and finally on the North Penn High School team.  In high school, Scott specialized in sprint freestyle and backstroke events, and was a 4 time All American, 3 time Pennsylvania state record holder, 4 time Pennsylvania state champion, 2 time Junior National qualifier, and team captain. 

 

Swimming at the University of Minnesota and specializing in sprint freestyle, Scott was a 5 time All American, a member of the team-record setting 4x100 free relay, Senior National qualifier, Academic All Big 10, Iron Fish Award winner, and team captain.

Sofie Wallock

Assistant Coach

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Sofie is a graduate of Wheaton Warrenville South High School, located in Wheaton, Illinois, as well as an alumna of Luther College, located in Decorah, Iowa. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, including a reading certification.

 

She has been a competitive swimmer since she was six years old. Growing up, she was a member of the Wheaton Swim Club. During high school, she was a varsity swimmer for the Wheaton Co-Op Swim Team, serving as a team captain her senior year. During her undergraduate studies, she was a varsity swimmer for the Luther College Swim and Dive team, elected as a team captain during her senior year. Throughout her tenure at Luther, she was a member of the distance team, specializing in the 1000 and 1650 yard races. 

 

Prior to coaching the Minnetonka Swim Club, Sofie coached for the Wheaton Barracudas in Wheaton, Illinois as an assistant, and then later as a head swim coach. She is also an assistant swim coach for the Blake-Providence High School Girls’ Swim Team.

Abby Hehr

Assistant Coach

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Abby Hehr is originally from Blaine, MN. That is where she swam for her high school team starting in 7th grade. When she wasn’t competing for the High school, she trained with FASTJets in Blaine. Abby specialized in backstroke and the 200 IM. Abby was a part of the state team both her junior and senior year and was captain her senior year.

Abby graduated from the University of Minnesota- Twin cities in fall 2017 with her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and is now currently a graduate student at Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis. She is getting her master’s in special education and licensure to be a Special Education Teacher. Abby is currently working at Minnetonka Middle School East in the DCD/Transition room. Abby loves helping her students at MME and is looking forward to being a part of the Minnetonka Swim Club.

Barb Scouler

Masters Coach

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Barb began her swimming career in Mt. Prospect, IL, where she still holds their record in the 200 Fee from 1980 (1:53.63), 100 Fly set in 1979 (57.78), 500 Free (5:02.04) set in 1979.  In 1978 Barb was state  champion in the 100 Fly and placed second in the 200 free; in 1979 she repeated her championship in the 100 Fly, and added the 200 Free and 500 Free.  That year she also placed third in the 200 Free.

While attending college at Southern Illinois University, Barb competed from 1980 – 1984, finishing her college career as a 16-time All American.  As a freshman, she posted a school record 35 victories, winning 27 individual events, setting 13 school records, and being an AIAW All American in four events.  Barb's swimming successs lead to her induction into the SIU Hall of Fame ~six years after graduating with a B.S. in Community Health.  She completed a Physical Therapy Assistant degree in May of 1996 at the College of St. Catherine. 

Barb continues to swim and set records today. She currently holds the national record for the 50 fly in her age group (which we're not telling) as a Minnesota Masters swimmer and has achieve All-American status in that event! 

With a strong belief in how great the sport of swimming is, one of her children also swims with the team--and she encourages nearly everyone she meets to consider taking up the sport. 

Carrie Stolar

Masters Assistant Coach

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Originally from Naperville, Illinois, Carrie swam for a YMCA team and won numerous state championships and was a top eight finisher at Nationals in the 100 and 200 fly and 200 IM.  She also competed for Naperville Central High School where she held school records in the 100-200-500 free, 100 fly and 200 IM and placed at state.

While at Vanderbilt University, Carrie was a Division II All-American in the 200 fly and 400 IM and four-year letter winner and was Vanderbilt’s Academic Athlete of the Year in 1986.  She graduated from Vanderbilt with a double major in Economics and European Studies.  Carrie also has her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Carrie gained coaching experience by coaching summer league teams in her hometown and coaching at the Courage Center. She is a Minnesota Masters swimmer and state record holder, triathlete, and a frequent competitor in summer lake swims. 

 

Gerry Vandam

Assistant Masters Coach

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Gerry is from Albuquerque, NM where he swam age group, high school, and then continued  to swim for the University of New Mexico.  While swimming at UNM, he started an AAU club team, Valley Swim Club, and was head coach for 4 years.  After graduating from UNM, he joined the United States Navy were he flew off aircraft carriers for  20 Years (A-6s, A-4s, EA6Bs, F-4s, FA-18s, E-2Bs, T-2s, T-34s and T-38s)  When not at sea, he earned two additional  degrees, a Master of Arts in International Relations  Salve Regina University and a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval War College. During his career in the Navy, he started a masters swim program at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fl.  When his kids began swimming at the ages of 7, 5, and 4, he began officiating, continued for 13 years and was certified up to National Referee.  In 1996, he retired from the USN after my Squadron Command Tour at the rank of Commander.  After the Navy, he started working for Northwest Airlines/Delta airlines and moved to Minneapolis.  He retired as a Delta Captain in 2015 after flying DC-9s, MD-88/90, A320's and 747's.

     Gerry started swimming masters during the summer of 1993 and has continued until today. He competed  in many Masters Nationals finishing in the top 10 numerous times.  He missed coaching and after retiring, he was lucky and got a chance again to work with Minnetonka Masters.

 

Alisa Richardson

Aquatics Office Coordinator

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