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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. He coached 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 Minneapolis.

Haley J Spencer

Group Lead Coach

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Coaches: Junior 2, White 1, White 2

Haley came to Minnesota from O'Fallon, MO where she swam for Rockwood Swim Club. In high school, Haley was an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100 and 200 breast and 400 IM. Haley also was the 2008 Junior National Champion in the 200 breast. 

Continuing her swimming career at the University of Minnesota, Haley was named a team captain in 2012 and 2013, helping the team to a Big Ten Championship both of those years. Haley was a 4 time Big Ten Champion and set the Big Ten Record in the 200 breast in 2013. In 2011, Haley was the NCAA Champion in the 200 breast and was the runner-up in the same event in 2012 and 2013.  

Also in college, Haley was a member of the 2011 Pan-American Games US National Team and placed 2nd in the 200 breast. Haley qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100 and 200 breast and the 200 and 400 IM. She placed 7th overall in the 200 breast. 

Haley gained experience in coaching through working with a summer league team in O'Fallon and working with the U of M swim camps. 

Haley received her degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2013. 

 

Dan Bielski

Group Lead Coach

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Coaches: Junior 3, White 3, Blue 1

Dan has been a part of the Minnetonka staff since summer of 2014 and has worked with a wide variety of the groups amongst the team. Dan continues his long time Minnetonka career giving back to the team that has given him so much. He is a 2013 Minnetonka alumni who has been a part of the team every since it developed. As well as working as a member of the club program, Dan continues to assist with the High School swim teams as well. 

Pursuing his swimming career through college, Dan went to UW-Whitewater and swam all four years primarily swimming butterfly and backstroke. At Whitewater he was runner up in the 100 and 200 backstroke events during his senior year as well as establishing a new school record in the 100 butterfly. His final semester of school, Dan assisted with the UW collegiate team who brought 3 athletes to the DIII NCAA Championships. He graduated from Whitewater in December 2017 with a degree in Human Health, Performance, and Recreation. 

Furthering his education, Dan looks to apply to various graduate programs in hopes of becoming a Physical Therapist and Certified Strength and Condition Specialist in the upccoming future. He enjoys continuing to swim as a part of the masters program and wants to remain competitive with his own swimming. 

Daniel M Berve

Aquatics Director

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Coaches: 

Dan joined the Minnetonka Swim Club staff in 2007. 

Originally from Papillion, Nebraska, Dan was a high school All-American who led his team to the 2003 Nebraska state championship and enjoyed personal wins in the 100 back (2 years), 200 free (3 years), and 500 free (1 year).

A 2007 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Dan was also a 2006-07 team captain, five-time All-American, five-time Big Ten finalist, two-time CSCAA Academic All-American, and ranks third all-time at Minnesota in 100 fly, fifth in the 100 back, and ninth in the 200 back.  Following his final year as a Gopher, he competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials in the 100 fly and 100 back. 

Dan gained experience by coaching U of M camps, summer league teams and as a fifth-year volunteer coach for the U of M men’s team. He also holds a Masters degree in Applied Kinesiology and Sport Management from the University of Minnesota. 

Since coaching for Minnetonka Swim Club, Dan has coached multiple state and zone champions, National Top 10 athletes, and state record holders. 

Dan is the Director for Minnetonka Aquatics.  He also currently serves as Head Coach for the Minnetonka High School Girls' and Boys' Swim & Dive Teams and has been Section Head Coach of the Year in 2012 (girls), 2013 (girls) 2014 (boys), 2015 (girls), 2016 (girls), and 2017 (boys).  He also is an member of the Board of Directors for Minnesota Swimming, Inc. (MSI) and has served as the Chair of the Technical Planning Committee for MSI from 2013-2017.

Jessica Stevenson

Assistant Coach

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Coaches: Blue 2

Jessica has been coaching swimming since 1999 and is certified as a level two member of ASCA. She graduated with a B.S. in Recreation Administration and Sport Management (and a minor in coaching)  from the University of Minnesota, where she also spent a year as a volunteer swim coach and manager for the University of Minnesota Women's swimming and diving team under Coach Jean Freeman and Coach Terry Ganley. Jessica has been a head varsity swim coach at the high school level, as well as a lead swim coach for the TWIN Cities Swim Team, from developmental swimmers to Masters swimmers; and was also an  Aquatic Event Management Specialist at the University of Minnesota, helping to plan and run National-level competitions there

Jessica joined the Minnetonka Swim Club coaching staff in 2016. 

In addition to coaching for the Minnetonka Swim Club, Jessica is a Senior Administrative Assistant in HR for Target Headquarters in Minneapolis, and the treasurer for the Gopher Swimming and Diving Fast Lane Fans Booster Club. 

Sara J Bielski

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  Junior 2, White 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. 

Christine A Kline

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  Junior 3, White 1, White 2, Blue 1

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.

 

Matt Girard

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  Senior 1&2, Junior 3, White 1, Blue 1

Matt Girard has been part of Minnetonka since 2016. He has been assistant coach to almost all the different groups, mostly coaching the Junior and Senior groups.

Continuing swimming through college at St Cloud State University, he was primarily a 100/200 Breaststroker, mid-distance Freestyler, and an IM swimmer. Matt placed first in the 200 Breaststroke at the Midwestern Collegiate Championship in 2010. He was also the Breaststroke leg of the record setting 400 Medley Relay at SCSU in 2009. Matt continues to train and swim at the competitive level.

Currently, Matt Girard is pursuing his Doctorate in Physical Therapy, leaning towards Sports Therapy and getting someone with an injury back to competitive, or exercise, health. He has always had a love of sports and exercise, and wants to see others have the ability to do what they want to do in life, free of pain. He also wishes to become a Personal Trainer soon, and combine both aspects into one, with a minor branch in Nutrition Health. Matt is currently observing PT at Southdale, Edina, and the Eden Prairie Twin Cities Orthopedic Clinics.

Samantha Kraft

Assistant Coach

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Coaches:  White 3, Blue 2, Developmental

Sam was born and raised in Mason City, Iowa, and swam for the Mason City Swim Club since the age of 7. The club would later be renamed to North Iowa Splash. In High School, Sam was four-year letter winner, four-year state qualifier in 200 and 500, two-time All-American in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay, and still holds the school record in the 400 free relay. After high school, Sam went to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. She was three-time conference champion, 18-time all conference honoree, and the holds the school/conference record in 1650. This past summer, Sam was a swim camp counselor at Kenyon College with Total Performance Swim Camps working with 12&unders. She has also been teaching swim lessons for 8+ years at her local pool and at Luther. Sam recently graduated from Luther College in May 2018 with a degree in Accounting/Mathematics. She is now working in Eden Prairie as an accountant at a pharmaceutical company.

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.  

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. 

 

Thomas J Duxbury

Masters Assistant Coach

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Tom grew up in Crystal, MN and attended Cooper High School. He is a 1983 graduate of St John’s University where he was an All American swimmer. Tom graduated from St John’s with a BS in Math. Tom is also a two time All American water polo player and played with the National Water Polo Team in the 1989 and 1990 Olympic Festivals. He has coached water polo at St John’s for the last 10 years.  Tom brings a strong background in strength and dryland training to his Minnetonka Masters coaching position. Tom’s son, Joe, swam for Minnetonka and St John’s for 4 years where he was the MIAC Elite 22 award winner.