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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

Craig Charlson

Aquatics Director

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A Wisconsin native, Craig brings over 20 years of coaching and managing experience to Minnetokna Aquatics and has a background training athletes at the highest level. Before coming to Minnetonka as aquatics director and Minnetonka High School Girls' Swimming and Diving Head Coach in 2020, he served as the aquatics director of Asphalt Green in New York City overseeing all aquatics programming and operations including the silver medla club AGUA Swim Team as well as serving as the head coach of the masters swim team. 

Prior to his tenure at Asphalt Green, Craig compiled an impressive resume as a swim coach. He has worked with high school, club, collegiate, and Masters athletes. He served as head coach of BearCat Swim Club (now Mid Valley Aquatics) in Oregon for five years. During his tenure, the program produced one world-ranked swimmer, a national champion, and three US Olympic Trials qualifiers. He has coached at several USA Swimming camps and holds an ASCA Level 5 certification. Craig’s goal is to provide all swimmers with the best opportunity to reach their potential while building a strong sense of community. He has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Minnesota.

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 becoming State champions, State record holders, NCSA Junior National champions and reaching new heights.

Mackenzie Look

Head Junior Coach

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Coaches: Junior 1, Junior 3, White 2

We are excited to announce the hiring of Mackenzie Look as Minnetonka Swim Club’s new Head Junior Coach. Mackenzie grew up in Northern California and began swimming at the age of 4, she’s swam through high school and began teaching swim lessons at a local swim school and coaching at her alma mater the year after graduating.  

She spent four seasons as the assistant coach at The King’s Academy in the Bay Area working with both girls and boys, Varsity and JV throughout her time there, as well as one season as the Head Coach for the Varsity Girls water polo team. She began coaching club at Peak Swimming before going to Santa Clara Swim Club where she worked for four years coaching and assisting the three 10 and Under groups, that consisted of swimmers of all abilities from straight out of developmental all the way to Western Zones Qualifiers. She also worked with 13-14 and Senior level kids during her time there as well as taking on administrative duties and helping to train and develop new coaches.  In recent, Mackenzie has been with the Mission Viejo Nadadores.

Mackenzie was also in school during her time at Peak and SCSC and is now a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. She hopes to use her knowledge and passion for nutrition to teach both swimmers and parents the importance of eating well for health, longevity, and performance. She’s excited to bring her knowledge, experience, and passion for the sport to Minnetonka Swim Club, while continuing to learn and grow as a coach. 

Emma N Lawrenz

Head Age Group Coach

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Coaches: White 1, White 3, Blue 2

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. 

Molly Hebzynski

Head Developmental Coach

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Coaches: Blue 1, Developmental, Junior 2

My name is  Molly  Hebzynski and I'm so excited to be joining the Minnetonka Swim Club! I swam competitively for 12 years, beginning at NHCP followed by six years for the Maple Grove Swim & Dive Team and eventually collegiately at St. Cloud State University. At SCSU, I specialized in butterfly and sprint/mid freestyle and graduated with a degree in Mass Communications Advertising.

Previously, I worked at an architecture and engineering firm but made the decision to transition to coaching full time. I've spent the last two years coaching different high school teams and spent last summer at Stanford University coaching at their international swim camps. I love swimming because it's a lifelong skill where you meet lifelong friends!

In my free time, I love walking my dog TJ, trying new recipes, and enjoying long bike rides.

Jan E Hansen

Assistant Coach

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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.

Luke Johnson

Assistant Coach

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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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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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Scott Walker

Assistant Coach

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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.

Delaney J Ambrosen

Assistant Coach

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Delaney grew up in Excelsior and swam for both the Minnetonka Swim Club and Minnetonka High School. After graduating from Minnetonka, She attended Kenyon College in Gambier, OH. She swam backstroke and mid-distance free and qualified all four years for the NCAA Championships. Delaney is a 15-time Division III All-American and National champion. She moved back home last year and currently works as a Catastrophe Modeling Analyst and also assistant coaches for the Minnetonka girls high school team. 

Ellery A Kitt

Assistant Coach

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Elliot M Berman

Assistant Coach

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Marlene Grant

Assistant Coach

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Jeff Recker

Assistant Coach

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Doug Helm

Masters Coach

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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.  

Carrie Stolar

Masters Coach

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Originally from Naperville, Illinois, Carrie swam for a YMCA team and won numerous state championships; she also was a top eight finisher at Nationals in the 100 and 200 fly and 200 IM.  Carrie 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. 

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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