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Our Coaches

Our COACHING STAFF


Our coaches are here to guide your swimmers to their best experience. We would love to hear from you with your questions, comments or concerns. 

For the fastest response, please reach out during our office hours:

Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 12:00pm 

Please allow us to give our full attention to our swimmers during practice.  We are happy to set up appointments to meet with parents and swimmers before or after practices.

Coaching Staff

Marjorie D Sherard

Head Coach/Head Age Group Coach

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Marjorie grew up swimming in the KC metro area at age 7 and began swimming year-round at age 14.  She graduated from the University of Kansas in 1988 with a BA in Early Childhood Education.  After coaching summer recreational swim teams during college, Marjorie began her professional swim coaching career in the San Diego area in 1990.

While moving around the country with her husband Jackson (now retired from the US Marine Corps!), Marjorie continued to coach and teach in elementary schools. Marjorie returned to full time club coaching in the KC area in 2009 and joined Empire KC in 2017.  Coaching with Empire KC is her dream job, as she gets to work with the Board of Directors, Coach Carmen, the assistant coaches, and the swimmers and families to continue Empire's growth as a team known for its commitment to character and fast swimming!  Marjorie coaches the Varsity, Gold, and Red groups in Missouri.  

Marjorie has served in several Missouri Valley positions, including Scheduling Chair, Zone coach, All Star coach, Diversity Camp and Meet coach, and most recently Operational Risk Chair.  Marjorie has twice been named Missouri Valley Age Group Coach of the Year, as voted by her coaching peers.  Marjorie has also served as an assistant coach at USA Swimming's Central Zone Select Camp.  

Marjorie and her husband have 2 grown children, Spencer and Dana.  Marjorie and Jackson's toddler granddaughter is the light of their lives!  

 

Carmen C Menges

Head Senior/NFG Coach

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Carmen swam as a youth in summer league, club swimming, and high school swimming.  A KU graduate, Carmen has a BA in Human Biology with a minor in physics and a minor in chemistry.  Carmen is married to Jim, and they have two children, Jacob, 19, and Macie, 15.  In her spare time, Coach Carmen loves to run, bike, swim, play basketball, watch basketball, play volleyball; she loves sports. AND, she claims to be a very good pogo stick jumper who plans to set a record one day!

On deck, Carmen has devoted her time tirelessly to this swim team, working with all groups and doing whatever was necessary.  She now works primarily with the Senior and National Focus groups.

Timothy F Bruck

Assistant Coach

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Coach Tim is excited to be on deck with Empire KC as the Head Site Coach for Olathe, working wtih all the groups there.  He has a passion for the sport of swimming and the valuable life lessons it teaches.  He has competed in USA swimming and the collegiate level, as well as on the Half Ironman triathlon circuit.  You might have seen him on deck as a USA Swimming Official for the past 10 years.  “I am excited to work with your young athletes and the excellent Empire KC coaching staff.  My commitment to you is to work with your child to develop exceptional water abilities, sportsmanship, build character, and a passion for lifelong fitness/competition."

Tim and his wife Marcelle have 4 children:  Sam, Marie, Sophie, and Penny. 

Aleksandar NMN Tasic

Coach - Olathe

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EMPIRE KC is proud to welcome Aleksander Tasic to our coaching staff!  Aleks continues to be a guiding force at our Olathe site, working with all the groups.  Aleks is dedicated to the swimmer as an individual and the personal growth that swimming can offer. 
 
As an accomplished non-professional long course triathlete, Aleks is a 3-time Ironman finisher and 2012 Ironman 70.3 Worlds qualifier/ finisher.  He also coaches adult runners, cyclists and triathletes who are competing in various endurance events.  Aleks coached swimmers in Missouri Valley between 2009 and 2013. He served on the Missouri Valley All Star team coaching staff in 2014.  Aleks achieved ASCA Level 2 certification and has completed the courses for Level 3 and Level 4.
 
Aleks and his wife have 2 children who are accomplished swimmers.  Aleks says, "Raising swimmers enables me to relate well to parents of young athletes. As a firm believer in giving back to sport, I take a great joy in working with young athletes. My deepest belief and favorite quote comes from the best marathoner human kind has ever known, Eliud Kipchoge: 'No human is limited.'"

William Henry Morrow

Assistant Coach

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Henry has been coaching for more than 40 years.  He is a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and he graduated with Bachelors and Masters degrees from Eastern Carolina University.  He spent 25 years coaching in Atlanta, GA for Swim Atlanta, where some of his age group swimmers went on to become national record holders and Olympians. In 2004, he relocated to the Kansas City area, coaching for the Kansas City Blazers, retiring in 2016.  His passion for swimming would not allow him to stay out of the sport, and he returned to the pool deck, this time for Empire KC. Henry works primarily with the Black group in Missouri, and he assists with the National and Senior groups in Missouri.  

Henry now lives in Louisburg, KS with his 2 dogs, Jack and LS.  In his spare time, Henry enjoys making marbles—no kidding—and sometimes awards those creations to the swimmers. 

Nancy Lynn Tjaden

Assistant Coach

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Nancy has been teaching Psychology and AP Psychology at Olathe East High School for 27 years.  She and her husband Greg have two boys; Harry and Luke.  Harry swims for Empire’s National group.  She has been coaching for 30+ years for summer teams, as a head high school coach, and with USA clubs.  She joined Empire KC in 2015. Nancy primarily works with the Gold group in Missouri. 

Kerri J Gray

Assistant Coach

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Kerri grew up in Sleepy Hollow, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She currently lives with her husband Phil and four daughters, Alison, Jennifer, Katie, and Sammie, in Lee’s Summit. Kerri swam in high school and then collegiately at Northeast Missouri State University. She completed her swimming career at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Her biggest swimming accomplishment is swimming at the collegiate level after undergoing surgery to remove half of her lung due pneumonia.

Outside the pool, Kerri is a Marriage and Family Therapist with 26 years experience.  She spends time facilitating educational programs and workshops on bullying, parenting, conflict resolution and other health and wellness topics mainly in the Lee’s Summit area and throughout the KC Metro.   On deck, she primarily works with the Gold group in Missouri, and the kids LOVE to receive her character coins!

Leslie H Stikeleather

Assistant Coach

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Christina Anne Copeland

Assistant Coach

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Chris was born in Colorado and grew up in Overland Park.  She began swimming at the age of 6 at a local country club in the Mo-Kan league and later year round at KCAC Swim Club.  Chris began coaching for Johnson County  Parks & Recreation in the late 70s and through college. After college she worked in the pharmaceutical industry for nearly 30 years and returned to her passion of coaching in 2010.  Chris currently coaches the boys and girls high school teams at Shawnee Mission South and all age groups during summers at Brookridge Country Club.  At Empire, she coaches primarily the Black group in Olathe.  She is honored to be a part of Empire!!!!  

Katarina Jo Sickle

Assistant Coach

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Katt grew up in Grain Valley, MO. She started swimming at 7 years old for the YMCA penguins and soon joined the Kansas City Blazers and swam for the team for 10 years. After high school she swam at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2012-2018. While she was there she was a four-time academic All-Big Ten, and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. She was on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll from the fall of 2012 to spring of 2018. In 2014 and 2015 Katt received the Nebraska Big Ten Sportsmanship’s Award. Katt was also the recipient of the Nebraska Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Award in 2017, and the Nebraska Heart & Soul Award in 2018. Katt qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trails in the 400 freestyle. She graduated from Nebraska in 2016 with her Bachelors in Elementary Education. She furthered her education by receiving her Masters in Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education with and emphasis in English Language Leaners as well as Technology Leadership in 2018 from Nebraska. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher in the Independence School District. She enjoys swimming, running, working out, and riding her bike. She loves being outside, doing any outdoor activity, reading, and hanging out with family and friends. 

Katt works primarily with the Red group in Missouri. 

Kyle Marshall McDonald

Assistant Coach

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Coach Kyle first learned to swim at age 3, while living abroad in Japan. He began his competitive swimming career with the Lionsgate Lions at the age of 9. In high school, he swam on the Varsity team at Blue Valley West and was a 7-time state finalist at the KSHSAA State Championships. Throughout junior high and high school he competed year-round as a member of the Kansas City Dolphins and the KC Blazers swim teams. Kyle swam at Kenyon College, helping the team win three consecutive Division III NCAA national champions (2013-2015). In addition, Kyle is the head coach of the Mill's Farm Mustangs summer league swim team. Kyle worked in New York City before returning to the KC metro area.  

Kyle will work primarily with the National and Senior groups in Missouri and is actively involved in designing the strength training program for our team. 

When he's not on the pool deck, you can find Kyle at the dog park playing with his two Australian Shepard puppies, Hercules and Atlas.   

Madison Rose Carrigan

Assistant Coach

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Maddie Carrigan grew up swimming year-round in Austin and eventually in Kansas City.  She graduated from Blue Valley Southwest High School and was a state finalist on their high school state championship swim teams. She attended Long Island University Brooklyn, where she earned a swimming scholarship.  Maddie graduated with a BA in Media Arts, Film & Television Production. 

 

Maddie has coached at Mills Farm summer team for several years, guiding the swimmers to championships along the way.  She was instrumental in structuring the team with an emphasis on character and technique, making her a great match with Empire’s philosophy.  Maddie will be coaching the Red, Black, and Varsity groups in Kansas.  

Deidre D Peterson

Assistant Coach

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Deidre grew up in Topeka Kansas and swam for the Lawrence Aquahawks in Highschool. As a freshman, she swam for the University of Kansas. After her freshman year, she transferred to Drury University. At Drury, she was a part of the National team all three years. Drury men and women were also National Champions Division 2 all three years. Deidre was an All American while swimming at Drury, where she got her degree in Elementary Education. After graduating, she became a graduate assistant for Drury's swim team. Helping coach two more National teams to victory both years. Deidre graduated with her Masters in Special Education. During the summers she helped coach Springfield Aquatics and summer league teams in the area.

She began teaching in the Springfield area also coaching two different high school teams. After having her son, she decided to spend more time at home. Two and a half years ago Deidre’s husband got a new job which brought her family to Kansas City.  Last year Deidre coached for Olathe South's swim team.

Deidre loves all things sports-related, especially her Kansas Jayhawks! She still swims in her spare time but also enjoys running and weight lifting. When she’s not at the pool you can find Deidre spending time with her four favorite guys… Nathan (her husband), Colin (her son) and her two dogs Duke and Speedo! Yes, she has a dog name Speedo!