Our Coaches


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. Or maybe you just want to tell your coach they are doing a great job!

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

Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 12:00pm 

You are also welcome to visit with your coach for roughly 15 min after practice as well.

Please allow us to give our full attention to our swimmers during practice.

Meet the COACHES

Marjorie D Sherard

Head Coach/Head Age Group Coach


Marjorie is married to Jackson, and they have 2 grown children—Spencer and Dana.  Marjorie started swimming on a summer recreational swim team when she was 7 and began swimming year-round at 14 years old.  (It is NEVER too late to become a swimmer!)  Before that, she was a year-round diver until she figured out that she didn’t like crashing into the water from a platform dive but did like swimming until she was too tired to climb out of the water.  Marjorie graduated from the University of Kansas in 1988 with a degree in Early Childhood Education.  Marjorie has been coaching and teaching in one form or another since her college years.  Marjorie will be working with all Empire KC groups each week, and daily will focus on the age groupers (Penguins, Red, Black, and Gold at all 3 sites) and the Varsity group.

Carmen C Menges

Head Senior/NFG Coach


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, 18, and Macie, 14.  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.

William Henry Morrow

Assistant Coach


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 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. 

Benjamin A Krekel

Assistant Coach


Ben Krekel has been a member of the Empire staff for 5 years (formerly Kansas City Blazers).

A native of Blue Springs, Missouri, Ben attended Blue Springs South High School, where he competed for the Jaguars.

Ben currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri with his two roommates.

Nancy Lynn Tjaden

Assistant Coach


Nancy has been teaching Psychology and AP Psychology at Olathe East High School for 26 years.  She and her husband Greg have two boys; Harry and Luke.  Harry swims for Empire’s NFG.  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 will be working with the Black group at R7. 

Kerri J Gray

Assistant Coach


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 24 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 Black group, and the kids LOVE to receive her character coins!

Sydney Ann Bresette

Assistant Coach


I am a new member to the Empire Swim Club coaching staff. I attend UMKC where I am a sophomore studying to get my nursing degree. The past two years I have coached the Bent Tree Bluffs Stingrays on the Suburban Swim League. Starting this 2017 fall, I will be working with the Penguin and Red groups.

I grew up in Lee’s Summit, Missouri with my three siblings. All of us kids grew up swimming competitively together. I started my 10-year swim career on the Kansas City Blazers and continued onto Empire Swim Club. I as well swam for 3 years on the Lee’s Summit North Broncos Swim and Dive Team. With this experience, I contributed to setting the school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay that still stands today. My biggest swimming accomplishment was being able to swim again after being left paralyzed for three months due to an accident that broke my femur into three pieces.

The opportunity to expand the children’s knowledge about swimming and express to them that the values that come from the water transfer into the real world hold great meaning to me.

Elysia Katherine Niedernhofer

Assistant Coach


Elysia began her swim career at the age of 8 for SPY(Springfield YMCA) in Springfield, Illinois. She would go on to represent her team at YMCA Nationals in 2007/2008. Elysia competed at the collegiate level for Western Illinois University and Truman State University. 


Elysia started her coaching career at the age of 16 for SPY and various summer league swim teams. In 2011, she became an assistant coach for SPY while attending nursing school. She went on to coach for SPY at YMCA nationals in 2014. Elysia joined Empire Swim Club coaching staff in 2015. Besides Empire, she has coached for Riptide Aquatics and Rockwood Swim Club in Eureka, Missouri. Elysia is ASCA certified. 


When not coaching or wearing a scrub hat, she spends time being outdoors, racing, and playing with her dog Fischer.