Coaches & Directors
Coaching Staff

Ethan Jacobsen

Head Coach


This will be Ethan's second year at Missouri State Aquatics.  He was originally from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois where he swam year-round starting at the age of 4, and swam for Normal Community High School.   Previously, Ethan had been coaching for 8 years (2010-2018) with the Black Hawk Area Swim Team in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  He spent three years on the age group staff, then became an assistant for the Senior staff in 2013, running the Senior Group in the winter of 2017-18.  For three years he was the Lead-Development Coach.  During this time, Ethan was a part of 5 straight Age Group Coaching Staffs of the Year, and was the Iowa Age Group Coach of the Year in 2016.  He has also been on two Team Iowa Zones Coaching Staffs.


The club has seen positive growth in the last year.  We are looking forward to another exciting season!

Sara Hallgren

Age Group Coach


Sara is starting her third season with MSA this year. She is originally from Omaha, Nebraska where she started her swimming career at Swim Omaha and continued on to swim for the University of Nebraska at Omaha. For the Mavericks she was a 2 X NCAA Division II National Qualifier and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. After college Sara moved to St. Louis where she worked for Rockwood School District and Rockwood Swim Club as a Masters swim coach, water aerobics instructor, and supervisor of their swim lesson program. While in St. Louis, she also became the Assistant Aquatic Manager for Life Time Fitness overseeing their lessons program. Sara and her husband, James (Head Wrestling Coach at Drury University), moved to Springfield in 2016. She is the Elementary Science Teacher at Greenwood Laboratory School where she also coaches their high school swim team. 

Kaitlin Smith

Assistant Coach - HS Prep


Kaitlin Smith, from Springfield MO, dove into the swim world her freshman year at Central High School and fell in love with the sport. She joined MSA her sophomore year working towards a college swim career. She was a four time state qualifier for Central. In her senior year at Central she was recruited by Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS and swam there for one year. During that year she qualified for the NAIA nationals. Kaitlin was a part of the 200fr relay as well as the 400fr relay, both of which placed in the top 8. Upon returning home Kaitlin became the head coach for the Pat Jones YMCA Piranhas, a position she held for two years. She is also the Assistant coach for Parkview, Springfield Catholic, and Summit-NCA swim teams.

In hopes of learning and continuing to grow she moved on from the YMCA to be a coach for MSA and she couldn’t be happier with the decision to do so.

Blair Charles Bish

Assistant Coach - Grizzlies


Chelsea Dirks-Ham

Business Manager


Chelsea will be starting her 9th year with the MSA program. She has served many roles with the MSA program, having coached each of the groups during her tenure. Chelsea now serves as business manager and advisor to the coaches. A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Chelsea was a standout swimmer for the AquaHawks of the Missouri Valley LSC. She was a Junior National Qualifier and very decorated swimmer in Kansas. Chelsea then went on to swim collegiately for Missouri State and remains one of the most dominant and decorated swimmers in MSU history. As a Bear, she won numerous MVC individual and relay titles and held team records. Before graduating with a degree in exercise and movement science in 2011, she was named MSU Senior Female Athlete of the Year. Following graduation Chelsea began her college coaching career at Missouri State, where she is now the Associate Head Coach.

Dave Collins



Dave will be starting his 12th year with the MSA program, having served as MSA’s head coach from 2007-2012. Dave is now the owner and director of the program serving in an advisory role. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Dave grew up swimming for Alamo Area Aquatics and MacArthur High School. He went on to compete at Drury University from 2001-2005. After graduating with a master’s degree in Communication, Dave began his coaching career at Parkview and Ozark High schools. In 2007 he became the assistant swimming coach at Missouri State, also starting his tenure with the MSA program. While serving as MSA’s head coach, Dave produced numerous sectional qualifiers and NCSA Junior National qualifiers while growing the membership. Dave is currently in his 5thyear as Head Coach of the Missouri State swimming and diving program.