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Coaches & Directors
Coaching Staff

Ethan J Jacobsen

Head Coach

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Sara Hallgren

Age Group Coach - Pandas and Cubs

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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 - Grizzlies and Seniors

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Chelsea Dirks-Ham

Business Manager

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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

Director

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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.