Coaches & Directors

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact our coaches. Any adminstrative questions, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of our board members.

Coaching Staff

Julie Nogalski

Head Swim Coach


By day, I work as a Medical Assistant at a busy OBGYN office. In the evenings and weekends, I work at the YMCA coaching, teaching lifeguard classes, and filling in when needed teaching swim lessons or lifeguarding.  I have been a water baby since I was born it seems, my much older siblings were YMCA competitive swimmers. I spent countless hours being around their practices, swim meets and was actually been considered a team mascot at some point. That is probably why when I am around or near or in the water I consider it my happy place. Some of my first memories being a kid were taking lessons at the YMCA and then at a local Rec Center. It was at this Rec Center started swimming on summer league and loved it so much I started swimming for the YMCA year round. I swam for the YMCA during high school. I loved the years that I spent on the swim team making new friends and having amazing coaches that taught me not only to appreciate the sport of swimming but also to love it as much as each one of them loved swimming. At 16, I got my first job at the Rec Center, became a lifeguard, and loved every minute of it.  Four years ago, I realized how much that I missed the smell of chlorine and I decided that the YMCA was the place for me. When I am not working, I love going to baseball games and spending time with friends. This is my 4th year with the Wavemakers coaching and my 1st year as head coach. I primarily spending most of my time with the Hurricanes and Tsunamis and it is my goal every year to be the best coach I can to my swimmers just as I remember the lessons that my awesome coaches taught me during my years of swimming.

Favorite Stroke:  Breaststroke

Karen Messenger

Assistant Coach


Coach Karen

My aquatic responsibilities at the West County Family YMCA include swim instructor, Assistant Coach to the Wavemakers, and Water Fitness Instructor. My mission is to help young swimmers expand their aquatic skills through safe and effective workouts that build good sportsmanship, create a healthy competitive spirit, and encourage a strong mind and body for all.

I learned to swim at the South Side YMCA in St. Louis advancing to American Red Cross Junior Life Saving, then American Red Cross Senior Life Saving. I was then hired as a life guard and swimming instructor. I swam as a member of the Y's swim team competing in both indoor and outdoor swim meets swimming freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke. At indoor meets, I was also a springboard diver.

In my later years I served in the South City Y’s pool as a volunteer assisting students from the Lutheran Special School District with academic and athletic challenges learn to swim. Using this as a model, in the early spring of 1974, I initiated a special swimming program for students enrolled in special education (then identifiable as a "Room of 20") at the Mason Elementary School. This included fund raising, arranging transportation, and negotiations for pool time, instructors, fees, etc., with the South Side YMCA. I understand that this program ran for fourteen years.

At the South City Family YMCA, I teach swimming and American Arthritis Foundation aquatic exercise classes.

Favorite Stroke: Backstroke

Becky Lavrich

Assistant Coach


My name is Becky and I started working with the Wavemakers when my mom, Coach Jo Ann, started coaching.  I enjoy helping with the youngest swimmers and assisting Coach Ann.  I like being part of the team.

Favorite Stroke: The one that gets her to the end of the pool 

Lisa Granadino

Dryland Coach


·  Who are you? Lisa Granadino

·  What do you do on the team and/or outside of the pool? Wavemaker’s strength coach

·  How many years with the Wavemakers? This is my 3rd year coaching

·  How many years coaching?  9 years coaching/training total

·  What is your swimming background?  No swim background unless you count floating in the lazy riverJ  I have a track background and competed at the University of Wisconsin throughout college.

·  What is your favorite stroke?  ALL STROKES!  Improving your strength will benefit you regardless of your event.

Ann Field

Assistant Coach


Coach Ann

I coach the Ripples on the swim team and teach an evening water class for people with arthritis.

I have been with the Wavemakers for five years. Before that I was assistant coach for the Jr. Swim Team for several years.

I swam AAU when I was younger and made to the Jr. Olympics several times.
I swam on my high school team for all 4 years.

I was on a synchronized swim team in the summers and participated on a team in college.

Favorite Stroke:  Freestyle