Head Coach & CEO
Coach Aitken is a Level 5 ASCA
(American Swimming Coaches Association) swim coach, a level
achieved by only 1-3% of the highest rated coaches in the United
States. He has been with the Sandpipers since 1994, and leads the
team as the Executive Director, Head Coach, and coach for the
Sandpiper National Team.
- 2017, 2016 USA Swimming
Development Coach of Year. Highest Award Achieved by 18 and Under
results that a coach can achieve.
- 2017 Multipule US Open Gold Medal
- 2017 National Team Coach
- 2017 7th Place World Ranking
- 2017,16, 15,14,13,12,11,10, & 2009
Multiple USA National Junior Team Members and Coach. Nine (9)
- 2017 Head Jr Open Water WorldCup Coach Team
- 2016 Olympic Medalist Gold and
- 2016, 2009 American Swim Coaches
Association Certificate of Excellence.
- 2016, 2012. 2008, 2000 Olympic
Trial Qualifiers. Qualifiers in every event from the 50 Free to the
1500 Free and all strokes, 200 IM and 400 IM.
- 2016 USA Swimming Head Coach Open
Water World Junior Team - Horn, Netherlands.
- 2014 FINA Open Water Jr. Worlds Coach Team
- 2013 World Cup Coach Team USA
- Four (4) Time Speedo Sectional
- Four (4) Time Nevada State Club Team
- American Swim Coaches Association
(ASCA) Award of Excellence
- Six (6) Time Nevada State Runner
- Five (5) Time Southern California Winter
Age Group Champions
- Five (5) Time Southern Nevada Swim Coaches
Association Sunset Coach of the Year
- 18 & Under National
- College Athletic Scholarship
- College Academic Scholarship
- Individual State Champions
- Individual State records
- High School All-Americans
- NCSA All-Americans
- High School Swimming Academic
- USA Swimming Academic
- New team records
- Junior Olympic Champions
- National Top 10 Rankings
- Junior National Champions
- National Age Group Record
- National Qualifiers with Top 8
Head Age Group Coach
Coach Barber joined the Sandpiper coaching staff in 1996. He has been extremely successful coaching our 14&U Athletes, many holding team records. Chris is also known amongst other coaches and parents in Nevada and California as Southern Nevada’s best age group coach. He has always produced results with swimmers and many go onto Southern California Swimming Selection Teams, International All-Star Teams, and National Age group record holders. Chris was part of the Sandpipers 2011 & 2004 Nevada State Club Championship Staff. Chris is well educated in the sport of swimming and currently holds a Level 3 ASCA designation.
His level of education and experience gives our swimmers the best competitive edge they deserve. With his encouragement the swimmers are dedicated, focused, motivated, and have fun!
Chris began swimming when he was 10 years old for the Las Vegas team, Nevada Rapids. Through high school he trained with the Las Vegas Gold swim team and was coached by Bob Bowen. Chris also attended and competed on the high school swim team at Bishop Gorman High School for three years. Chris started his coaching career with three years as a coach for the Clark County Parks and Recreation program. His success led him to encourage many swimmers to join year round swim teams, eventually leading him to year round swimming as a coach with the Sandpipers. Chris is a 6th grade teacher with the Clark County School District. His teaching experience enhances his excellent ability to coach kids and understand their needs. Chris and his wife, Diane, have 3 children, Sarah, Ryan, and Cole.
Coach Barber’s Achievements
- 2008, 2007 Desert Committee Age Group Coach of the Year
- 2013, 2012, 2011 & 2004 Nevada State Club Team Championship
- 2002 - 2005 Southern California Winter Age Group Champions
- Junior Olympic Champions
- International All Star/Zone team qualifiers
- USA Swimming National Top 16 Age Group rankings
- National 1st place season ranking
Head Site Coach - YMCA
Coach Lindsey was born and raised in Las Vegas. As a kid you could always find Lindsey in her grandparent’s back yard pool, but when it came to competitive swimming Lindsey was a late bloomer. She joined her high school swim team her Freshman year at Cimarron-Memorial High School and immediately joined club swimming. She swam well all four high school years in Breaststroke and IM events. She joined Sandpipers in 2000 and started coaching at a beginner level in early 2002. After graduating from Cimarron in 2002, Lindsey swam for two years with UNLV.
Coach Lindsey currently coaches our Sandpiper Centennial YMCA team in the northwest Las Vegas area which continues to grow and feed into our NAG group. She also coaches the Senior II group.
Coach Danielle swam with the Sandpipers of Nevada starting in 2010. She continued her swimming career on the team competing at multiple State Championships, Age Group Championships, and Junior Olympics until graduating from Northwest Career and Technical Academy in 2016. While swimming with the Sandpipers, she was a four year varsity swimmer for Legacy High School where she competed at regionals and set multiple school records as well. She enjoys sharing skills, sets, and goal setting techniques she learned as a swimmer with all her athletes she coaches. Coach Danielle also works as a production associate at UNLV TV and is currently attending UNLV on a full ride scholarship majoring in Media Studies and Broadcast Journalism with plans to minor in political science.
Jake Des Roches
Coach Jake has been a member of the Sandpiper coaching staff since April 2016. Jake grew up on the other side of the country, in Fairfax, Virginia, and began swimming competitively as an 8-and-under. Jake started coaching for his summer league team, the Fairfax Frogs, in 2005 and progressed from a Junior Coach to Assistant Head Coach in 2012. While with the Frogs he taught over 100 kids how to swim and led many to make the jump from summer league to USA swimming.
Jake attended Penn State Behrend, where he swam and played water polo. Jake was the captain of the water polo team his junior and senior years. He received recognition as athlete of the week multiple times throughout his collegiate career, and was recognized with the leadership and sportsmanship award his junior and senior years. In his final collegiate swim, Jake anchored the men's 4x100 Free relay to a first place finish at the Fredonia State Invitational setting a pool record in the process.
Outside of the pool, Jake was a founder of the Penn State Behrend Snow Club (the largest student group on campus in its first year), and, in 2012, he qualified for the XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon National Championships (Jake returned to triathlon in 2016, and is planning to compete in the XTERRA world championships in 2018 or 2019). Jake graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in Business, Liberal Arts, and Science with minors in English, Economics, and Management and membership in Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies (he is also a few credits shy of a masters degree in education, and hopes to stop procrastinating this year).
After graduating, Jake joined Teach For America as a 2013 corps member and moved to Las Vegas to teach at Sunrise Mountain High School. Jake began coaching at Sunrise in 2015 and is currently in his third year as the head coach. At Sunrise Mountain, Jake led the team to its first ever State Championship relay qualifier in 2014, and the two highest team finishes at D1A regionals in 2015 and 2016. With the Sandpipers, Jake helped two members of the Senior 3 group qualify for D1A state championships in 2016, and plans to follow that up again this year.
Coach Thomas began competitive swimming at the age of 13 for the Sandpipers of Nevada. While part of the team, he competed on multiple Club State Championship teams, Age Group Championships, and Summer and Winter Junior Olympics. He was a member of the Centennial High School Swim Team where he swam on a relay that qualified for the High School State Championships and set a school record. He was also team captain his Senior year for his leadership abilities. He went on to compete in college for the Hood College swim team in Frederick, Maryland.
Thomas continued his education at UNLV, where he majored in Finance and graduated in 2016. He continues to make his focus on improving swimmers of all abilities, as well as helping give life lessons that they can take with them outside the pool.
Coach Katelyn started her swimming career at age 6 for the Clark County recreational team. She joined Sandpipers at age 11 and competed for the team until she graduated high school in 2014. During her time on the team, Katelyn swam at multiple State Championships, Winter Age Groups, and Junior Olympics meets. She swam for Spring Valley High School where she holds multiple school records, was team captain, and helped her relay qualify for the Nevada High School State Championship meet.
Starting in 2012, she coached for the recreational swim team and taught swim lessons for Desert Breeze. Then, in 2014 she began coaching Sandpipers stroke school and White 2 groups. Coach Katelyn takes pride in helping young swimmers find a passion for the sport, while also teaching them that hard work and having fun can be done at the same time. Katelyn is currently attending UNLV majoring in pre medicine/biology with plans to graduate in 2018 and continue on to Medical School.
Coach Gonzalez is a Level 3 ASCA certified Coach. He coaches the Senior Development group. Brent is also a teacher at Palo Verde High School and is the Head Coach for the Boy's and Girl's Team. Brent has a wealth of experience from his previous coaching positions. He was the head coach of Extreme Aquatics and Lake Elsinore. Brent was also a Head Coach for Riverside Community College, where he coached 4 Junior College All-Americans. Brent has a strong background in stroke skills, race strategies, and sportsmanship. With the Sandpipers Brent has coached State Champions and Top 16 National Rankings.
Gravley began competitive swimming in 1974. Receiving various
honors as a competitor throughout his age group career, Coach
Gravley has been afforded the opportunity to be associated with
perennial swim programs and well respected swim coaches within the
swim community. Currently Coach Gravley holds a degree in
Physical Education and Coaching.
Coach Haupt started swimming with the Sandpiper of Nevada at the early age of 9. He competed for the team for 9 years and now is currently attending UNLV majoring in Computer Science. During his 9 years with the Sandpiper he accomplished becoming a Scholastic Academic All-American, Member of the 2001 Nevada State Championship time that one by 1 ½ points and a true team leader of the Sandpiper National team as he was Team Captain during his days with the club. He has also competed at Sectionals, Junior Olympics, High School State, High School Regional and Club States. He had many accomplishments at those levels but one of his greatest accomplishments of all was being known for his dedication and work ethic in the pool and in the classroom. Cutter is a very motivated coach that likes kids and likes teaching them the skills they need to be better athletes, students, and well rounded individuals.
Coach Michael moved to Las Vegas in September of 2016 to begin
working for the Sandpipers of Nevada. He hails from the
Chicago Area where he was born and raised in Crystal Lake,
Illinois. Coach Michael began his coaching career teaching
swim lessons out of his backyard pool when he was 13 years
old. From there he began coaching Developmental and Summer
League teams and hasn't looked back since. His
previous coaching position was as Assistant Head Coach of the
Barrington Swim Club and Freshman/Sophomore Coach of the Barrington
High School Boys swim team. In his tenure in Barrington, BSC
received Silver Medal USA Swimming Club Recognition and had the
privilege of coaching an Olympic Trial qualifier, 3 State Record
holders, multiple state champions and over 20 National Top 10
swims. Coach Michael is an ASCA Level
4 Coach. Michael's swimming career began at age 9 for his
local YMCA and eventually concluded competing for Eastern Michigan
University. While at EMU, the Eagles won 3 Mid American
Conference Championships and received All-MAC Academic Honors and
MAC Swimmer of the Week. Michael graduated college in 2013
with a degree in Secondary Education-Math and a Minor in Teaching
English as a Second Language.
Coach - YMCA
Coach Savannah was born in Laguna Beach
California in 1998 and moved to Las Vegas in 2004. Though far, she
spent all of her summers going back to Laguna, swimming in the
ocean every chance she got. From there it lead her to become a
swimmer, swimming for her high school, Arbor View, and she began
teaching swim lessons at the YMCA at age 16. While working for the
YMCA, she taught many private lessons to current Sandpipers,
helping prepare them for the next level. She joined Sandpipers in
October 2017 at age 18, and since then has been assistant coaching
at the YMCAs.
Coach Tanimoto began
coaching for Sandpipers from November of 2005 through February of
2013 and has come back to assisting Coach Aitken as a stroke
technician coach. From 2005 through 2008, Eli assisted Coach
Aitken and from 2009 through 2013 Eli coached the 10 and under age
group. Eli was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1985, and shortly
after moving to Las Vegas began competitive swimming in 1992. He
attended Palo Verde High School, graduating in 2003, receiving
honors as a scholar athlete, and lettering four years, Eli attended
UNLV where he dove for four years, received his bachelors and
masters in accountancy in 2009 and 2011. After graduating
from UNLV, Eli became a Certified Public Accountant at a local firm
here in Las Vegas. Eli brings much experience in coaching to
the Sandpipers. From 2001 to 2006 Eli worked with the City of
Las Vegas coaching a number of summer recreational sports,
including swimming, diving, water polo, and junior