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Coaches

2019 Coaching Staff

Aaron Mikuni - Head Coach 

Swimming has been a lifelong passion for Aaron.  He grew up swimming for the Ygnacio Wood and the Terrapins Swim Team in Concord.  Aaron earned his bachelors degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he was also a member of the swim team.  He went on to finish his teaching credential at Chapman University and currently teaches Physical Education at Diablo View Middle School in Clayton.

Aaron has coached for local swim teams such as Rudgear Estates, Terrapins and Valley Vista for 18 years.  While some of Aaron’s success as a head coach may be measured in City Meet wins, his philosophy is founded on the balance of proper technique, hard work, and fun.  He believes the most important part of recreational swimming is the family and friends met and created throughout the years.

In his free time, Aaron enjoys keeping active; surfing, golfing and swimming with the Walnut Creek Masters team.

Nikki Palmer - Head Coach 

Swimming has been a lifelong passion for Nikki.  She grew up swimming for Dana Hills and the Terrapins Swim Team in Concord.  Nikki earned her bachelors degree from the University of Tampa, where she was also a member of the swim team.  She has been nominated swimmer of the year 5 times and won twice in her illustrious career.

The only thing Nikki has more of a passion for than swimming is working with kids, coaching them to their full potential.   She has coached for local swim teams such as Dana Hills, New Wave Aquatics, and Blackhawk.  Nikki subscribes to the philosophy that technique drives the swim and strength will follow.  She was twice voted Jr Coach of the year at Dana Hills and is currently in the Jr Coach hall of fame.

In her free time, Nikki enjoys spending time with friends and blogging.

Dan Cottam - Head Assistant Coach 

Dan Cottam has been coaching for two decades at the USS club, recreational, and high school level. Dan is currently the Senior Development Group coach and Assistant Senior Group coach for the Terrapins Swim Team as well as the Head Coach of Carondelet High School.  In addition, he was the co-founder/Head Coach for the Diablo Aquatics Devil Rays where he coached for 7 months (June 2015-December 2015). Dan was also the co-founder/ Head Coach for the Crow Canyon Sharks (2005-2015). Dan led the Sharks to 5 Silver Medal National Club Excellence Awards (2010-2014) and 1 Bronze Medal National Club Excellence Award (2015).

His coaching accomplishments include: coached at 2 Olympic Trials (2008, 2012) and had a semi-finalist in each one, a Top 5 Team finish at the 2011 and 2012 Short Course Junior National championships, multiple individual Junior National Champions and a Junior National Record breaking 400 Medley Relay Team, a LC Sectional Team Title and Coach of the Meet (2014), a Far Western Team title (2010 LC), multiple Top 3 Team finishes at Short Course Far Westerns, 5 Junior Olympic Team titles (3 Short Course, 2 Long Course), multiple individual Pacific Record breakers and relay record breakers, multiple individual/relay Far Western and Junior Olympic Champions, and has prepared 70 kids to swim at the college level.

Pacific Swimming All-Star Coach in 2008 and Head Coach in 2009. He has also been nominated for Pacific Swimming Senior and Age Group Coach of the year. Dan was Co-Head Coach of the Crow Canyon Sea Lions summer team and helped lead them to Contra Costa County titles from 2005-2008. Additionally, Dan was the Athletic/Aquatic Director for Crow Canyon Country Club (2004-2015). Previously, he served as the Head Coach of the men’s and women’s swim teams at Acalanes High School in Lafayette (2005-2007). Dan directed the Dons’ squads to Top 10 finishes in the CIF North Coast Section all 3 years (3rd place with Men’s Team in 2007). Dan began his coaching career with LMYA Swim Team where he was an Assistant Coach for 2 years and then Head Coach from 2002-2004.

The East Bay native started swimming at 5 years old (Forrest Park Swim Club) and began year round swimming with the Terrapins at 9 years old and continued with them through college (14 years, 1986-2001). At the Terrapins Dan was a Junior National qualifier in the Distance Freestyle events and also specialized in the 200FL and 400IM. Dan earned a swimming scholarship to the University of California at Santa Barbara where he was a four-year member of the Gauchos swim team, won conference title in the 1650 yard freestyle as a freshman, and also won Most Inspirational Swimmer Award (2001).

Kelly Boland - Assistant "8 & Under" Coach 

I began swimming competitively from an early age all the way through my graduation from UC Davis. During college, my summer job consisted of coaching Forest Park Swim Team. This is where my passion for teaching and coaching was realized. I have taught kindergarten for 23 years. Currently, I am a swim instructor at Little Swimmers in Concord.

My family has been a part of Otter Nation for many years. 10 years ago, when my youngest twins, Shawn and Molly were going to be Otter Pups, I literally “jumped in” and began volunteering to run the program.

Over the years, I have enjoyed watching all my little pups grow and develop into successful swimmers!

I am so excited to impart my love and enthusiasm for the sport by continuing to expand my coaching role for this team!