Derek is a Peoria native who has a real passion for swimming. Derek swam for 4 years at Peoria High School, was a 4-time All American and 2-time state champion. Derek also swam at the University of Illinois. Derek started his coaching career in Peoria with the Peoria YMCA back in 1992. Since then, he has moved on to several other teams and currently is the Gold coach for the Peoria Area Water Wizards and is the Head Coach of the Peoria Notre Dame girls swimming and diving team. He has been coaching for 22 years. Derek has coached 15 All-Americans, 15 All-State swimmers, 9 Conference Championships, 8 sectional championships, and 1 state champion for PND. As an age group coach, he coached 20 state champions, 10 Junior National Qualifiers, 4 Senior National Qualifiers, and 4 Olympic Trials Qualifiers. Derek has a track record of success where ever he has coached and will continue that success with SwimPeoria.
What I enjoy most about coaching and teaching swimming is getting the opportunity to build relationships with wonderful young people and hope that I can teach them some life lessons they can carry into adulthood.
Tracy Miller has been a coach in the Peoria area for over 10 years. Originally, she was a standout swimmer for the Michigan City Rogers high school team and took her talents to Indiana University where she graduated with a degree in economics. Currently, Tracy is the Lead Silver coach for the Peoria Area Water Wizards. Tracy does a terrific job working with kids of all ages and we are excited to have her on our staff at Swim Peoria
As a kid, R.J. grew up swimming with three brothers on the Minneapolis area swim clubs in the 70's. In the 80's, as a high school and college student, he was a lifeguard, swim instructor, and pool manager and after college he started coaching in the west metro as a side job. For the next 20+ years, R.J. coached high school swimming and diving and club swimming in Hutchinson, Minnesota as well as owning a graphic design & screen printing business with his wife. He has coached 14 Junior National participants, numerous USS and Minnesota State High School League State Champions. His club swimmers have consistently enjoyed participation in State and Zone Championships. R.J. was on the Minnesota Swimming Inc. Team Minnesota staff for the Central Zone Championships from 2008-2010. Prior to coming to PAWW, two of his senior swimmers were nationally ranked and was honored to attend the 2010 National Select Camp with one of them at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He joined the PAWW team as the head coach in the fall of 2011.
R.J.'s goal is to create an excellence focused swim team that values the development of technique skills, character and the love of swimming.