Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Jim Nickell Owner, Head Coach

I was a MAC Swimmer, I was a MAC Coach, and now I get to come back on deck and join once again!

I started swimming for MAC when I was 6. I swam through High School – graduating from Mountain View. I swam at U of A for two years – coaching with MAC in the summers. I liked coaching so much that I transferred to ASU and started coaching the MAC silver group and the MAC senior group. I became the head coach in 1984 when I was 21 years old.

In the 80’s MAC won more State Titles than any other team in the state – did you know that?
In the 80’s MAC had an amazing set of families and swimmers – they taught me and Coach Scott Allen so much. The great thing is MANY of them have swimmers on the team and a few of them are Coaching!!
We were the best team in Arizona at the state and at the Junior National Level – and we will surpass that this time!

In 1976 (I was 12) the team attended Olympic Trials in Long Beach California. MAC had several swimmers at the Olympic Trials – including Duncan Scott (my swim hero) and Maryanne Graham. I was able to see Maryanne make the Olympic Team and then a few weeks later get an Olympic Bronze Medal – I was hooked and I understood that from Mesa you can go ANYWHERE you want!

What will I bring to the team?
I spend most of EVERY day trying to be the best coach I can be
I cheer for all my kids at practice daily
I teach every single practice
I love being on the pool deck
I will help motivate the motivators – you have excellent coaches – one of my jobs is to support their efforts at providing the best practices possible
I want parents to watch practice and I want everyone to know that we do good things every single day.

Meg Zajdzinski Owner, Head Coach

Meg Rich-Zajdzinski, better known to us all as Coach Meg, is now making an impact on the swimming world in Arizona for a fourth decade. Her roots in swimming, and specifically here in Mesa, began long ago as part of a swimming family who spent numerous hours at the pool for practices and meets as her own competitive career was in its infant stages. She progressed through the swimming ladder, including an extremely successful age group experience with the original version of Mesa Aquatics, continuing on through her years at Westwood High School, where she was not only an individual State Champion herself but also a leader on some excellent teams that vied for State Championships. Her dedication allowed her qualify for a college scholarship, first at Arizona State and finally at Colorado State University. For most, that list of accolades would be enough to last a lifetime, for her that was really just a thorough preparation for all that has ensued.

Meg reached out to some of the same coaches that had helped build her own competitive career and sought their advice and counsel on getting started on a new adventure, a coaching career of her own. She has worked in different programs throughout the valley, working side by side with some of the longest tenured and most experienced coaches in our sport and she has clearly benefited from those friendships, which now pay dividends daily in her work with our own young swimmers. Meg returned to Mesa Aquatics Club in its newest version 5 years ago and has risen to become our Age Group Director, responsible for the development of several hundred youngsters often younger that she was when her own swimming dream began. To watch her teach a skill as simple as drop pushes from the wall, is to understand the depth of her knowledge and the unique style of her coaching, as she incorporates in rhyming mnemonics, often incorporated into a jingle, and small movements which blend into an integrated whole that will become a part of those tiny new swimmers base of knowledge for a lifetime.

She is also a big part, along with her husband Chris, in building a team within a team, as they have 4 children between 12 and 16, all swimmers of course, who you will see daily as part of our program. You will also often see Chris swimming with our Masters program, and when the competitive spirit moves her, Meg also will jump back into competition as she did when we hosted Masters Nationals here in Mesa a few years ago, and what was her contribution to that effort, National Championships in the 200 and 500 freestyles. They are a family that will sometimes take part in an open water swim simply because the family that swims together at least gets to carpool. They live the typical lives of swimming families, up early, often just as transportation for teenagers who have 5 am practices at different pools or to coach one of her own practices. 

Meg is an ASCA certified Level III swim coach, in addition to also being ASCA II certified as a masters coach, but those are not the most important measures of her value to our program. She and her family are one of many shining examples of our team philosophy, "Water is life, swim for life" and each and every day she instills those same values into athletes as young as 6 or 7 years old, ensuring that the torch will be passed for many more generations.

Bill Coach Age Group Director, Coach - Skyline
Bill spent 18 years of his life as a competitive swimmer.  He grew up in El Paso, Texas and was named to the "50 greatest High School Swimmers of El Paso" for his swimming accomplishments.  After graduating from High School,  Bill went on to be a 4 year Letterwinner for the University of Arizona Men's swim program as a Distance Freestyle specialist.  At the 1991 US Swimming Spring Nationals  Bill finished 13th overall in the men's 1650 Freestyle.   Bill graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Exercise Sciences and has worked as a swim coach in a number of capacities since completing his competitive swimming days.  He is very excited to be joining the "MAC Coaching Team" and working with this outstanding swim program and its' swimmers.
Maggie Coach Safe Sport Coordinator, AG Coach - Sky

Maggie started swimming competitively when she was 8 years old with the Sarasota YMCA
Sharks in SW Florida and then continued her time with Gulf Coast Swim Team until she was 13.
She excelled in distance freestyle and butterfly and was the national champion at 13 in the
Distance Challenge swimming the 3000 freestyle. She moved to Arizona and continued
swimming for Scottsdale Aquatic Club. She also swam for Shadow Mountain High School under
Misty Hyman as the head coach. She placed in High School State every year in the 500 free and
100 fly. She decided to retire from swimming after the 2012 Short Course State meet where she
won her 1000 freestyle and set the Skyline High School Pool Record in that event?she finds this
event the most exciting and fun time in her swimming career. She came back from retirement to
compete in the Masters Nationals in April 2019.
      Maggie attended ASU and graduated in 2016 with a BA in Religious Studies. During her time in
school, she coached for Cactus Shadows High School, Cicero Prep Academy, Sun Devils
Masters, and Scottsdale Aquatic Club. She became the Lead coach over the 11&12 Bronze group
and assisted various Senior and 10&under groups. She married her husband Colton in 2017 and
has 2 fur babies. She has now joined the MAC coaching staff and is excited to begin helping the
swimmers!

Frederick Behrmann Senior Group Coach - Skyline

Bear grew up in Arizona where he swam for Mesa Aquatics Club and Mesa High School.  He swam in the state meet all four years of high school and still holds school records in the 50, 100, and 200 yard freestyle.  After high school he left for a two year LDS Mission to Germany and Switzerland.  When he returned from his mission he married his wife Tycee (who is also a swimmer) and attended school at Arizona State University.  There he competed on the swim and triathlon teams while earning his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.  Bear and Tycee have been married almost six years and have two beautiful children.  Their four year old daughter, Berlyn, can already swim freestyle across the pool.  They also have a seven month old little boy, Bridger, who is starting to love the water as well.  Bear has 5 years teaching and coaching experience with swimmers of all ages.  He loves everything to do with swimming and continually seeks to improve not only as a swimmer but as a coach.  He enjoys watching swimmers improve and helping them to reach their goals.

Eric Dimmery Senior Group Coach - Kino

Eric Dimmery is an Army brat that moved around every three years. He got to see and experience many places in the United States and abroad. He moved to Arizona in high school and graduated from the Mountain View. From there Eric went to the University of New Mexico.

He moved back to Arizona in 1997 to teach and coach swimming. He has coached all levels of swimmers and has been very successful with each. His swimmers have had all levels of success from achieving best times to swimming at Olympic Trials. Eric quit coaching for a few years to further his education and get his masters in Administration for Educators. He started coaching again at the high school level for Apache Junction the last three years where his team made tremendous gains in achievement. He is happy to be joining our team.
Kimberly Coach Senior Group Coach - Kino
Mike Herrmann Senior Group Coach - Kino

Mike Herrmann moved to Arizona in 1970 and swam rec teams from 4-10 at a private club in Phoenix until we moved to Tempe in 1977. In 1978 I started swimming with the Tempe Makos which eventually turned into the Tempe Swim Devils. For a 2-year period I swam for Mesa Aquatics 1980-1981 but returned to Tempe Swim Devils in the fall of 1981 when I started High School at Marcos De Niza where I swam all 4 years and competed in the state meet every year. After graduation I had a decision to make if I would walk on at Arizona State University or quit swimming. One of my biggest regrets was to quit swimming at that point. I attended Arizona State University and graduated in 1990 with a degree in Marketing with an emphasis on sales and sales management. In January of 1991 I opened the Michael S Herrmann Insurance Agency, Inc, a Farmers Insurance Agency. Our agency has prospered over the years and allowed us lots of time to do the things that I am most passionate about such as swimming and coaching. I have been an assistant coach with Corona Del Sol High School for the past 5 years. I am very grateful for the opportunity to coach in the USA swimming ranks and have a goal of being able to free up enough time to be able to coach more.  We are excited to welcome Mike to our coaching staff, primarily working with Coach Eric at Kino with our S1/NTG groups.

David Pohlmann Senior Group Coach - Kino

Dave works as a Captain for The Superstation Fire and Medical Department. He also works part-time as an
RN for the Emergency Department at Chandler Regional Hospital. He is a proud alumni of Mesa Aquatics
Club. As a freshman at The University of California Irvine he was Rookie of the Year breaking the school
record in the 1000 Free.

Nichol Dowell Age Group Coach - Skyline
Nichol started swimming at the age of 5 and swam at Kino with the original Mesa Aquatics Club alongside her coaching colleagues, Coach Meg and Coach Eric.  She was a 4 year scholar athlete at Westwood High School and a Junior National qualifier in the  200 and 400 IM and 200 fly.  She was top 4 in numerous events for four years in AZ state meets, including the IM, fly, and distance free events.
 
She swam on scholarship at Brigham Young University where she continued competing in distance free, fly and IM events. She was part of a dedicated team that won the WAC 3 of her 4 years.   In 1991 was a Cougar Club Scholar/ Athlete. She was 1991/92 WAC scholar athlete. She was a final at the WAC championships in the mile and 400 IM. Nichol was co-captain her senior year at BYU.
 
While competing at BYU she met and married her husband, a sprinter on the BYU men's team. They have been married for 21 years and have 4 children. 
 
Nichol coached for Scottsdale Aquatics in 1997, then went on to teach first grade for a few years at the Franklin schools.  She was a stay at home mom for several years and has spent the last 6 years as a reading specialist with Kyrene Schools.  Three of her kids swam for Sun Devils, so when the merge of teams happened, she was blessed to be able to step back on deck with her old teammates. In addition to coaching, Nichol is a youth leader at her church for 40 young women. Besides teenagers, she also enjoys reading, hiking, the movies and a good nap. 
JoAnna Woodward Age Group Coach - Skyline

JoAnna comes to MAC with an extensive swimming and coaching background. She enjoyed a 12 year swimming career and was able to be a part of the swimming communities in California, Nevada, and Colorado; her accolades include qualifying for 2 Olympic Trials, being selected as an 1986 National Team member, and was a scholarship athletes and an All American at Cal-Berkley.  

Along the way JoAnna started teaching lessons and assisting with clinics, which sparked her interest in coaching. After coaching with Colorado Athletic Club (CAC) for 2 years she started coaching with Denver Swim Academy and helped them go on to win two Age Group State Championships; she has been fotunate to coach multiple State qualifiers, and State Champions, Zone and Sectional qualifiers and nationa top 10 age group swimmers.  For these accomplishments she was named Colorado Age Group Coach of the year in in 2012 and 2014.  In 2014 her family moved to Plano, TX and she joined Lakeside Aquatic Club. While coaching for LAC she grew the 10 & under program, started the High School Prep group, as well as helped swimmers achieve qualifying times for TAGS for the first time.                                              

JoAnna strives to inspire each athlete to reach their fullest potential, whatever thei goal may be, and her coaching philosophy includes; training harder, training smarter, and having fun!

Jenny Browne Age Group Coach - Skyline

*Born and raised in Upstate New York
*Age group swimmer since age six
*Top 16 National ranking from age nine through age fourteen
*Top 8 finish in all individual events at the New York State High School State Meet for all 4 years of high school. Events included… 100 fly, 500 free, 200 IM and 100 back
*Junior and Senior National qualifier
*Villanova University Women’s Swim Team 1989 - 1993.
--Captain of the Women’s team
--Big East Champion in 100 Fly and 800 Free Relay
--Big East Team Champions 1992 and 1993
--Academic All-American 1992 and 1993
*Inducted into Victor High School Athletic Hall of Fame - 2002
*United States Masters Swimming All-American, 1996 and 2003
*Inducted into Western New York State High School Swimming Hall of Fame - 2012

Trey McDaniel Coach Age Group Coach - Kino

Hi! My name is Trey McDaniel and I am so excited to rejoin the MAC family! I grew up swimming with the city of Mesa parks and rec program and instantly fell in love with the sport. I made me jump to competitive swimming when I was 13 and joined MAC, and swam all four years on varsity at Mountain View. I was lucky enough to continue my swimming journey at Fresno Pacific University, where I swam for a year and a half before realizing some bigger dreams of mine. I hung up the suit and goggles and moved back home but quickly found myself back on the pool deck, and I could not be happier. I’m so excited to share my love and knowledge of swimming with you all! GO MAC!

Maria Pohlmann Yoga Instructor

Maria is well versed in working with a variety of athletes, from teen, college, to former professional athletes.  The benefits from yoga to strengthen and lengthen muscles help improve recovery and prevention of injury has recently been highly recognized in both the professional and Olympic worlds. Learning to move with ease is what allows swimmers to develop that “easy speed” One of the greatest benefits to incorporating consistent yoga practice, is that is teaches the ease of movement by connecting your breath with your movement, develop greater body awareness, and strengthen the mind-body connection.

Jessica Rudd Team Manager

Jessica started swimming at the age of six for the summer recreation programs and continued to do so each summer through high school. She swam on the varsity team at Westwood High School in Mesa all four years of high school. At age 13 she joined the summer recreational water polo team and never stopped playing. She has played on several club teams, including the early Mesa Water Polo and the youth Sun Devil Polo team at ASU. She traveled to Colorado, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Texas to play for different teams in various tournaments. At age 16 she was selected for the zone team for the Olympic Development Program run by USA Water Polo. Jessica joined a girls team from Texas to play in two consecutive Junior Olympic tournaments and her senior year of high school, her team won the State Championship.

 

Jessica began coaching age group water polo as well as taught swim lessons with the city recreation league for three summers in a row. She moved on to coach for Mesa Water Polo when the club first began in 2012 and assisted swim groups as needed. She is now team manager for Mesa Aquatics Club and hopes to continue to provide opportunities for kids to fall in love with the water, just as she has!

 

 
Board of Directors