Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
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 to 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 than 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.

Coach Bill Age Group 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.

Coach Maggie 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!

Coach Bear 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 for over 10 years and have four beautiful children.  Their nine-year-old daughter, Berlyn, loves to swim! They have 3 boys Bridger, Boston, and Bruin who all love the water as well.

Bear has over 10 years of 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 while enjoying the process.

Coach Eric Senior Group Coach - Kino

Eric 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 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.
Coach Mike Senior Group Coach - Kino

Mike moved to Arizona in 1970 and swam rec teams from 4-10 at a private club in Phoenix until he moved to Tempe in 1977. In 1978 he started swimming with the Tempe Makos which eventually turned into the Tempe Swim Devils. For a 2-year period, he swam for Mesa Aquatics 1980-1981 but returned to Tempe Swim Devils in the fall of 1981 when he started High School at Marcos De Niza where he swam all 4 years and competed in the state meet every year. After graduation, he had a decision to make if he would walk on at Arizona State University or quit swimming. One of his biggest regrets was to quit swimming at that point. He 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, he opened the Michael S Herrmann Insurance Agency, Inc, a Farmers Insurance Agency. Their agency has prospered over the years and allowed him lots of time to do the things that he is most passionate about such as swimming and coaching. He has been an assistant coach with Corona Del Sol High School for the past 5 years. IHe is very grateful for the opportunity to coach in the USA swimming ranks and has 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.

Coach David 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.

Coach Nichol 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.

Coach Trey Age Group Coach - Kino

Trey grew up swimming with the City of Mesa parks and rec program and instantly fell in love with the sport. He made the jump to competitive swimming when he was 13 years old and joined MAC, and swam all four years on varsity at Mountain View. He was fortunate enough to continue his swimming journey at Fresno Pacific University, where he swam for a year and a half before realizing some bigger dreams of his. He hung up the suit and goggles and moved back home but quickly found himself back on the pool deck, and he could not be happier. He is so excited to share his love and knowledge of swimming with you all!

Coach Maria Yoga Instructor

Maria is well versed in working with a variety of athletes, from teens, 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 it teaches the ease of movement by connecting your breath with your movement, develop greater body awareness, and strengthen the mind-body connection.

Coach Angela AG Coach Skyline

Angela's swimming journey most notably began while swimming for her club team, the Kansas City Blazers. Through her years of swimming for the Blazers she trained and traveled with their National team and qualified for the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Trials. During this time, she also participated with her high school swim team at Blue Springs South where she led her team to state, set state records, and served as team captain her senior year.

Upon high school graduation, she accepted a scholarship to swim for Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. While competing with the Cougars, Angela led her team to multiple Mountain West Conference Championships and set Conference and School records of her own. Sophomore and Junior year she qualified for the NCAA Championships where she earned All-American awards for her performances in the 100yd butterfly, 200yd butterfly, and 200IM. While in college, she also enjoyed serving as co-captain for the cougars her Junior and Senior years. During her fifth year at BYU year she was able to be on deck with the Cougars and alongside coaches to help the team.

Aside from swimming, Angela graduated from BYU with a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She spent some time working in the Behavioral Health field and started a family of her own. A few years later, she was ready to get back into the swimming world by starting as head coach for the Westview and then Verrado High School Swim team. She then took a position with the YMCA Westside Silver Fins for the next five years.

Angela is a big believer in technique, working hard, and making swimming fun! She hopes to be able to give back to the swimming community what it has given to her over the years. She looks forward to continuing her swim journey with MAC’s fall league.

Coach Carly AG Coach Skyline

Carly is so excited to be back with MAC.  She coached the Fall League last year and looks forward to taking on Splish and Splash! She has been in the swimming world for a long time! Carly grew up swimming competitively in American Fork, Utah with Hilltop Aquatics. She swam for Brigham Young University on scholarship for 4 years and competed nationally and internationally. After that, she was an age group coach at Hilltop Aquatics for 3 years, and then moved to Lehi Aquatics in Utah, and coached there as well for 3 years. She has 3 kids, and her husband is a pharmacist, and that is what brought us to good ol' Arizona! She started her own recreation swim league in Utah the summer before they moved, and had 45 swimmers on the team from ages 8-14. She is very excited to coach your kiddos as she has a passion for the sport of swimming!

Coach Shawna AG Coach Skyline

Shawna started swimming competitively at the age of 9 in Northern California. She qualified for senior nationals in the 100,200 free and 200 IM. She swam for UCLA where she was a multiple NCAA All-American. After college, she began coaching with Tiger Aquatics in Northern California where she became the head age group coach. After getting married to Todd they moved to the Bay Area where she was the head coach of a summer program and helped build it to a year-round program. She also started coaching/competing with Tri Valley Masters. Upon moving to Texas Shawna switched gears and taught 4th grade. After a few years, they moved to Arizona where she became a full-time mom to 3 kids. She is excited to be coaching again!

Coach Dan AG Coach- Kino

Dan has been swimming since he was 9. He grew up in Indiana and attended the University of Iowa. He moved to Arizona in 2001 and started swimming on a masters team. He started coaching kids of all ages in 2002 and still coaches the MAC Masters on the weekends. Dan has 2 children who swim on MAC and 2 dogs who hang around the pool on occasions. He believes swimming is for life and encourages everyone to do their best, no matter what their abilities are.

Coach Todd Coach Senior 2/3 Kino

Todd started his swimming career right here at Mesa Aquatics Club.  He swam for Mesa from the time he was 10 all through high school.  In fact, he swam with Coach Meg back then…see him after practice for some stories... After graduating from Mesa High he went on to swim at the Harvard of the West, Arizona State University.  While at ASU he started coaching for Mesa Aquatics during the summers and coached a couple of years after he graduated.

Outside of coaching, he works in marketing partnership sales.  Most recently for the Pac-12 at ASU.  He is married to a saint of a woman, Debbie, who is a speech & language pathologist at Tempe High School.  They have two daughters, Catalina, & Ava, who both attend Seton Catholic High School.  He has two dogs, one cat, & the slowest running bunny in North America.  He has dived with sharks, hiked the Grand Canyon, & climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.  He won the 100 fly his senior year, came in last at Senior Nationals, and scored at the Pac-10 championships at ASU (yes, Pac-10’s).  He marched the goal posts down Mill Ave when ASU shut out Nebraska (19-0 baby!), cried when ASU lost the Rose Bowl that same year, and he once caught a grape in his mouth that was dropped from a 5-meter platform.

Board of Directors