Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Jim Nickell Head Coach, Owner

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 Head Coach, Owner

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.

Jonathan Shaw Senior Group Director, Coach - Skyline

Jon Shaw grew up in Indiana where he was a standout age group swimmer and achieved the #1 ranking in US in the 100 fly & 400IM, set state records in the 100 fly, won multiple state age group and senior championships and is still ranked in the top 100 in 4 events (40th all time in the 400IM as a 13-14 year old).

Jon was recruited by and swam for ASU from 2000-2004 where he was a Pac 10 semi-finalist in the 200 fly and 400IM, he graduated with a BA in Elementary Education and currently teaches 7th grade Social Studies. Jon's passion for swimming has never died, he has coached for Sun Devil Aquatics as well as Sun Devil Masters and joined the MAC family in September of 2009. Jon's forte is technical instruction, in addition to coaching masters and assisting with MAC's Senior group Jon also does private instruction.

Bill Coach Age Group Director, Coach - Kino
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.
Frederick Behrmann Age 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.

Dillan Keith Senior Group Coach - Skyline

Dillan began swimming at the age of 2 where his swim instructor probably still has scars from his bruising and scratching her. Now he considers himself both a student and competitor of the sport. Dillan grew up swimming for a few different clubs where he gained an understanding of different philosophies and volumes of training. He swam with Rio Salado Swim Club, Desert Thunder Aquatics, and Mesa Aquatics Club. Once in high school he broke several school records and went to state all 4 years. His senior year he medaled in two events. Dillan enjoys instilling successful skill acquisition strategies and seeing his swimmers gain water confidence while performing their best. Preceding college, he served a two year mission to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Once he returned from his mission, he coached the swim team for 4 seasons at Queen Creek High School, EVO Swim School, and Lifetime Fitness Swim Club. He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He has interned for a few leadership development firms and has a passion for workplace performance and effective negotiation and conflict resolution. He plans on furthering his education while staying close to the sport of swimming and is excited to be a part of the MAC family.

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.
Jack Giles Senior Group Coach - Kino


Jack joins our team with long history of coaching in Arizona.  He graduated from Saguaro High school, where he swam for the Varsity Team.  From there, he coached a summer Rec league at South Lake Tahoe, a team of 80 kids.  He came back to the valley and spent 13 years with the City of Scottsdale working as the summer team coach, team program coordinator and pool manager.  He graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1983 with a BS in Psychology and Child Development.  He was the Assistant Coach for the Marcos de Niza swim team for two years before moving to the Arcadia district where he coached Arcadia High School to 9 State Championships!  Jack was the Aquatics Director at the Village Athletic Club for three years before returning to school to obtain his Law Degree from ASU.  He has always been a fan of swimming, a participant of swimming, and his passion and knowledge of the sport has led to the success of his swimmers.


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.

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!

Nichol Dowell Age Group Coach - Kino
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. 
Jenny Browne Safe Sport Liason, Age Group-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

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