Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Kevin Chester Head Coach

Coach Kevin Chester comes to the Westside Silver Fins from the Northern California Bay Area, where he has had an extensive coaching career over the past almost 20 years. His passion for swimming started at the young age of 6 in Palm Springs, California. He competed in swimming at the local and national club level for Palm Springs Piranhas, and at the high school level with Palm Desert High School. After graduating from high school, he went on to swim and compete for the UC Davis Men’s Swim Team.

While attending UC Davis, Kevin began his coaching career at Davis Senior High School, as a volunteer assistant coach. That same year, the Davis Girls team went on to win a CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) Sac-Joaquin Section title. Following that high school season, Kevin began coaching the Winters Summer League Recreation team, as well as the Winters High School Varsity swim team.

Kevin continued as the Head Coach for both the Winters Summer League Recreation team, and the Winters High School Varsity swim team. In his very first year with Winters High School, there were only 10 swimmers on the team. Throughout the eight years with Winters High School, the team saw tremendous growth in numbers and went from 10 swimmers to as many as 35 in a single season.

Kevin had much success with the Winters High School Varsity swim team. The Boys team won 7 league titles, 4 NS (Northern Section) CIF Division II Section runner-up titles, 1 NSCIF Division II Section title, and 1 NSCIF Top 16 Section runner up title. The Girls team won 4 league titles, 3 NSCIF Division II Section runner-up titles, and 1 NSCIF Division II Section title. Kevin also had his Boys 400 Free Relay go undefeated 3 years in a row; two boys won NSCIF Male Swimmer of the Year, and Kevin was named 2011 NSCIF Varsity Boys Coach of the Year.

He has also coached at the collegiate level with California State University, East Bay where he volunteered as an assistant coach and worked with the Sprint group. He was an integral part of the 2018-2019 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championship Team.

Coach Kevin most recently was the Head Coach for the Ahi Swim Team, and a lead site coach for DART-Solano Swimming. Throughout his 8 consecutive years with Ahi, he was able to grow the program to about 50% more swimmers than when he started. In his first year with Ahi, the team qualified its first-ever relay for the Contra Costa County championship meet. Each subsequent year thereafter, Ahi took more and more swimmers to the championship meet. With DART-Solano, Coach Kevin helped to maintain and run the American Canyon site, build the program, and even managed to coach swimmers to a national ranking in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When he is not around the pool deck, or in the water, he loves spending time with his two wonderful kids who are also swimmers–Camryn and Clayton, and his awesome wife, Melissa who is AMAZING and KNOWS EVERYTHING!

Denise Stewart Head Age Group Coach

  I am excited to be part of the Silver fin family again in a coaching role as the Head Age Group Coach.  I currently have 3 children on the YWSF team, 18yr old identical twin boys, Dexter and Riley, and a 14yr old daughter, Makenzie. My boys are finishing up their high school season and are preparing for Lacrosse.    

I have over 23 years of experience in the Aquatics field with includes but not limited to coaching, pool management, lifeguarding and teaching lessons.  I have experience coaching and training athletes from novice to Olympic time trial qualifiers.  I am not a stranger to rebuilding a team and refocusing training.  I established and ran the Vitras swim club in Verrado for several years before moving over to YWSF.  I was the Head Coach for Verrado High School’s swim and dive team from 2010 – 2018 where the team grew from 10 to over 80 athletes.  I was nominated by my fellow coaches and won the highest award for a swim and dive coach, AIA Head Women’s Coach of the year.  I also won the Verrado High School Boy’s coach of the year.  I am currently the assistant Swim Coach at Canyon View High School. 

I have been with YWSF through the majority of their big changes and have seen this club come back stronger each time.  I am looking forward to meeting you all.  

Fun fact: I am also a Certified Surgical Technologist.  I can be found in the operating room when I am not coaching or at the YMCA. 


Megan Barta Assistant Coach

Meg started competitive swimming when at the age of 4, swimming in Tucson, Phoenix, and then in college in Texas. She started two high school programs in Ardmore, OK and was also head coach of Ardmore Aquatics. Athletes Meg coached included beginning swimmers to national team swimmers with several state champions and state record holders in age group USA Swimming and YMCA. Zones qualifiers, National YMCA qualifiers and many Oklahoma high school state qualifiers.

Meg says "I am a big believer in technique, working hard and making swimming fun! I hope I can give back to swimming what swimming has given to me over the years, a great work ethic, some lasting friendships and wonderful memories. If you see me on deck or in the water, please stop me and say Hi."

Owen Davis Senior Group Coach

Hello! My name is Coach Owen. I have competed in swimming since the age of 9 and swam in college at Misericordia University. In my athletic swimming career I primarily competed in backstroke and distance freestyle. I have coached swimming in Pennsylvania for about 8 years before moving out to Arizona in 2019. I have experince coaching a variety of ages including learn to swim all the way up to high school. My personal swim philosophy is that all swimmers can succeed with the right technique and mentality.

This is my first year as a Silver fin coach and I am truly looking forward to helping this great program's swimmers be the best that they possibly can be!

Lisa Kodet Silver Group
Victoria Warrum Bronze Group Coach

Hello! My name is Torie. I started competitively swimming at age 8 with the Westside Silver Fins. I swam all through age group and into high school where I was offered an academic and athletic scholarship. I competed collegiately for 2 years at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah where I specialized in backstroke and IM events. I’m currently finishing my undergrad at Arizona State University studying Secondary Education-Biological Sciences. I’ve had previous experiences teaching swim lessons as well as coaching a variety of age groups. I’m excited to bring my love for education and swimming together while continuing to learn with the sport. I hope to motivate athletes to seek higher goals and have fun at the same time!

Denise O'Connell FINS 2 Group Coach

Denise is our FINS 2 Coach

Chelsea Clark Fins I Coach

Hi! My name is Chelsea. I am a senior at Millennium High School, where I am a member of the National Honors Society and an intern with the Sports Medicine program. I have been swimming for 6 years and am currently swimming on the Silver Fins and Millennium’s Swim and Dive team. I have prior experience as a certified swim instructor and have been a lifeguard at the YMCA for over a year. I was also an assistant coach on the Mighty-Mahi summer recreational team. I look forward to helping your athletes learn the fundamentals of the four strokes while having fun. 

Bill Hunter Head Dive Coach

Coach Bill started diving through the local summer pool league in New Jersey, and continued through High School. He also participated in Track and Field. The 800 was his main race and it earned him a college scholarship, thereby ending his diving career temporarily.

When his young sons decided to try diving, he re-engaged in the sport and began coaching at the Goodyear pool in the mid 90’s. And later, with ’76 Olympian, Barb Nejman, who became his coaching mentor for the next 20 years. 

Bill and Barb started the Silver Fins Dive team in 2012 and have grown it to produce some of the top divers in the State, with a number qualifying for national level competition.  In addition to the Silver Fins Dive team, Coach Bill coaches at four Agua Fria District High Schools.

Autumn Fotta Assistant Dive Coach

I grew up in Pittsburgh PA where I started diving in middle school and competed all 4 years of diving in high school at North Hills. I also was on the University of Pittsburgh's club diving team during high school. I continued to compete 1M and 3M at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. I began coaching diving in high school during learn to dive programs and private lessons. I coached swimming and diving at the YMCA in Clarion PA during undergrad. I moved out to Arizona in August 2019 to attend Midwestern University’s veterinarian school. I look forward to helping your child learn the sport of dive! 

Colleen Bolan Desert Foothills Head Coach

Coach Colleen is the head Coach of our Desert Foothills Silver Fin location loacted at the Desert Foothills Family YMCA in north Scottsdale. 

Colleen Bolan began her competitive swimming career at the age of 8 years old at the Heilman Recreation Center in Southeastern Michigan, competing in all strokes and the team freestyle and medley relays.  Later in her career she focused on distance swimming in the 500yd freestyle.

Colleen continued with competitive swimming up until 18 years of age with the East Detroit Seals Swim Club AAU Team traveling the Midwest in competitions, qualifying for summer championships each of those years.  In addition, she swam for her high school teams and summer teams through her community center. 

Colleen’s biggest individual accomplishment as a swimmer was when she qualified and competed at the Fort Lauderdale International Swimming Hall of Fame AAU Meet. 

Colleen has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and after a career in the technology industry, Colleen returned to her passion for competitive swimming, and is now in her 4th year as Head Coach for the YMCA Desert Foothills Dolphins Swim Team, where she coached a team of 40+ swimmers ranging from 6 to 18 years in age. Six of those swimmers have now moved into the Silver Fins competitive program, and Colleen is excited to begin her 1st season as Coach of the Silver Fins Swim Team at Desert Foothills YMCA location in 2021. She holds both the ASCA Level 1 (Foundations) and Level 2 (Stroke) Schools certifications.

Colleen says “I have learned so much from my involvement in competitive sports.  Sports taught me to never give up, and I use that every day in my career and personal life. No matter how tough something is, if you keep working at it and do not give up, you will succeed. Every swimmer has different goals they want to achieve in swimming.  I encourage those individual goals and work with each swimmer so that they can be successful in whichever direction of swimming they want to go.”

Tracie Petro PAC President
Board of Directors