Led by head coach Todd Schmitz, the Colorado STARS coaching staff is exceptional, and stands out among their peers.  In fact, many of our coaches have received nominations for Colorado Coach of the Year awards. Most of the STARS head coaches are full-time coaching professionals who have worked together for over 5 years. Each of the Colorado STARS coaches embrace the same coaching philosophy, but have the autonomy to translate that philosophy in their own unique way.


Todd Schmitz, Head Coach/CEO
High Performance and Senior Groups Coach

Swim Experience

Todd swam for Metro State University of Denver and achieved the following accolades:
4 year Letter Winner
4 year All Conference
4 time Honorable Mention All American
1x All American 
School record holder

Coaching Experience

Todd has coached all ability levels from learn-to-swim to Olympic athletes [from the U.S., Mexico, China, and Vietnam], High School All Americans, three National Age Group Record Holders, and National Top 16 age group athletes for the following teams: 

USA Woman’s’ Olympic Team
USA National Team
Regis Jesuit High School Girls’
Chaparral High School Girls’
Grandview High School Boys’
Overland High School Girls’
Stonegate Stingrays [summer club]

In addition, Todd has conducted over 25 swim clinics across the U.S. and around the world.

Coaching Philosophy

Todd believes swimming needs to remain fun no matter what age athlete. That definition of fun has to evolve from external motivations to internal motivations as the athlete matures. 

Industry Recognition & Volunteer Work

Todd served as the Co-Chairperson of Age Group Swimming for Colorado Swimming, Inc. from 2005 through 2008 and was also a member of USA Swimming's Convention Education Committee through 2013. 

Todd has been honored by his peers with the following awards:

Colorado Swimming 
Age Group Coach of the Year in 2008
Coach of the Year in 2009 
Senior Group Coach of the Year in 2010

American Swim Coaches Association 
Age Group Coach of the Year for Colorado in 2008 and 2009

USA Swimming 
Developmental Coach of the Year in 2010

Get to Know Coach Todd

Todd lives in Aurora, Colorado with fiancé Maxim, her daughter Lia and golden retriever Ivy.

Email Coach Todd


Eric Eikenbary
Associate Head Coach      
Senior and Silver Groups Coach

Swim Experience

Eric grew up in Van Wert, Ohio where he swam for the local YMCA. His academic career took him to Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio where he was a four-year, twelve-time NCAA II All-American, a 26 Time All-Conference selection in the Penn-Ohio Conference [now the Bluegrass-Mountain Conference], and he was a two-time team captain.   Eric was inducted into the Ashland University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.  

Coaching Experience

Eric Eikenbary has been with the STARS since 2014. Previously he has been the Assistant Coach of Men’s Swimming at Princeton University [2002 to 2005], Head Coach for the Foothills Swim Team [2005 to 2009] and Interim Head Coach for the Highlands Ranch Aquatics [2012 to 2013].

Coaching Philosophy

“Working with athletes is what I do.” Says Eric. “It is what I have been doing for nearly a quarter century. Being involved with the development of any person is not something I take lightly. I understand and appreciate the responsibility I have.”

Get to Know Coach Eric

Eric loves enjoying all that Colorado has to offer with his wife Dori and children Sawyer (born in 2008) and Wyatt (born in 2011).

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Karen Ammon
Director of Age Group Development
Red Group Coach

Swim Experience

Karen began swimming competitively at the age of 7 in Lakewood, California with Lakewood Aquatic Club under the tutelage of Jim Montrella.  During high school she swam for Beach Swim Club under Jon Urbanckek and Klaus Barth.

Karen studied at the University of Michigan where she swam under Stu Isaac, Pete Lindsay, and Jim Richardson. 

Coaching Experience

During her coaching career, Karen has coached all abilities from water safety and learn to swim to National Top 16 age group swimmers and High School All Americans for the following teams: 

Lakewood Athletic Club
Brookdale Swim Club
Naperville YMCA
Hillsborough Hurricanes YMCA
Wheatlands Sharks [summer swim club]
Grandview High School Boys’ and Girls’ 
Special Olympics Colorado

Currently she serves as the Director for Age Group Development and the New Swimmer Coordinator for the STARS.

Coaching Philosophy

Karen has a unique reverence for the sport of swimming and her experience and love of the sport is translated into helping grow swimmers’ skills and performance.  

Get to Know Coach Karen

Karen’s four children, all swimmers and young coaches, graduated from Grandview High School, have graduated or are attending university, and inspire her to foster character-driven leadership among the student-athletes in her program.  

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Jenny Wait
Black, Starfish and High School Prep Groups Coach

Swim Experience

Coach Jenny is a Colorado native who found her love of swimming on a summer swim team in Boulder at age 11. She went on to swim for Pomona High School where she was a four year letter winner and State Qualifier while also swimming with the North Jeffco Swim Team and participating as a member of the Colorado Zone team.  

Jenny studied Kinesiology and Coaching at the University of Northern Colorado as a scholarship athlete.  During college she was a four year letter winner and two-time NCAA Division II All-American.  

Coaching Experience

Jenny’s coaching career began after college with her original summer team, the Rock Creek Flyers and continued on to the Pomona High School Girls’ team. After a 12-year hiatus working for a mutual fund company, she returned to coaching as the Head Age Group Coach for a local USA Swimming team, as well as being the JV Girls Coach for Grandview High School.  

Coaching Philosophy

Jenny has a passion for coaching and strives to create a fun and positive environment that her athletes enjoy being a part of. She emphasizes the importance of proper stroke technique, while using positive feedback to help swimmers achieve their goals. Jenny believes strongly in team spirit, good sportsmanship and healthy competition.  She views her role as a coach to assist in the physical, psychological and social development of each athlete; pushing them to their full potential, creating mental toughness and building self-confidence that will positively affect the rest of their life.
Jenny’s greatest goal is to share her love of swimming and instill the same passion for the sport in others.

Industry Recognition & Volunteer Work

Jenny has served as Colorado Swimming's Age Group Chair on the CSI Board of Directors and represented Colorado Swimming as the Head Coach for Colorado's All Star and Zone Championship Teams.

Get to Know Coach Jenny

Jenny is married to Raphael Wait (aka Mr. Coach Jenny), a former swimmer and soon-to-be High School Swim Official.  Team Wait also consists of three cats; Bagheera, Otis and Maximus.  Jenny & Raph love to beach camp, bike ride, spend time with family & friends and of course, laugh a lot.

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Regina Perez
Assistant Coach

Swim Experience

Regina began swimming at age 7 with Center Grove Aquatic Club, in Greenwood Indiana.  She continued swimming at Center Grove High School where as Team Captain [both her Junior and Senior years] she helped the team win runner-up at the Indiana State Championships by placing individually in the 100 and 50 Freestyle events as well on 200 and 400 Freestyle relay teams. For her high school swimming Regina was awarded 'Most Improved Swimmer' with All Conference honors.

Regina's hard work awarded her a full scholarship to the University of Indianapolis, a Division II collegiate swimming program, where she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Psychology. In college swimming she specialized in freestyle sprints and was also Team Captain of the Lady Hounds both her Junior and Senior years.  Regina's greatest collegiate swimming accomplishment was placing 2nd at the GLVC Conference Championships on the 200 and 400 Freestyle relay teams, allowing her and her teammates the opportunity to compete in the Division II National Championships.   

Coaching Experience

After college, Regina coached for two years with Flashes Aquatics, where she coached the age group Silver and Gold teams in addition to assistant coached the middle school team.  

Get to Know Coach Regina

In 2016 Regina moved to Colorado to work as a Behavioral Therapist at Laradon, a school for students with disabilities and plans to attend graduate school to pursue her goal of becoming a Speech and Language Pathologist.

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Chris Adams

Assistant Coach

Swim Experience

Coach Chris, a California native, grew up swimming for the Mission Viejo Nadadores. He was a three year Varsity swimmer in high school and swam for one season at the University of Denver. He also spent a year at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom where he not only swam, but also played water polo. Upon returning to the states, Chris began his masters swimming career.

Coaching Experience

Chris began coaching with the Mission Viejo Nadadores satellite summer teams before becoming the lead coach for the 11-12 silver team. He then spent time coaching high school swimming and water polo for the Capistrano Unified school district in Southern California after which he moved to Boston, MA for law school.  While in Boston, Chris coached the 10 & under and 11-12 groups for Charles River Aquatics. Following law school Chris was a founding coach of the Commonwealth Current where he was the senior assistant coach and site director for the team’s learn to swim program. Chris has been an ASCA certified age group and masters coach since 2006.

Get to Know Coach Chris

Chris earned BA in history from the University of Denver in 2010 and his JD from New England Law Boston in 2015. Outside of swimming, Chris is a collegiate water polo association official, enjoys hiking, camping, skiing, reading and movies.

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Jess Levy
Assistant Coach

Swim Experience

Jess was a competitive swimmer for 19 years, competing at the state and sectional level for Washington Township Swim Club in Indianapolis, Indiana. In high school she was a 4-time letter winner and a team captain and swam in college for the club team at Miami University.

Coaching Experience

Jess has worked swimmers across different age groups and abilities first as Assistant Head Coach for the Clifton Meadows team in Cincinnati and then with the Cincinnati Marlins.

Get to Know Coach Jess

Jess graduated with honors from Miami University with a B.S. in Early Childhood education and a minor in Special Education. When she’s not swimming or coaching, she loves going to concerts, hiking, skiing, and enjoying all of the beauty Colorado has to offer!

Email Coach Jess