Coaching Staff

Jim Bocci Head Coach


Jim Bocci is a recognized expert swim coach.  In a career that has spanned 40+ years as both an athlete and now a renowned coach and innovator, he has become one of the leading USA-Swimming Club coaches in the country.

Jim’s accolades include multiple USA-Swimming club excellence awards, Coach of the Year awards at the region and state levels, over 100 All-Americans, 11 consecutive USA-Swimming LSC team titles, five USA-Swimming Club District Team of the Year awards, four high school state championship team titles in Ohio and Virginia, one USA-Swimming Sectional team title, a second place finish Futures, and multiple USA-Swimming top 30 team rankings (out of 2,500+ teams nationwide).  In addition, he has hosted some of the largest competitions in the country, including the NCAA DII Swimming & Diving National Championship, USA-Swimming Speedo Sectional Championship, Atlantic 10 Swimming & Diving Conference Championship, USMS Masters National Championship, and several large regional invitationals (with over 1,400 participants in each).   

 In October 2018 Jim took the helm as Head Coach of Highlands Ranch Aquatics where he has already made a positive impact on the team and community.  Prior to his appointment, Jim was the CEO and Head Coach at Cypress Fairbanks Swim Club, leading the club to a top 30 club ranking in the country, four Age-Group LSC Championship titles, and produced multiple Junior National and US Open qualifiers.  Before that Jim was the Head Coach at SPIRE Institute.  At SPIRE Institute, a United States Olympic Training Site, Jim worked with Olympians, World Championship participants, U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifiers, World Championship Team Trials qualifiers, and a Central American Games double gold medalist and event record holder. Many of his athletes went on to compete at the NCAA Division I level and included numerous USA Swimming Junior and Senior National qualifiers, All-Americans, US Open finalists and Open Water National Championship finalists.  In 2013 Jim established one of only three Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) Official Training Sites in the world, training athletes from across the globe in preparation for the World Championships and Olympics.  In addition, he has been a member of the USA-Swimming coaching staff for the National Select Camp at the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and a District Board Member for USA-Swimming.   

A student of the sport, Jim has a Masters of Sports Science in Coaching, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and was an NCAA Division I swimmer at The Ohio State University.  He also is a decorated Navy Officer.  Wife Kerrie and dad are proud swim parents of two young swimmers, Sergio and Francesca.

Ali Sensintaffar Head Age Group Coach

Ali started swimming competitively when she was seven years old. She has two older brothers and a younger sister, all of whom swam throughout high school. Her best event was the 100 butterfly. She swam briefly at Colorado State University before transferring to a different school.

Ali started coaching when she was fourteen years old as a volunteer swim coach for the Highlands Ranch Seahawks. She then continued teaching and coaching for HRCA for the next fifteen years, eventually becoming the Assistant Aquatic Program Coordinator where she helped run both the Learn to Swim Department and the Coached Aquatic Department. Over her career, she has been a junior coach, assistant coach, head coach, swim instructor, private instructor, trainer, lifeguard among many other titles.

As a coach, her philosophy is to emphasize technique and go back to the basics. It is her strong belief that a strong foundation will lead to stronger and faster swimmers. And while she believes in working hard, it is also important to have fun and build connections. Ali will often joke around with her swimmers and will do everything she can to make each swimmer feel that they are a special and important part of the HRA family.

Skyler Shinn Lead Senior Coach - Sectional Group

Skyler Frederick Shinn

Born in St. Louis, MO on 02/20/1993

Favorite Event (to swim)- 200 Breaststroke

Favorite Event (to coach)- 200/400 IM or 200/500 FR

Favorite Quote(s)

" Without training, they lacked knowledge. Without knowledge, they lacked confidence. Without confidence, they lacked victory." - Julius Ceasar

"Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one." - Marcus Aurelius

"You can't always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving, you will come to a better place." - Iroh

Skyler started his coaching career with the University of Evansville and the Newburgh Sea Creatures in August 2016. He worked with all levels of swimmers from novice to high-level national swimmers during his time in Evansville. Skyler spent 3 years in Evansville before moving across the country to work with Highlands Ranch Aquatics in June 2019 under his former coach, Jim Bocci.  Skyler directly coaches the Sectional group and assists with the State and National groups.


Susan Cotton Lead High School Coach

Suzy Cotton has been involved in the swimming world since birth, growing up in a family of swim coaches and shining in Colorado as a state ranked Age Group and Palmer High School swimmer who eventually competed on a swimming scholarship at Western State University. Currently swimming in Masters, Suzy is a top 5 World ranked Masters swimmer, National champion, and a Colorado state record holder in backstroke for the past 10 years in her age group. Competing for Team USA in the World Championships in Montreal she brought home 5 medals including a 2nd, 3 third places, and one 5th  place medal.  In July 2021, Suzy won the 200 backstroke and earned three second and a third place finishes at the US Masters National Championship in North Carolina.

Suzy brings professionalism, innovation, enthusiasm and love for the sport of swimming to her students, teammates and colleagues. 

Working for Highlands Ranch Community Association over the past 20 plus years Suzy has worn many hats within the organization and has greatly contributed to the success of the swim program. Some accolades include…

  • 2000-2009 Facility Head Swim Coach and Aquatic Trainer – Supervised training swim instructors as well as lifeguards in CPR/AED, and First Aid.

Coaching roles included creating pre-competitive, foundational swim programs for age group swimmers. She designed and developed the curriculum for the following four swim programs. Students from these programs would then feed into some of the other programs Suzy designed or implemented for HRA. 

  • Suzy created and implemented The Rocky Mountain Swim Academy , inspired by the Swim America program model to teach youngsters under ten how to swim. 

  • Students proficient in the four strokes next moved into other programming created and designed by Suzy called Juniors (10-14)  

  • Junior Elite (high school). These were year-round swim programs designed for athletes who wanted to participate in other sports while increasing their swimming skills and maintaining endurance throughout the year. Many of these swimmers would eventually move on to Club Swimming at HRA, summer club or other teams.

  • Suzy also developed a program for adult swimmers which included triathletes and those who wanted to work on stroke technique and endurance. She called this program Tri-Masters.

 As an interest in swimming grew in Highlands Ranch, Suzy recognized a need for the creation of new swimming programs to bridge the gaps in the existing programming. By accommodating the growing population and successes of the Aquatic Programs at the various facilities in the Highland Ranch area, members were able to curate the swim program of their choice throughout the calendar year. 

Joshua VanKooten Lead Age Group Coach - State Group
Patrick Kavanaugh Lead Silver Group Coach

Patrick Kavanaugh has been a part of the Highlands Ranch Aquatics coaching staff since September of 2020, upon moving to Denver, CO from the east coast.  Patrick has been fortunate to work with every group at HRA giving him a wide scope of coaching at many different age groups and levels of swimming, He now mainly working with the Silver and National groups.  Patrick is currently a Masters Student at the University of Denver in the School of Social Work.

Patrick's swimming career started at age 5 in a summer league, quickly progressing to the club level at Rockville Montgomery Swim Club in Rockville Maryland, where he became a National Qualifier.  He went on to swim in college at the Division 1 level at the University of Connecticut.  Here he was a 4 year competitor on the American Athletic Conference team, Scholoastic All-American, and captain.  Patrick is on the all time Top 10 at Uconn in several events.  His specialties were the 200 Butterfly, 400 IM, and Mile.

Patrick's coaching experience was minimal prior to HRA but has gotten where he is now from past experience as an athlete and learning from the other great coaches around him.  His philosophy is that a swimmer will be successful with a balance of technique and hard work, but most importantly, the swimmer must be having fun.

Anne Harston Lead White Group Coach
Lydia VanKooten Lead Blue Group Coach
Shannon Kerth Strength & Conditioning Coach

Shannon graduated from Ohio University in 1991, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition. While there, she swam for two years for the Bobcats and was a part of their MAC championship team.
Married to Jim Kerth, Shannon has two active children, Andrew and Allison. In 1995, after Allison was born, Shannon became a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council of Exercise. She's always loved physical activity and working with people, so she thought it was the perfect match. In 2001, Shannon started running my own personal training company. She designs strength, cardio, and flexibility training programs and feel it is important to incorporate all three disciplines to provide muscular balance and stability.
"As a swimmer, I understand the demands of swim training and the supporting role dryland workouts will provide. I am looking forward to working with the kids and providing them with cross-training workouts, as well as exercises that will improve their core strength and flexibility. My hope is to help make them well-rounded athletes, which will only make them better swimmers."

Leslie Reed Coaching Staff

Leslie grew up in Florida and has spent her entire life in and around the water. She swam competitively through high school and recreationally as an adult. Leslie taught swimming lessons for YMCA, Red Cross, SwimLabs and Swim America programs throughout high school and college and was an assistant coach for CSST for two seasons.

Leslie is transitioning back to the swimming world after working as a software engineer and mother. She loves working with younger swimmers and helping to instill in them a lifelong love of swimming. Her philosophy is that a groundwork of good technique layered with lots of fun will keep kids in love with the sport of swimming!

Jocelyn Parker Assistant Coach HS
Coach Joce started swimming at the young age of 4. She swam for her father on WCAN swim team for eleven years before switching to NVST to swm for a national coach. There coach Joce became a nationally known swimmer having qualified for the 2008 olympic trials in the 100 free. She took her swimming ability all the way from Napa, California to Tallahassee, Florida where she competed in the 100, 200, and 500 freestyle. There she was able to tack on another olympic trial cut for her 200 free as well as become an ACC champion her first season with the Seminoles. Before retiring her goggles she was able to qualify once again in her 100 free for the 2012 Olympic trials. After hanging up her compitition suit, she went into the world of coaching where she learned how much she truly loved swimming and found her passion. She worked with kids of all ages from 6 and unders to senior groups. She found that keeping the sport fun and ever changing was the best way to let kids learn how much they love chasing the black line. Through some success Coach Joce was able to help many athletes achieve and recognize thier dreams and abilities and hopes to continue to help young swimmers reach thier athletic goals.  
Leighton Wright Assistant Coach
Daniel Koenig Recruiting Coordinator