Coaches and Directors

Coaching Staff
Kent Nelson Head Coach

 

Coach Kent Nelson has a diverse background in aquatics. Having grown up at his family owned aquatic center, Kent was in the water at an early age (3) and hasn’t been dry since. 

Kent has coached nearly every level of swimming, from Learn to Swim to Olympic Trials Qualifiers. Most recently Coach Nelson has been the Head Girls Coach and Assistant Boys Coach for the Discovery Canyon Thunder. DCC girls in 2022 placed 2 nd and boys placed 3 rd .

Kent began coaching and teaching “learn to swim” at 15 and felt more comfortable on deck than in the water. As a teenager Kent served on the Indiana Swimming and USA Swimming Board of Directors as an athlete rep. In his later role, Kent was the Administrative Vice President of the Athletes Executive Council and Athletes Vice Chair to the board. Kent would also serve Indiana Swimming as the Technical Chair and Administrative Vice Chair.

Kent’s passion for aquatics led him back to his family business, Total Aquatic Programming, who specialize in aquatic consulting and marketing.

Kent also serves many organizations in aquatics including, the Association of Aquatic Professionals, National Drowning Prevention Alliance and Special Olympics Colorado.

Coach Nelson has served on numerous organizing committees for major national and international events including: the Olympic trials, nationals, junior nationals, world championships and the us open. Kent was also a part of the largest age group meet the Central Zone MEGA Zone championship.

Kent can also be found behind the mic at many meets, having announced for Open Water Nationals, Nationals, Trials, US Open and more.

On the home front Kent is married (23 years) to Julie (who is also a swim coach) and they have a 17 year old son Cameron (who is a gamer). Their family is completed by Haven and Pixie (their pups).

Coach Nelson graduated from Augustana College (Communications and Marketing) (Health Leisure and Exercise Science) and hold certifications from:

American Red Cross (Instructor Trainer)

Starfish Aquatics (StarGuard, AquaTech)

Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (Certified Pool Operator)

NPSI (Certified Water Treatment)

Microsoft (Certified IT Professional)

AOAP (Aquatic Facilities Operator)

American Swimming Coaches Association (Level 3/2)

USA Swimming (Life Member)

Rob Clayton Assistant Coach

Assistant Coach, Rocky Mountain Rapids

Head Men's Swimming Coach, USAFA

Coach Rob has worked with all the groups at Rocky Mountain Rapids over the past several years, but primarily focuses on the Senior Group.  Coach Rob began coaching a summer club in Fort Collins as a young teenager,  coached  USA Swimming clubs in Fort Collins, CO and American Fork, UT, and has been coaching college swimming for the past 23 years.  Coach Rob grew up swimming in Fort Collins and swam at the University of Wyoming, where he was an Academic All-American.  He was conference champion in both IM events, competed at the USA National Championships and the NCAA Championships.

"I love to see change.  The rate at which the young athletes are improving is sometimes mind-boggling!  Whereas my college swimmers train all year to see ever-smaller improvements, the younger RMR swimmers are literally dropping their times weekly!  It is fun to be  a part of the process and to help swimmers achieve their goals.  I love helping athletes understand what they need to do to grow and enjoy seeing them embrace change and be rewarded as they improve in the pool."

Raina Seabaugh Assistant Coach
Kelly Eisenhart Pre-Team & Class 1 Coach

Class 1 Coach, Rocky Mountain Rapids

 

Samantha Mongillo Pre-Team & Class 1 Coach
Mark Hesse Legacy Coach

Coach Mark Hesse rejoined the Rocky Mountain Rapids in December of 2020, having served as Head Coach of the team from July 2011-August 2012. Mark has a combined 40 years experience as a coach at the club, high school and collegiate levels. Most recently he was a Performance Development Manager in USA Swimming’s Sport Development Division from 2012-2020. In that role Mark was responsible for coach, club and athlete education and support in the areas of performance – training, technique, nutrition, recovery, video analysis, psychology and more.

His coaching career prior to his first stint with the Rapids spanned 32 years with multiple clubs and high schools across the U.S. beginning with the formation of Burke Barracudas in the Washington DC area. Hesse’s other stops include: the Mission Bay Makos, Team Orlando and the Fort Lauderdale Swim Team in Florida; Fort Worth Area Swim Team in Texas, Carmel, Washington Township and Sugar Creek Swim Clubs in Indiana. Those teams have won LSC, State and Sectional titles and swimmers coached by Mark have won multiple Junior national Championships, finaled at Phillips66 Nationals and been a part of the National Junior Team.

A member of the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame, Mark is also a Level 5 (of 5) Certified Coach and former member of the Board of Directors of the American Swimming Coaches Association. He has  held multiple volunteer Local Swimming Committee leadership roles as well as serving on several USA Swimming National Committees and Task Forces.

“Coaching for me is a labor of love. I truly enjoy the challenge of helping athletes discover their potential and figure out the puzzle of performance. It is exciting to me to be able to pass on my knowledge and love of swimming to the next generation of eager, enthusiastic swimmers.”

Board of Directors
Amanda Wilkinson President
Jamina Caldera Treasurer
Tiffany Roberts Secretary
Amy Oberchain Vice President