About Our Coaches

The Vortex Swim Club coaching staff are all certified members of USA swimming. Their goal is the development of lifelong swimmers and the whole athlete.  The coaches are available to answer your questions related to workouts, meets, meet events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs.  For all questions related to administration such as dues, volunteering or policy issues; please contact the appropriate volunteer or board member.  Please click here for our policy on how to to communicate with the coaches


Head Coach

Nick Anziano

 

I began swimming when I was 13 years old when my parents forced me to join the local summer club.  At that time, I was a soccer player and that was my passion, but I had a coach that took an interest in me and helped me develop and learn to love the sport of swimming.  This was the first time I experienced great coaching that made an impact on me.

 

After falling in love with the sport, I went to Regis Jesuit High School to swim and was varsity for all four years.  My junior and senior year I got my first taste at coaching. My friend and I coached and managed the Heather Ridge Country Club summer club swim team in Denver.  I had a great time, learned so much about coaching and had way too many Slurpees! During these 4 years, I had some great coaches at both Regis and my club team.

 

I accepted a position to swim at Bowling Green State University my freshman year of college.  This was hard for me. For the first time in swimming, my coach and I were not compatible. I learned a lot from him, he was technically a great coach, but we just didn’t click. Because of this, I decided to take the opportunity to join my family in Malta. During my time in Malta, I worked as an assistant coach for the Malta National Swim Team.

 

When my family and I came back to the US, I decided to attend Western State College. While in Gunnison, I coached for the summer club swim team and started the Gunnison High School Swim Teams for both boys and girls.  After graduating from college, I moved around a few times until I came to Fort Collins. Since I arrived in Fort Collins in 2008, I have been in the swim community working with summer clubs, running aquatics programs and coaching for Vortex. During the day, I am the Aquatics Manager at Raintree Athletic Club.

 

My many years of experience working with coaches has helped to create my theory of coaching and the way I approach swimming. Quality over quantity, clear communication, the desire and motivation to get better are all critically important to me. I enjoy teaching technique and helping swimmers improve their strokes.  I like to push swimmers both in and out of the water to achieve better times and help them realize how much they can accomplish.

 

My coaches impacted me, as a swimmer and as an individual. They were modeling character to me.  I try to remember that it is now my opportunity to impact these youth, as swimmers, and as people.

 

In my down time, I like to spend time with my lovely wife and hang with the two teenagers at home.


Assistant Coach

Jackson Allen

I’ve been swimming pretty much my whole life, or since my parents and I found out I’m not the best at catching things that are thrown to me!  I started out swimming for the Loveland Boltz when some neighbors asked if I would try the team with them and I ended up being the only one to stick it out.  I swam for them throughout Elementary school and then took a break from club swimming.  While I was in Middle school, I swam for the Westfield Waves and started to realize that I really liked swimming,  I was at a meet and met the coach of Vortex and he told me that I should try year round swimming with him starting my freshman year of High school.  I swam for Vortex all throughout High school and became a team captain.  During that same time frame, I swam for my High school, Rocky Mountain, became a team captain, and went to state 3 out of the 4 years.  After High school, I went to Morningside College on a swim scholarship where I studied Elementary and Middle school education as well as swimming breaststroke, IM, and the Distance Freestyle events.  I have also lifeguarded and taught swim lessons and have found that my love of teaching and swimming really go hand in hand.  I started coaching the Westfield Waves swim team and am so excited to be coaching with Vortex.  The coaches I had on these teams really shaped who I am today, and I want to carry on that tradition of building strong, smart, and caring swimmers!


Assistant Coach

Marcia Anziano

I began my swimming career late in life. I learned to swim at the age of 50, but it was not until I was 55 that I started to compete seriously. I still copete at the National level in pool racing, qualifying for the National Championships in several events. At the same time I continue to participate in Open Water. As a member of a relay team, I have completed the Triple Crown of Open Water (English Channel, Swim around Manhattan Island, and Catlaina Channel). As a solo swimmer I have competed in many events including the Horsetooth 10K, Waikaki Rough Water, Big Shoulder, with the longest being a 12-mile swim in the Willamette River in Portland.

I began my coaching career as a Masters coach in 2004. I have coaches Masters continuously since that time. Prior to relocating from Denver to Fort Collins in early 2018, I coached High School in Denver for 8 years. Since then, I have coached both the youth and Masters teams at Raintree Athletic Club and teach swim lessons to all ages. I have my ASCA Level 2 and Masters Level 3 coaching certifications. I am excited abou the opportunity to coach for the Vortex swim team. As both a coach and a swimmer, I feel strongly that technique, along with consistent training, is highly important to success in swimming.


Assistant Coach

Melanie Larson 

I began my journey as a swimmer in middle school when I started playing club water polo.  The off seasons for water polo were known as the "swim to stay in shape for water polo seasons." Little did I know how much I would enjoy swimming competitively. I had the honor of earning Team Captain or MVP all my years playing water polo and swimming in high school. My journey playing water polo came to an end of my junior year in high school after several injuries. I decided to put all my effort into swimming. I swam for two years at Orange Coast College earning the title of MVP and Team Captain. My team also won State Championships both years I swam; personally, I ranked top 5 in state in the 50 and 100 free and my relays broke multiple state and school records. My freshman year at junior college was also the time I began coaching and teaching swim lessons to children of all abilities. I finished my swimming career at the University of Nevada, Reno where I achieved my goal as an athlete by competing at a Division 1 level on scholarship. My coaches through the years have each taught me so many valuable lessons that I hope to pass on to the swimmers I have the honor of coaching and teaching.


 

 

Assistant Coach

Chris Whitehead

Throughout my childhood, I was a land sport athlete, where I played soccer across the state of Oregon and competed at club National for track. I started swimming at 13, but didn't become serious about the sport or train year round until my junior year of high school. On a whim, I decided to swim Division III while attending Willamette University (Salem, OR). This (seemingly random) decision turned out to be the best decision of my life. I met some of my closest friends through swim team and learned so many valuable life lessons. I learned how to persevere, how to accept and use failure, and how to time-manage.

 

After I obtained my B.A. in Chemistry in 2014, I ran away to Florida for a chemistry internship at Disney World. Following my internship, I was offered the assistant men's and women's swimming coach position back at Willamette University, where I assisted in the coaching of 35 student-athletes that went on to break 7 school records! I have been in Fort Collins since August 2015, where I have coached the Village Green Gators, the RAC youth team, and RAC Masters. My "day job" is working on my Chemistry Ph.D. at CSU. 

 

I am absolutely thrilled to coach with Vortex Swim Club. My swim coaches made such a positive impact on my life and shaping the human I am today. My hope is pass along their teachings and help the Vortex swimmers become the best students, athletes, and humans they can be!


How to Communicate with the Coaches

 

Email the coach.  They will get back to you as soon as possible.  If necessary, set up a meeting to talk with the coach after practice. Please do not speak with the coach during practice. Coaches must have their full attention on the swimmers.

 

If you have a concern about a coach and feel comfortable talking with the coach, please do so. If you do not feel comfortable expressing your concern with the coach or if you have already talked with the coach and the issue continues to be unresolved, please email the Head Coach.  If that avenue has not effectively addressed your concern the final step would be to email the Board of Directors.