Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Andrew Proper Head Coach

Coach Andrew began his coaching role with RSC August 2022. He comes from northern Virginia and has swum all his life. He started competitive swimming at age 5 when he joined his neighborhood team, the Kingsbrooke Sea Lions. It was not love at first stroke, but he continued swimming year-round for OCCS and eventually ended up on the Nation's Capital swimming team, training under Olympic gold and silver medalist Jeremy Linn. He swam on the same team as Olympians Katie Ledecky and Andrew Seliskar.

His passion for coaching started with the Sea Lions as he worked for two summers assisting with the developmental Pups program at 14 years old. This experience led to roles as a Junior Coach for the Victory Lakes Piranhas, and Assistant Head Coach for the Bristow Tri and Swim club during his high school years.

As a graduate of Patriot High School, Andrew has the distinction of being the first ever District Champion for the school in any sport, winning the 100 breaststroke his freshman year (which was the first year Patriot was open). His tenure at Patriot High includes multiple individual district championship titles, three team district championship titles, and he was a state qualifier all four years. He graduated Patriot in 2015 as an AP Scholar with a 4.2 GPA.

In USA Swimming, Andrew achieved Junior and Winter National cut times and received Scholastic All-American honors his junior and senior years. As a result, he was offered a scholarship to swim for the UCONN Huskies as a member of their Division I, American Athletic Conference team. He swam for the Huskies for two years, making finals in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, as well as the 200 IM, at the conference meets, both his freshman and sophomore year.

He graduated UConn in 2020 with a degree in statistics and took a job working at a local swim school in the area, working as both the assistant manager of the school, and as the head coach of the USA Swimming program for all four locations throughout northern Virginia. While working at the swim school, he also served as head coach of his local neighborhood summer league team, the Kingsbrooke Sea Lions.

Coach Andrew is very excited to bring the knowledge and culture of competitive swimming to Rams Swimming this upcoming season.

FUN FACT: Last name is pronounced: PRO - per

Michelle Allen Senior Assistant Coach/Lessons Lead

Coach Michelle Allen joined the RSC staff team in 2017. She coaches swim team and leads our swim lesson program. Her coaching experience has stretched beyond the SEPHS pool with club volleyball, running club (cross country) and with the Girl Scout swim team. She has loved swimming since she was very young. Michelle grew up in a small town and didn’t have the opportunity to swim competitively. That small town had a pool however and she spent the weekdays there and on the weekends was swimming at the lake. Michelle was an assistant for swimming lessons starting at age 11 and became a lifeguard at age 16. She taught swimming lessons to all ages and abilities. She is an athlete herself with playing volleyball, basketball and running track in high school and collegiately played volleyball at Dakota State University her freshman year.  She continues to run long distances and has completed four ½ marathons!

Michelle received her Nursing Degree from MN-West (small community college in Southwestern MN) and works at the Des Moines VA. She has twin daughters, Abigail and Emma and is married to her husband Nate. Her family loves spending time together with their three dogs Victor (Husky), Lily (Husky) and JellyBean (Mini Schnauzer) and our rabbit Samuel.

Kimberly Gleason Assistant Coach & RSC Meet Director

Coach Kimberly has been with the Rams Swim Club for many years as a parent, board member, coach and as of 2018 our meet director. Her background includes being an aquatics fitness instructor for over a decade and has taught lessons from water babies through adult. Her favorite class to teach were adult swim lessons. Kimberly was a club President of one of the largest area swim teams from 2009 until 2017. She joined the RSC board as Vice President from 2018 – 2019 and board President from 2019 – 2022. AND she has been a swim official since 2010 and a USA Swimming official since 2018. When she coaches, she likes to focus on the technical aspects of the strokes and finishes.

Kimberly loves the distance races which in turn makes freestyle her favorite stroke. She believes distance races are very strategic and give smaller swimmers that have not developed as quickly as their classmates a great chance to be competitive. "Anyone can do a sprint, but it takes guts to swim the mile."

Kimberly is married (Warren) and they have two children, Alexis (Drake-son-in-law) and Britt. Her primary work is for the Iowa Division of Banking. In addition to helping RSC, she is still on the pool deck for the SEP High School girls and boys teams running the timing and computer systems. If she isn't at the SEP pool, one can find her assisting with the SEP post prom and tennis programs.

Sara Hulen Assistant Coach

Coach Sara has been with RSC since February 2023. Sara started swimming at the Urbandale Swim Club when she was 8 years old.  She came from a family of ball sport athletes, so no one thought she would fall in love with swimming like she did.  She eventually moved over to the Des Moines Swim Federation when she was approximately 12 years old and swam there throughout her high school and college swimming career.  In high school, she swam for the Urbandale/Johnston team (Johnston didn’t have a pool at the time) and went to state all 4 years.  Her best events in high school were the 100 back and 500 free.  In her year-round seasons, she swam every event, except for breaststroke (even though she did the 200 and 400 IM).  She went on to swim two years at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, doing mostly distance swimming.  She also participated in track during high school, running the mile and 4x800.

Sara coached one season for the Kirksville Swim Club when she was in college.  She really enjoyed it at the time and is excited to be a part of the Rams Swim Club! Sara’s favorite events to swim were the 200 back, 400 IM and the mile.  She thinks she enjoyed them so much because, not only were they the events that were typically considered the least favorites by most, but she also found them to be the most mentally and physically challenging.  The mile is a long race to keep your mind focused and she always loved that challenge.  Sara was one who, even though they are necessary, never needed a lap counter because she always knew exactly where she was in the race. 

In Sara’s full-time job, she works for the Crime Victim Assistance Division at the Iowa Attorney General’s Office working to improve services for victims of crime.  She is very passionate about the work she does at her full-time job.  Sara is the mom of an 8-year-old daughter, Evalyn, who is just beginning her swimming experience and joining the Rams, as well.  Sara’s husband, Chad, is a K9 Officer at the Altoona Police Department.  Their K9, Kali, is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois.  They also have an 8-year-old German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix named Alex.

“Work for a cause, not for applause. Remember to live your life to express, not to impress.  Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.” - Grace Lichtenstein

Alea Lause Assistant Coach

Alea has been a part of the Rams Swim Club since 2012 and joined the coaching staff in 2020. She has also taught swim lessons for many years at the Altoona Campus.As a student-athlete, Alea swam and ran track; qualifying for the State meets in both! Her personal favorite events are the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle as she loves to sprint!

When she isn’t on the pool deck, Alea spends her time working at Methodist Hospital on the oncology floor and studying for nursing school at DMACC. She and her boyfriend Nicolas, recently adopted an Australian Shepherd puppy, Millie who is full of energy. Alea’s favorite hobbies are hiking, baking, and camping with her family.

Alea’s favorite quote to share with the team: “Don’t swim to the wall, swim through the wall” - Coach Jim

Schuyler Willier Jr. Asst Coach & Swim Lesson Instructor

Schuyler has been with RSC since 2016 as a swimmer on the team. He is also a member of the Southeast Polk High School boys swim team. In his first season on staff with the Rams Swim Club, he brings his swim lessons experience from past positions as a coach and lifeguard for the City of Des Moines during the summer of 2022.

Schuyler’s favorite event is the 100 back as it is currently his best event too.

When Schuyler isn’t at the pool training or instructing, he enjoys traveling, boating, playing piano and exploring ecommerce and entrepreneurship. He also has a sister who swims for RSC . Schuyler’s favorite quote is: “Do not pray for easy lives.  Pray to be stronger men.”  John F. Kennedy

Frankie Hanson Team Administrator

Frankie has been a part of the aquatics community since joining her first swim team at the age of seven.  Growing up in Des Moines, she swam competitively for a USA Swimming club and her high school team. Collegiately, she swam for the University of Kansas where she earned All-American honors. And from time to time, she has been known to come out of swimming “retirement” to compete in Masters swimming. Frankie joined RSC in the fall of 2021.

Madeleine Reed Assistant Coach (summer season)

Madi has been a part of the Rams Swim Club since 2009 and joined the coaching staff in 2020. She has also taught swim lessons for numerous years at the Altoona Campus and coached swim team at the Wakonda Country Club in Des Moines.

As a student-athlete, Madi was a member of the 200-medley relay which  broke the school record her sophomore year and a team captain her senior year. Her personal favorite events are the 100 and 200 backstroke.

She is currently a student at the University of Iowa working towards becoming a dentist. When she is on school breaks, you will find Madi on our pool deck. When she isn’t studying or coaching, Madi spends her time working out, cooking and with family and her lab puppy Bear.

Dustin Cassler Assistant Coach (summer season)

Please help me welcome Coach Dustin Cassler for the summer season! Dustin joined the RSC staff team in 2021. He grew up playing all sports but focused primarily on swimming in high school. He swam for the Altoona Swim Club, CIA, SEP HS where he was a team captain AND has participated as a Masters swimmer in the Masters State meet and in the Iowa Games twice.

His coaching experience is extensive. For over the last decade plus, he has been with the Altoona Swim Club, DM East-Lincoln High School boys team, DM East High School boys team East DM Swim Club and currently with SEP Junior High and High School boys head coach. Because he coaches high school swimming, he is able to join us during the summer months outside of the academic year. (There are official rules through the high school athletic unions for all Iowa high school coaches.)

Dustin has a collection of favorite events: the 500 free (a love/hate relationship he says), the 200 free, the 50 & 100 free (because they are always exciting raced and the 100 breast.

Dustin received his BA in Secondary Education Social Science & Drivers Education from Grandview University and his MA in Teaching Special Education  from Morningside College. His wife Jessi who teaches fifth grade at Willowbrook Elementary (SEP school), and they have two daughters, Norah (swims RSC) and Charlotte. The Cassler family enjoys being outdoors, athletics, music, and cheering for Notre Dame football!

Dustin’s favorite quote: "It's not the will to win that matters. It's the will to prepare to win that matters." - Paul "Bear Bryant"

Board of Directors
Tim Kimmel President 319-461-2238 term 2/23
Erin Green Vice President 515-240-4056 term 2/23
Brad Holtan Treasurer 515-360-2583 term 2/23
Kristine Hoffman Secretary 708-296-9467 term 2/22
Katherine Thomas At Large 641-831-3769 term 8/22