Indiana Swimming

Coaches & Directors


Coaching Philosophy & Objectives

Coaching Philosophy:

Our GREAT Coaches strive to provide a rewarding experience for our athletes, that allows them to pursue their goals and dreams, which we feel will lead to success both in and out of the pool. Success requires hard work and determination, but part of a rewarding and fun experience is success. We aim to provide a positive, supportive, and encouraging environment that allows for the success of all of our athletes. Not every swimmer can be an Olympian, or win every race they compete in; however, every swimmer can pursue excellence of their own degree by achieving their desired level of accomplishment. Our coaches will help our athletes set realistic, yet challenging goals and will appropriately train them based on their respective goals. We will coach our swimmers through the many peaks, valleys, and plateaus that come with competitive swimming, and along the way teach them the skills and lessons necessary to becoming a successful swimmer and individual.


Coaching Objectives:

We truly believe that there is no better sport than swimming to teach valuable life lessons, and to help athletes learn the necessary skills to be successful later in life, no matter their profession. Through swimming, our goals as GREAT Coaches are to establish these objectives for all of our athletes:

  1. Build Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem – To develop a sense of pride and respect in themselves, and their efforts in and out of the pool.
  2. Provide Motivation to Succeed – To give purpose to daily training, and create drive and determination.
  3. Instill Pride in Accomplishment – To provide a feeling of improvement, and remain engaged and motivated.
  4. Improve Technique and Skills – To become proficient in the water.
  5. Achieve Excellence in Training – To improve speed and endurance.
  6. Develop Leaders and Role Models – To set a great example for younger teammates, and become a productive member in our community.  


Coaching Staff
Jacob Downs Head Coach

Coach Downs started swimming in high school and instantly took to the sport. Upon graduating from Evansville North High School in 2013, he attended the University of Southern Indiana where he recieved a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management. Jake has been coaching for GREAT since 2016, and took over as the Head Coach in March of 2020. His passion and enthusiasm for coaching and swimming shine bright, and helps our athletes reach their full potential both in and out of the water. Along with coaching for GREAT, Jake also coaches for Evansville North High School, where he has coached since 2013 and been the head coach since 2018. He also has experience coaching for Oak Meadow Country Club's summer league swim team. 

Having played and or coached many sports, Coach Jake believes that there is no better sport than swimming to teach valuable life lessons, and to help kids grow into exemplary adults and role models. Having coached swimmers of a wide range of age and ability has given him the insight and perspective needed to help all of our athletes achieve goals of all levels. 

Why do you coach?

I coach to inspire, encourage, impact and empower my athletes to become the best versions of themselves that they can possibly be. 

Lindsay Benedyk Assistant Coach

Coach Lindsay has been involved in the swimming for over 30 years in various capacities in the Aquatics world. Starting out as a recreational swimmer at 5 years old into becoming a USA swimmer in grade school where she placed in the top 3 at the state level representing Billings, Montana. When moving back to Evansville Lindsay was a first generation swimmer at the start of EVSC swimming for North High School and GREAT, establishing several records. She has almost 20 years of coaching experience working with all levels from younger fundamental groups to coaching high schoolers at the National level.

Outside of coaching she is a National Trainer for swim lessons ranging for infant acclimation to advanced techniques for adults and does traveling private lessons in the summertime. In addition she is a Lifeguard and CPR Instructor who also assists boy scout troops with water safety skills. It's safe to say that the water is home for her.

Why do you coach?

I believe we are all born with a unique gift and it's our responsibility to use that gift to not only better ourselves, but help better the lives of others and I want to make swimming a fun, lifelong sport for all.

Beth Ann Ivie Assistant Coach

Beth Ann has a 16 year history in competitive USA swimming. She started swimming at age 5 and went on to compete in numerous age group state championships, zone championships, and senior championships throughout her career.

She was a Memorial High School Swimmer from 1994-1997, followed by a college swim career at Western Kentucky University from 1997-1999. She received the Academic All American Award at Western Kentucky University.

Beth Ann graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor's degree in Health Services and a minor in Sociology. She is currently employed for a local non-profit agency as a social worker. She is married with two young girls, Madelyn and Caroline.

Erin Maurer Assistant Coach

Coach Erin began swimming at the age of 6 and spent many years swimming for USA swim clubs, summer swim teams, high school and collegiate swim teams.  She has been both an assistant coach and head coach.  She graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where she was captain of the swim team.  Erin has a love of swimming and values the life lessons that were taught to her by her high school/age group coach, Ron Watson.

Virginia King Assistant Coach

Ginny King began coaching with GREAT in 2008. In addition to being a USA Swimming coach, she has also coached middle school and high school teams and is currently an assistant at Reitz High School. As a swimmer, she was a 4 year IHSAA State Finalist and swam collegiately for 4 years at Eastern Kentucky University and then at Illinois State University. 

Ginny is originally from Louisville, Kentucky and since 1995 has taught Engineering Technology and Robotics at Helfrich Park Middle School. She and her husband, Mark, have two children, Lilly and Alex, who began their swim careers with GREAT. Lilly is a decorated Olympian and world record holder.

Aulden Nance Assistant Coach

Coach Aulden started swimming when he was 10 years old. He went on to swim at Evansville North High School where he was a 4-year Varsity Letterer, and was voted Captain and awarded the Kiwanis Award during his Senior year, which highlighted his tremendous leadership skills. He then continued his academic and athletic career at the University of Evansville, where he is pursuing a Political Science degree and a member of the swim team. Aulden began coaching when he was 17 at Oak Meadow Country Club. He has a passion for swimming and enjoys sharing that passion and his knowledge of swimming with our youth. 

Why do you coach?

In a changing world everyday, our kids need guidance from those they trust other than mom and dad. Coaches become parental figures in kids lives sometimes, and it's important that the kids have a positive experience while being an athlete. 

Tai Furnari Assistant Coach

Tai began her swimming career when she was 7. She has been involved in YMCA swimming, USA swimming, summer clubs, and high school swimming. She has competed in various state, zone, and sectional meets. From 2015-2019 she continued her athletic career at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where she was a conference finalist numerous times. After graduating with a degree in Public Health, she is now studying at the University of Evansville in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Throughout college, she has been the assistant coach for multiple summer club teams and has enjoyed working with all age groups and abilities.

Why do you coach?

The sport of swimming and the lessons learned from it extend beyond athletics. I want to share my experiences to inspire and mentor athletes both in and out of the pool.

Board of Directors
Jon Edwards Board Member & President
Jennifer Casana Board Member
Michelle Lankford Board Member
Mark Jones Board Member & Safe Sport Coordinator
Mindy Irvin Board Member - Billing Admin
Erika Haynie Board Member - Membership Admin
Virginia King Board Member
Rebecca Rhymer Board Member
Eric Orth Treasurer