Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Thad Gunther Head Coach

A native of Muscatine Iowa, Thad came to CIA in 2021 from Homer Alaska.  He currently oversees all of CIA’s Age Group programs. The former head coach of the Kachemak Swimming Club has coached and developed many State champions and Sectional qualifiers. Thad also created The Kachemak Summer Swim School which provided 250 swim lessons per summer.  He was also a Coaches Representative on the Alaska Swimming Board of Directors.  Thad also has over 5 years experience as the Head Swim Coach at Homer High School.  Prior and parallel to his head coach positions, Thad also worked as the pool manager for the local school districts in Alaska and Minnesota.  Coach Thad is currently an ASCA Level 2 USA Swim Coach and he is also a Certified Pool Operator.  Coach Thad does an excellent job at blending skill and technique development with overall swimmer development.  Coach Thad summarizes his coaching philosophy as follows:  “I understand the many dynamics at work in a swim community. Navigating an adolescent athletic team to be successful adults and molding children into thriving young adults drives me to be a better coach. Excelling in a sport is wonderful but not at the expense of character development. I believe these two things should grow together.”

Andrew Pym Senior Coach

Coach Andy was born and raised in North and attended The University of Oregon.  Coach Andy moved to Des Moines, Iowa and joined CIA during the Fall of 2018.  Coach Andy has been coaching for over 30 years primarily in the Pacific Northwest and Houston, Texas.  During this time, he spent 13 years working with the Bellevue Club Swim Team as National coach.  He is the coach of record for Summer Junior Nationals champions, multiple Olympic Trials qualifiers, Senior Sectional champions, and National Junior Team members. Andy has also been on the National Junior Team staff list and has achieved an ASCA Level 5 rating. 

As the Lead Seniors Coach, Andy believes in creating the complete swimmer.  That is why the core of all his training is the 400 IM.  His coaching philosophy is “To swim a 400 IM you need to be competent in all 4 strokes, you must have good turns and transitions, and you need to have speed, power, and endurance.  So all facets are covered in this type of development which leads to versatility.”  Coach Andy feels that it is his duty as a coach to make sure that before swimmers enter college they have as big of a technique arsenal as they can when they arrive.

Emily Tuazon Lead Age Group Assistant Coach

Coach Emily grew up in Des Moines and started swimming when she five years old. When she was seven, she joined CIA and was part of the team until she graduated from High School. Coach Emily has spent the past 6 years coaching, with the last three as a head coach for her prior team.  As Assistant Lead Age Group CIA Coach, three things she focuses on are sportsmanship, technique, hard work and as a bonus...FUN! Over the years, Emily has built a solid coaching philosophy: “I coach because I want to pass on my passion for swimming onto my athletes. I love teaching everything I’ve learned and experienced to every kid I have the opportunity to coach. I strive to teach swimmers about accountability at practice and sportsmanship at swim meets. My top priority as a coach is to create a hard-working, yet fun environment that allows swimmers to create lifelong connections and beneficial life skills.”

Leslie Winnett Assistant Coach

Leslie is an enthusiastic advocate for the sport of swimming! She loves the opportunity to share her swimming knowledge and experiences with the swimmers to help them develop their swimming and life skills in a positive environment. Leslie has swum competitively since the age of 5 for the IWSC/AAU and collegiate for Iowa State University. She has coached and mentored swim teams, assisted in the establishing of high school swimming in NW Iowa, and was chosen as the 2011 YMCA Volunteer of the Year for her dedication to the DMWC Swim Team as a National YMCA Swim Official and parent coach. Leslie is a certified USA Swimming National 2 Official, YMCA Swimming National Official, and USA Swimming Coach. In her coaching years, Leslie has been honored to coach swimmers at a local, state, regional and national basis for intro swimmers to national level pro swimmers. In additional to coaching, Leslie has worked over 30 years at Aureon Telecommunications as a systems support/telecom engineer and loves spending her free time with her husband and children enjoying life.  GO CIA!

Jun Li Assistant Coach

Jun grew up on a small island where his passion for swimming began. In college, he enjoyed different sports, including cross country, soccer, and boxing.  After moving to Iowa, having two kids, and enrolling them into swimming, Jun began coaching. Coaching swimmers makes Jun very happy, especially when he is able to see their progress and smiling faces. Swimming has been a large part of Jun's life and he is grateful to be part of the CIA family.

Julie Monaghan Assistant Coach

Coach Julie grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana where she swam competitively with her local age group team as well as her high school swim team.  She moved to Wooster, Ohio just after graduating college and then moved to Iowa eight years ago.  Currently, this is her fourth season coaching for CIA. As an Assistant Age Group Coach, three things she focuses on whle coaching are: 1) Technique before speed at practice; 2) Encouraging teamwork / being a good teammate all the time and 3) Making the swimmers comfortable with trying new things. Over the years, Julie has formed an admirable coaching philosophy: " I want to pass on not only my swimming knowledge, but teach important life skills such as being a hard worker, good sportsmanship, and learing how to move onto the next event when things aren't going well." 

Moriah Ross Assistant Coach
Kim Wharton Lead Age Group Assistant Coach
Eddy Johnston Assistant Coach

Eddy grew up in a swimming family in Hudson, Ohio. He swam for the Hudson CC and the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins with his three brothers and three sisters. He moved to Iowa at a young age and swam with the Wakonda CC , Echo Valley CC, and South DM YMCA. Later he joined the Des Moines Aquatic Club and trained with Olympic gold medal winner Mike Burton. In high school he swam at DM Lincoln and lit up the Roundhouse pool for the Railsplitters. He went on to college and studied swimming at the University of Iowa under coach Glenn Patton. While at Iowa, he also began a long water polo career, which continues to this day.  In the late 90's, he joined the CIA coaching staff. He enjoys coaching swimmers of all ages and learning more about the great sport of swimming each day.  Eddy also works at Indoff and sells lockers, pallet racks, workbenches and cabinets. He lives in Urbandale with his wife Karen, son Owen, and their morkie, Gigi.   

Steve Jones Assistant Coach
Board of Directors
Jason Kemp President
Chris Trosper Vice President
Holly Roland Treasurer
Beth Tecklenburg Secretary
Dan Hage Fundraising
Gina Valentine SafeSport/Safety Chair
Jill Sanchez Meet Director
Andrea Stone Registrar