Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Howie Leathers Head Coach


Howie Leathers is the Head Coach of the entire LSSC team. He became the full-time during the start up phase of Lake Superior Swim Club. The coaching philosophy of the team comes under Howie's direction and is instrumental in determining the philoso­phy of the entire team. Howie cut his coaching teeth at the Stanford Swim Camps in 1991 and 1992.  At Stanford, Howie worked under the direction of Skip Kenney and Richard Quick, two of the most celebrated coaches in USA Swimming history. After leaving Stanford, Howie started a Masters swim club at Bemidji State University and served as Head Coach for the Bemidji Area Super Swimmers, helping them capture the Minnesota Short Course Championship title in 1993. 

As a swimmer at Bemidji State University, Howie was named team captain his junior year and also earned All-America honors in 1991.

Howie believes that his responsibility as a swim coach reaches far beyond the pool.  His goal is to help all athletes reach their highest potential socially as well as academically. 


Tyler Zelen Associate Head Coach

Tyler Zelen has been with the club since its inception and swam at the University of North Dakota and the University of Madison Wisconsin. During this time he was able to represent LSSC on a national scale as he competed in the US Open in 2017. Tyler wide range of swimming expertise comes from a long career at one of the highest levels of swimming in the USA. Tyler's passion for swimming and helping others get to the next level is unmatched. His unparalleled attention to detail when it comes swimming technique makes him one of the most valuable assets on the coaching staff.

As a swimmer in North Dakota he managed to get the Most Improved award his freshman year and during his Sophomore year qualified for the US Open, as well as summer Nationals, and the World Championship Trials. Following his move to the University of Wisconsin he managed to place 8th in the 50 free at the Big Ten Conference Championship meet, where he also qualified for the TYR Pro swim series, and once again, the USA Swimming Senior Summer Nationals.

Elizabeth Peterson Assistant Coach

Elizabeth Peterson has worked in and around pools for more than a decade – as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and swim coach. She started coaching after high school with the summer swim team at the Duluth YMCA. In 2013, she took a more serious role as the Assistant Coach for her alma mater, Duluth East Girls’ Swim and Dive. When the season ended, she did a brief stint as an assistant coach with LSSC until August 2014, when she left Duluth to attend graduate school in Oklahoma. 

Even land locked Oklahoma couldn’t keep Elizabeth away from the pool! Elizabeth joined the staff of Sooner Swim Club, under the direction of Kent Nicholson, and within several months was the head coach of the developmental age groups. She worked for SSC for three years before returning to Duluth in August 2017. During her time with SSC, she grew into her coaching abilities and is excited to rejoin LSSC this fall. 

Elizabeth brings a positive, caring attitude to the team and is eager to help your swimmers grow and succeed both in the pool and out of it.

Kayla Nelson Assistant Coach

Kayla’s swim career dates back to age 6, where she found her passion through swim lessons at the University of Minnesota Duluth. After lessons she swam with the Duluth YMCA, North Shore Swim Club, and Lake Superior Swim Club. She also swam competitively for Denfeld High School for 6 years, and was a team-elected Captain for her Junior and Senior seasons, voted Most Dedicated by her team four of her six seasons, and received Academic All State Awards, along with All Conference and Section Finalist. 


Board of Directors