RSC Coaches & Staff                       WHO ARE WE?  RSC!!!


Autumn Kappes
Chief Executive Officer
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Autumn started with the Rochester Swim Club Orcas in the Fall of 2011.  Autumn is the CEO and oversees all groups within the Rochester Swim Club programs, which is a Non-profit organization.

Autumn has been around the pool her entire life swimming for both club teams and high school in  Wisconsin. She has worked in many capacities of aquatic programs since 1992 including swim school, lifeguarding, coaching high school swimming and aquatic management.  Autumn has an extensive background in aquatics both as a swimmer, teacher and director.

Autumn comes to the Rochester Swim Club from the Waukesha Express Swim Club (WEST) where she began working as the SwimAmerica Program Director in January of 2003.  Prior to working at WEST, she worked in the aquatics program at the Oconomowoc YMCA.  Swimstastic, and at All-American Aquatics.  She was also the pool director from 1999-2002 at the Western Racquet Club.  Autumn has also served as the Head Coach of the Waukesha West High School Mens and Womens swim teams.  Autumn is also an authorized instructor for the American Red Cross.

Autumn graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a teaching degree (preschool-6th grade), and taught 6th grade for four years at St. Martin of Tours in the Milwaukee area.

Autumn currently serves on the Board of Directors for Rochester Sports and Rochester Swimming, Inc.

Tom Walsh
Head Coach
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Tom was named the Rochester Swim Club Head Coach in August of 2019. Tom has been coaching for the Rochester Swim Club since September of 2010.  Since then, Tom has coached all of the groups on the team at one point or another.  Tom graduated from Saint Mary's University with a bachelor's degree in Sports Management.

Tom has served as the Head Coach of team Minnesota for both Zones and All-Stars, he has also been on the zone staff five times as an assistant coach.  Tom is active in the LSC serving on several committees: Age Group, Diversity and is currently on the Technical Planning committee.

Tom enjoys being a dad to his daughters Brooklyn and Peyton, as well as a husband to his wife Mel.  He spends as much time with them as he can.  Tom enjoys working with all kids and learning from them as well as teaching them about swimming, life lessons and having fun on the pool deck.

Amy Leopold
Head Administrative & Developmental Age Group Coach
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Amy joined the Rochester Swim Club in 2015.  She has a track record of achieving exceptional results with budding 8 to 12 year old athletes and has worked at Team Foxjet and the University of Minnesota.  Amy has been a Zone Coach for Team Minnesota and has also worked at the University of Minnesota Summer Swim Camps. 

Amy graduated from the University of Minnesota and competed for the Gophers.  While an age group swimmer at Team Foxjet and the Mach 3 Flyers, Amy was a Junior National Qualifier and a NAG ranked swimmer.  Amy and her husband moved to Rochester in September 2015.  Amy has been the manager of the Minnesota Zone Team for the past two years.

Wojciech Palczewski
Age Group Coach

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Wojtek (pronouced "voy-teck") started with the Rochester Swim Club in the Fall of 2018. He grew up in Wroclaw, Poland, where he began his swimming career at the age of seven. In 2005, he graduated from the University of Physical Education and Sport in Wroclaw with the title Master of Physical Education and Swim Coach. His coaching career started in 2006 at the Vulcans' Swim Club in Lincoln, UK. From 2009-2011, he ran his own swim school in Poland. His career has continued in the USA with Edina Swim Club and Foxjets in Minneapolis.

Wojtek has over 12 years of experience as a coach and a swim instructor. He is also an ASCA Level 2 coach and an American Red Cross Lifeguard.

Wojtek and his wife Dagmara are raising three children (two girls and one boy)!

Jeremiah Jackson (JJ)
Diving Coach & Age Group Coach
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JJ is the Head Diving Coach and also coaches swimming.  JJ has an extensive background in coaching and participating in diving in the area.  JJ is the diving coach and UW-LaCrosse and was the diving coach at St. Mary's University in Winona for 9 years.  He has also coached diving for both the mens and womens teams at Winona High School for 13 seasons.  JJ has had numerous conference championships while coaching both high school and college. JJ led a summer club for 6 years in the area. He has been nominated as Section Coach of the Year and Big 9 Conference Coach of the Year. 

Ashleigh Kramer
Swim School Director & Assistant Swim Coach
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Ashleigh has been involved with the Rochester Swim Club most of her life.  All the way from taking swim lessons through swimming competitively, where she was a national level swimmer until she graduated high school.  Ashleigh swam her freshman year of college at UW-Madison.

Ashleigh began teaching swim lessons when she was 12 years old and has assisted coaching many of the developmental groups as well.  During the summer you may see Ashleigh helping out at the outdoor pools and she can be found teaching private swim lessons year round.

RSC Assistant Coaches:

Logan Petzold

Logan has enjoyed coaching all levels of swimmers in Rochester since 2009. She grew up in Lino Lakes, MN and swam for six years throughout high school and four years for Hamline University in St. Paul. After undergrad she continued her education and received her Masters in Counseling at UW-River Falls while continuing to coach. Logan is a teacher at Aldich Preschool. She and her husband, Andy, have two daughters, Ivy and Cora, who love the water.

John Loepfe

John is from La Cresent, MN and swam for the LaCrosse YMCA throughout his youth and high school. He went onto swim at St. Olaf College and qualified twice for the DIII NCAA Championships. 
Currently John is attending PT school at Mayo Clinic. He loves being outdoors and being active throughout the day! John is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), so he enjoys working with clients to achieve their fitness goals and promote health and wellness.

Jayden Crimmins
Jayden is from Ankeny, IA and began swimming at the age of 4 and competed throughout high school. Jayden is attending Respitory Therapy school at Mayo Clinic. In his spare time, Jayden enjoys spending time with family, friends and dogs. He enjoys movies, books and is a huge Marvel nerd. Jayden has a passion for teaching, swimming and working with children.

Sam Sonnabend
Sam is from Rochester and has been swimming since he was four years old. Sam started competing in High School and currently competes in triathlons and Iron Man distances. When Sam is not around the water, he enjoys watching movies, rock climbing and backpacking across the world.
Nick Sawchuck
Nick is from Seattle, WA. Nick started swim lessons when he was 3 after his grandfather pushed him off the pier in Edmunds, WA. He then joined the swim team when he moved to Madison, WI and later at Mayo High School for his Junior and Senior year. From there, Nick went onto swim, play water polo and dive for Saint Mary's University in Winona. Nick graduated from St. Mary's University with a degree in Psychology and Environmental Biology and then completed his Masters in Healthcare Administration. When not at the pool, Nick enjoys running sound for concerts and music festivals, as well as playing a variety of instruments.
Elias Petri
Elias is from Rochester and grew up in St. Charles, MN. He swam for RSC throughout his High School career and was a member of the national team and held a few team records. In college, he sam at D1 St. Bonaventure University for two years and graduated in 2021. When not at the pool, Elias enjoys working on and driving cars, listening to music and playing video games.