Jesse Schmidt - Head Coach

Lead Developmental, Lead Senior Gold, & Admin

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Coach Jesse started his swimming career as a 7th grader on the Farmington High School Boys Swimming & Diving Team. He didn't even know the names of the four different strokes and was afraid to dive into the pool head first. Luckily, he quickly fell in love with the sport and excelled. One of his favorite memories as a swimmer was the first time he qualified for the high school state swim meet.  He swam one season at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, but left the team to focus on his education and degree in Sports Pedagogy and Exercise Science. 


Coach Jesse has been coaching swimming for nine years. He started as an assistant coach for a high school team and then coached for Lifetime. He is the head coach for the Northfield Swim Club. His favorite stroke is breast stroke. “Every great breaststroker has a different style with the same core techniques.  It's also the hardest stroke to swim fast and you get to take a breath on every single pull,” he wrote.

It’s hard for Coach Jesse to pick his favorite thing about coaching, but above all he’s honored to have the opportunity to watch young athletes succeed after watching them work so hard in and out of the pool. He enjoys meeting new athletes and learning about their different interests and personalities. He says he’s always learning new things from his athletes. 

 When he’s not poolside Coach Jesse can be found in the pool swimming. He continues to train as a swimmer himself. He also enjoys golfing when Minnesota weather permits. He is always learning new ways to help his swimmers excel in and out of the pool.


Tony Parast - Lead Assistant Coach

Lead Age Group, Lead Senior Silver, & Billing

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Coach Tony’s swim career started at the ripe old age of three when he cried and refused to enter the YMCA swimming pool for his lesson. Thankfully his brother’s confidence and courage was contagious and he quickly learned to love swimming.  He began competitive swimming when he was four years old. As a child and teenager he swam for several different teams in Ohio and Illinois. He also played traveling soccer.

Coach Tony has a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Illinois (2011), a Master Of Arts in Sports Leadership from North Central College (2016), and an Associate Degree in Accounting from Dakota County Technical College (2018). He  joined the coaching side of competitive swimming in 2013 and is currently the lead assistant coach for Northfield Swim Club. 

Coach Tony’s favorite stroke as a child was butterfly and he loves teaching swimmers how to skip across the water. As he’s gotten older, freestyle has become one of his favorites to swim and coach. He likes how efficient it is and how it can be swam for long distances.

Coach Tony’s favorite part of coaching has evolved as he’s grown. At first he simply wanted to make his athletes competitive and swim fast. Now the relationships he develops with his swimmers are most important. “As I have grown my absolute favorite part of this experience is the human interaction and the relationships we form with one another. I love getting to know my athletes and the things they enjoy outside of the pool, because at the end of the day they are not just swimmers, they are people. They have goals and dreams outside of the pool, and it's important to encourage and help them reach those goals and dreams,” wrote Coach Tony. He firmly believes skills  learned in the pool transfer to all areas of life. Skills like goal setting, determination, perseverance, teamwork, honesty, having fun, taking pride in your work, and being open about your feelings.

When Coach Tony isn’t on the pool deck he can be found relaxing at home where he enjoys watching movies & TV shows, reading books, building LEGO sets, & listening to music. (He grew up playing oboe, saxophone & piano!) He also enjoys golfing with Coach Jesse.


Zach McCarty - Assistant Coach

Lead Junior & Pre Senior

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Coach Zach started his swimming career in Omaha, Nebraska where he swam for Swim Omaha, Omaha Westside, and his high school team. He attended St. Olaf college where he swam for four years. He joined the Northfield Swim Club coaching staff in February 2021.


Coach Zach’s  favorite swim memory was his first time qualifying for Speedo Sectionals in the 200 breaststroke. “It was far from the best or fastest swim of my career but it was the one race that taught me that no matter what,  hard work and dedication pays off,” he said. He also has fond memories of movie nights with his college team, when they watched Lord of the Rings marathons. His favorite stroke is breaststroke and he loves “running people down in the breaststroke leg of the IM.” 


Coach Zach’s favorite part about coaching is passing down his love for the sport and guiding his athletes as they learn life lessons through swimming. “Swimming changed my life for the better and I love that I am able to help our athletes grow every day in a similar way,” he said.


When Coach Zach isn’t working at the pool he can be found teaching enviromental education at River Bend Nature Center, swimming (of course!) and hiking. He enjoys hiking in the Carleton Arboretum and taking wildlife photography. If he can’t be outside he likes watching movies and reading science fiction novels.


Julia Luljak - Assistant Coach

Assist w/ Developmental, Age Group, & Junior

This is Coach Julia’s first year coaching. She started her swimming career in Baltimore, MD when she was 11 years old, where she swam for the Mariners Swim Club. Coach Julia is currently swimming for Carleton College and has been a competitive swimmer for 12 years. One of her favorite memories is when their pool turned green from a chemical reaction, but was still safe to swim in. She had a blast swimming through green sea glass water.

Coach Julia’s favorite stroke is the breaststroke. She likes how powerful it is and thinks it’s really cool such a wacky stroke can be fast! One of the things she enjoys most about coaching is the energy swimmers bring to practice.

When she’s not swimming, Coach Julia enjoys reading, puzzling, and spending time outdoors. She also enjoys challenging herself with the Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzle. 


Kristi Kortuem - Assistant Coach

Coach Kristi grew up in Owatonna, MN and started her swimming career in 6th grade when she joined the Owatonna Junior High School Swimming & Diving Team. There was no swim club in her hometown so she enjoyed swimming for her school team. She loved the water and went on to swim for St.Olaf College. Her first coaching experience was at St. Olaf swim camps. She went on to be an assistant coach at St. Olaf.  She grew as a swimmer and individual thanks to guidance from her coaches. She hopes all swimmers have the opportunity for the growth and positive experiences she had, thanks to swimming. 


Coach Kristi started coaching with the Northfield Swim Club in March 2021. She is also Co-Head Coach of the Northfield High School Girls Swimming & Diving team. When she isn’t at the pool she’s teaching math at Northfield High School and enjoying time with her family. (Which is often at the pool, since she has swimmer kiddos!)