Mike Parratto - Head Team Coach, Senior Elite Lead Coach and Jr-Select Co-Lead Coach

Head Coach Mike Parratto is a USA Swimming National Team Coach and the leader of the Riptide staff. Mike is an ASCA Level 5 coach with 42 years of coaching experience. Mike is best known for coaching highly-decorated Olympian Jenny Thompson as well as World Record holder and 2020 Olympian triple medalist, Regan Smith. Mike has been a coach on many National Team trips, most recently on the coaching staff for the 2017 World Junior Championships and the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. Mike, an American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Hall of Fame member, and the 2019 ASCA Coach of the Year is internationally renowned for his ability to challenge swimmers across all disciplines.

Michelle Hopewell - Senior Elite Co-Lead Coach, Homeschool Program Manager

Michelle has coached all levels at Riptide since its inception. An elite swimmer herself, Michelle is former captain of the University of MN Women's Swim Team where she received a B.S. degree in Scientific and Technical Communications. She also served as an Age Group and Masters coach with Twin Cities Swim Team at the U of M for eight years. A full-time mother of three, she and her husband are busy with their active teenagers, all who have grown up through Wise and Riptide! She is credited with developing the Wave Swim Team at Wise Swim School and is one of the founding coaches of Riptide. Michelle is an ASCA Level 2 Certified Coach. 

Amy Parratto - Jr-Select Co-Lead Coach, Masters Lead Coach, Team Manager

Amy joined the Riptide coaching staff in the fall of 2012. She has coached both swimming and diving since 1983 in New Hampshire and Indiana. Amy is an ASCA Level 4 certified coach. In addition to her coaching duties, she serves as Riptide's team manager. Amy is a graduate of Wellesley College ('83) where she swam and dove all four years and earned a B.A. in Psychology and Studio Art. She is a five-time All-American in diving and was inducted into the Wellesley Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018. Amy and Mike have coached together since 1984. They have two grown daughters - Melissa (30) and Jessica (27), a 2016 Rio Olympian in the indidual and synchronized platform events and 2020(1) Tokyo Silver Medalist in synchronized platform diving. In her spare time, Amy enjoys participating in Riptide's Masters practices, meets and open water swimming.

Maggie McMahon - Gold and Silver Lead Coach

Maggie grew up in Lakeville, MN, where she developed her great love of swimming. As a fourth grader, she joined the Lakeville swim team and continued swimming through high school on the varsity team. Her favorite events were distance events. She went on to earn a degree in elementary education from St. Kate’s University in St. Paul, MN. Maggie has spent the last 10 years putting her teaching skills to work by coaching young swimmers for the South Metro. In addition, she took on other coaching opportunities including coach of the Prior Lake Middle School Girls swim team, being a camp coach at St. Olaf's Swim Camp and being a Zones coach and team manager. She also helped grow a new learn to swim program in Prior Lake.  Maggie is also the proud mother of 2 year old Hunter!


John Thomas - Silver and Gold Assistant Coach


John started swimming at highland park in St. Paul. As a senior he was captain and helped the team to the schools first conference championship. In college he went to Gustavus where he was miac champion in the 50. 

Graduating with a degree in health and physical education his first teaching experience was head coach at Burnsville high School. Through the years he coached many club and high school teams. In the 80s his Edina high school girls team won the state championship 3 times in a row, and one of his swimmers swam to a national record in the 100 breast. After a 12 year position as the chef concierge at the Saint Paul Hotel he returned to swimming. Starting in 2012 he became head age group coach at the Great Wolf swim team, helping them become one of the top teams in the state. He looks forward to work with all the riptide swimmers, helping them reach their full potential. 

Sissy Rytting - Lead Coach 9&U Select, Assistant Coach Junior Select, Masters Coach

Sissy grew up a swimmer and competed for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has worked and instructed in the fitness industry ever since.  Sissy is a personal trainer who managed the Little Rock Athletic Club and has thirty years of worldwide experience instructing aerobics, step, spinning, body pump, and yoga.  She completed two Iron Man triathlons, a 50 mile trail race, and remains a masters level swimmer.  Sissy is excited to combine her favorite sport with her passion for bringing out the best in children. Sissy has a son (Hunter / 14) in our Senior Elite program.

Kelly Leonard - Lead Coach Bronze and Senior 

Kelly started swimming competitively for Hastings Area Swim Team at 7 years old. At 14 she switched over to Riptide and has been swimming in the Senior Elite group ever since. In her 6 years at Riptide, Kelly has earned multiple state champion events, five years on the national team, and a Futures Champion title in 2015. She swam one year at the University of Minnesota before transferring to Minnesota State Mankato, her favorite strokes are backstroke and distance free. She has worked with the Home school group, Bronze, Bronze Prep, and Middle School Training Squad in the past 3 years. In her spare time she fishes, snowmobiles, and reads. 

Jim Ertl - Assistant Senior Elite Coach

Jim brings 40+ years of proven coaching experience to the benefit of our Sprint athletes. Here are a few highlights from Jim’s career: He swam competitively in high school in both Medford, WI and in Placerville, CA; he swam 4 years at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he was a National Qualifier​; was the Head Swim Coach at Logan High School in La Crosse from 1979-‘80; was the Head Swim Coach - Boy’s & Girl’s Teams for Rosemount Middle & High School from 1980-2010. During Jim’s tenure, the team lost only a handful of meets in 30 years, produced numerous All Americans, won State Championships and numerous Conference Championships.

Amanda Johnson - Lead Senior Prep Coach

Amanda grew up in Burnsville, swimming for Burnsville Swim Club (now Black Dog Swimming), Burnsville High School and later Minnesota State University, Mankato. As a swimmer, Amanda specialized in distance freestyle, swimming nothing shorter than a 200. Amanda began coaching the Faithful Shepherd Stars swim team in 2018 and joined the Riptide staff shortly thereafter. Amanda has a bachelor’s degree in Community Health, which she puts to use as a Strategic Account Executive at StayWell, a population health promotion company. She and her husband, Paul, have three sons, Charlie (who swims on Riptide), Zachary and Peter. In her free time, Amanda enjoys swimming with the Masters group, crocheting, hiking and camping in the Minnesota woods. 


Ewa Hylandsson - 9&U and Bronze Assistant Coach

Ewa grew up in Sweden where she learned how to swim and fell in love with coaching. She has been coaching others, ages 6 months to adults, since age of 13 year old. After some time in the UK and Germany, she moved to the United States in 2005 and considers this one of her best decisions. Besides home schooling her three girls, she works at Wise teaching lessons, coaching with the home school swim team and 9 & Under
Select group at Riptide, along with training for her next triathlon race.

Olga Grinberg - 9&U and Bronze Assistant Coach

Olga grew up in Kazakhstan and attended the University of Business Management and Law where she attained her teaching degree, while expressing her passion for swimming with a local city team. She moved to United States 12 years ago and pursued her desire working with children. Olga shared her swimming experience with young swimmers at one of the MN family-operated swim schools, where she developed and implemented swimming curriculum that helped many children succeed and establish love for the sport. In her spare time, aside from working as a teaching aid in special education program and coaching swimming; Olga loves to spend time with her husband and 3 kids and participate in various activities like skating, snowboarding, mount biking, rock climbing and hiking.

Eric Vogen - Assistant Coach

Eric Vogen started swimming in 6th grade, with the RATS swim team after his physical education teacher Jim Ertl recommended he try the sport of swimming.  He swam for Rosemont High School and then for the University of Wisconsin Stout.  In 1992 Eric started coaching with the RAVE swim team and at Eagan High School in 1993, moving to Eastview High School when it opened in 1997. He continues to coach both boys and girls swimming at Eastview to this day. He also coached at the Burnsville Swim Club for several years.  Eric enjoys helping kids of all abilities improve their skills in the water and have fun with swimming.  Eric swims with the Riptide Masters team and has 2 daughters Emma and Molly, who swim at Riptide as well.

Penny Lindgren - Homeschool Lead Coach

Penny's swimming history includes 13 years of competition, including MN state championships, finals at Junior Nationals, and swimming at Big 10 championships as a Golden Gopher. She assists primarily with the 8 & Under group, but helps to fill in with other teams as the opportunity arises. A proud parent of a Riptide swimmer, Penny is also a stay at home mom who loves working with kids, helping them learn, and watching and cheering them on as they progress!



Peggy Kratz - Masters Coach

Peggy started swimming competitively at age 11. She attended Hamline University before transferring and graduating from The College of St. Catherine. Her coaching career began in the early 80’s when she became the head swim coach for both Derham Hall and Cretin High Schools. She has been part of the coaching staff for several USS teams, high schools and colleges working with novice to collegiate swimmers.  Peggy earned her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from St. Cloud State University.  Currently she works at Fairview Ridges Hospital as a Cardiac Rehab Therapist and has been there for over 25 years.  She joined the Riptide Masters Team shortly after it began. As a masters swimmer, she enjoys competing in the pool, open water and occasional crazy e-postal swims.  She lives in Apple Valley with her husband and daughter.

Karl Kindseth - Assistant Coach

Karl started his swimming career in Fresno, CA at the age of 6.  Swimming (and parents) took him to Grand Forks, ND and Bismarck, ND and then back to Napa, CA where he swam for the Napa Seahawks.  Karl swam for the Seahawks for 4 years and was able to participate in the Far Westerns and Junior National Championships.  In 1984 Karl moved to MN with his family and started swimming for Rosemount High School and the RAVE Swim Team.  One of Karl's favorite memories was swimming for and representing the state of MN at Zones in Des Moines, IA in 1985. After high school, Karl took a long hiatus from swimming until 2003 when he was asked to coach at Falcon Ridge Middle School.  Three years later he started coaching with Eagan High School and soon after that, Dakota Hills Middle School where he is still coaching 15 years later. His children Evan (15) and Claire (12) both swim for Riptide and have since its inception. Karl enjoys coaching at all levels working on clean, quiet swimming. Most of all he wants kids to enjoy the sport, enjoy their time in the water and enjoy the friendships they build throughout their swimming careers.

Wendy Peterson - Masters Coach

Wendy Peterson started her swimming career in northern California as a 6 year old and was a competitive swimmer in all strokes until she reached high school where she focused mainly on distance events.  She moved to Madison, WI at the age of 13 and swam on her varsity high school swim team for 4 years, setting pool and state records in the 500 freestyle.  She also competed at Junior Nationals in numerous events during her high school years.  Wendy went on to be a Golden Gopher and swim varsity at the University of MN for 4 years.  She is passionate about swimming and has enjoyed competing in triathlons and now open water events as a Riptide Masters Team member.  Wendy enjoys working with the younger kids, watching them learn, having fun and improving in the water.  She lives in Eagan with her husband and 3 children.

Cara Pavek - Billing

Cara grew up in Minnesota swimming, but started her swimming career in the 9th grade at Forest Lake High School.  She swam competitively throughout high school and continued into college at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls.  While at college, Cara was captain of the Falcon Swim Team for 2 years and qualified for Collegiate Nationals her senior year in the 50 free.  She participated in her first triathlon while in college and has since competed in numerous marathons, triathlons and to date 4 full Ironman races.  In addition to coaching swimming she is also a Personal Trainer and a USA Triathlon Coach.  Cara lives in Rosemount with her husband and 4 children.  Her daughter, Addison, swims for Riptide and loves to swim backstroke.  Cara is passionate about the sport of swimming and triathlon and is excited to share her wealth of knowledge about either sport.  When she is not swimming with the Riptide Masters team, you can most likely find her training for a race, teaching a triathlon clinic or watching her kids play sports.