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

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, Silver Lead Coach, Masters Co-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 (31) and Jessica (28), 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.

 

Sissy Rytting - 9&U Lead Coach, Gold Lead Coach, 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) in our Senior Elite program.

 


Kelly Leonard - Bronze Lead Coach, Senior Lead Coach

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 in the past 3 years.  Kelly is the lead coach for the Bronze and Senior Groups. In her spare time she fishes, snowmobiles, and reads. 

 


 

Amanda Johnson - Senior Prep Lead 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. 

 

 
 

Olga Grinberg - 9&U Assistant Coach, 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 14 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. Olga is an ASCA Level 4  Certified Coach. 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.



Allie Steffen - Bronze Assistant Coach, Senior Prep Assistant Coach

Allie started swimming for the YMCA in Shoreview when she was 9 years old. She swam two years in college at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She was primarily a 200 back and freestyle swimmer until her coaches discovered that she was great at the 500 and the mile. Her favorite events were the 500yd freestyle and the 4x1 Freestyle relay. Allie started coaching when she was 18 at the YMCA. She discovered Riptide in the fall of 2021 and started swimming Masters. She started coaching in January 2022. When Allie is not coaching, she is working as a Naturalist at Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul. If she is not working one of her two jobs, she is running her own house sitting business, hanging out with as many animals as she can, crocheting or spending time in the wilderness of Minnesota.

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Anthony Schmidt - Silver Assistant Coach

Anthony grew up in Plymouth, MN and started swimming when he was 9 for the New Hope YMCA. After spending a few years with the YMCA and local clubs including Dolphin, Hopkins, and the Mach 3 Flyers, Anthony joined the Wayzata High School Swim and Dive team when he was in 7th grade and continued swimming up to his senior year of high school. After high school, Anthony attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and continued swimming for another 4 years, focusing on the Individual Medley and backstroke events. In 2012, he was named to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s All-Time Swimming and Diving Team. Anthony’s coaching experience includes being the head coach at Hudson High School in Wisconsin, being an assistant coach for the Eagan High School Boys swim team, and last year he helped coach the Senior Prep group. Anthony currently works for Ecolab as a Study Director and lives in Apple Valley with his wife Devyne, daughter Daelynn, and son Darren. Both of their children swim for Riptide and are excited to have Dad on deck.

 

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 - Silver Assistant 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. Penny helps coach our Homeschool program and assists with the Gold group. 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!

 


 

Ethan Sellers - Senior Elite Assistant Coach, Gold Assistant Coach, Homeschool Lead Coach

Ethan started his swimming career with the Red Wing Swim Club when he was 7 years old. In addition to years of competitive swimming, Ethan played water polo both in high school in Illinois and college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ethan began his coaching career where he started his swimming career; the Red Wing Swim Club, where he spent his first two years coaching. He later moved to Milwaukee where he got the opportunity to lead SWMKE (Swim Milwaukee) as their Head Coach for 3 years. During his time at SWMKE, Ethan got the unique opportunity to work closely with and learn from ASCA Level 5 coach and former USA Swimming National Team Coach, Bob White. Ethan has a passion for coaching and the sport of swimming, and enjoys challenging, motivating and inspiring swimmers to achieve their best. Ethan is an ASCA level 4 certified coach.

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Sjon Greseth - 9&U Assistant Coach

                                                                                

Sjon has been involved with Riptide since its beginning, practicing with riptide before the Bluuwater facility was open. Continuing his swimming career with Eastview swim and dive, Sjon is the current record holder for the 50 freestyle as well as a former captain. Sjon also swam collegiately within the division III MIAC for St. Olaf College, where he earned the championship in the 500 freestyle in 2019. Additionally in his time at St. Olaf Sjon earned a B.A in psychology. Throughout his experience as a swimmer he has also taught lessons for Wise Swim School as well as previously coaching for Riptide 9 & unders. Sjon hopes to continue his passion for swimming and teaching through his role as an assistant coach for Riptide.

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Claire Gunderson - Bronze Assistant Coach

Claire started competitive swimming when she was in the 4th grade with the South Metro Storm Swim Club. Just before 7th grade, Claire decided to switch to Riptide Swim Club. And she has been there ever since. Claire also swam 6 years with the Lakeville North High School swim team. While swimming at Lakeville North, Claire was awarded the Team Spirit Award all 6-years she was on the team! She is and has always been any of her team’s biggest cheerleader! In highschool, Claire mostly swam the 500 free and 100 back. Claire’s favorite strokes were freestyle and backstroke. Claire’s favorite events to swim were the mile and 200 back. When Claire isn’t coaching on the pool deck she is a Pharmacy Technician at CVS. In Claire’s free time she likes to watch movies, play with her dog and go for walks.  Claire is also a member of our Riptide Masters group.

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Peggy Kratz - Masters Co-Lead 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.

 


Wendy Peterson - Masters Coach, Assistant 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.