Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Emma McEntarffer Head Coach

Coach Emma’s relationship with competitive swimming began at Ballard Pool when she was seven years old. She then began swimming club as a member of GPAC, HLA, and then briefly with GNST as the club made its way to Lincoln. Emma recently completed her 16th season coaching with the Lincoln Shooting Stars Special Olympics Swim Team. In 2010 she was an assistant swim coach for Special Olympics Nebraska’s National Team. In July, she wrapped her ninth season as Coordinator of the Lincoln Parks & Recreation Swim & Dive League; which serves around 800 athletes. 

Emma became the Head Age Group Coach at GNST in the fall of 2017. She has had athletes qualify and compete at both Short & Long Course Midwestern Championships, Central Zones, and Sectionals. Emma has been an assistant coach for Team Midwestern at Central Zones (2018-2019) and Midwestern All Stars (2019). She currently acts as the Age Group Chair for Midwestern Swimming, and is excited to help keep our age group athletes connected with opportunities within Midwestern Swimming. During the school year, Emma works as a paraeducator in Special Education at Humann Elementary School and is a Head Coach for Lincoln East Swimming & Diving.

Kevin Snyder Head Age Group Coach

Coach Kevin began swimming with his summer league team at the age of 5 and has been in love with the sport ever since. He joined the New Wave Swim team his 8th grade year and subsequently joined his high school team in 9th grade. During his time at Enloe High School, He qualified for states and co-captained the team his senior year. During the summer of 2018, He became the assistant coach for the Summerfield North Stingrays and the following summer was the Head Coach. Since being on GNST Coach Kevin has helped his swimmers qualify for Midwestern Championships.

Currently, Coach Kevin is attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he is majoring in Math and minoring in German Language. He is also the President of the Swim Club at UNL. In the future, he hopes to find a job within the data analysis field and continue coaching the sport he loves.

Montana Heffernan Assistant Coach

Coach Montana’s time on the pool deck began very early, as his parents were both swim coaches. He spent his early years around the pool deck learning to swim and hanging out with family and friends at practice and meets. At age 7, his competitive swimming career began at the club level where he was a member of GNST North Platte until he graduated from high school. Coach Montana was a three-year high school state championship qualifier and letter winner for North Platte school.
Currently, he is attending Nebraska Wesleyan University where he is studying education and is a member of the men’s swim team. In addition to his own swimming career, Coach Montana has been a private and group swim lesson instructor since 2014 and has been coaching at the club level for five years.  His future goals include teaching and coaching.

Heather Heffernan Assistant Coach

Coach Heather began her coaching career in 1999 in North Platte, NE as an assistant coach for North Platte Swim Team.  As part of this role, she learned the ropes and handled the "dry" side of the sport with team administration duties while also assisting on the deck with the wet side.  Over the years, Coach Heather also assisted with summer-only GNST club teams in Cozad and Valentine, NE, sharing her roles with both the administrative and coaching duties.  In 2005, Coach Heather and her late husband, Archie, started the Greater Nebraska Swim Team with its first satellite locations in North Platte and Kearney.  In 2012, she took on the role of head coach for the North Platte GNST team.  In addition, she served as an assistant coach for the North Platte High School swim team from 2015-2019 and provided over 15 years of private and group lessons and clinics for hundreds of athletes in the North Platte area. During the winter of 2020, Coach Heather began her "PRN" status in helping cover all levels for GNST in Lincoln and continues in this capacity today.

With two children in college who have been involved with swimming from a very young age, she is also very familiar with the swim parent role as well.  

She first began her "career" as a stay-at-home and homeschool parent for over 14 years and has since transitioned into outside employment, working primarily in public schools and early childhood education programs. While Coach Heather is still refining her future vision and goals, she hopes it will always include sharing the sport of swimming with others.

Peyton Frear Assistant Coach

Coach Peyton began swimming competitively in the 6h grade for the Sioux Falls Swim Team, but  she has always been around the water. During her time at SFST she was a part of a five-year  state title streak and earned multiple individual state titles and records. Coach Peyton has  taught swim lessons for the past five years, been a lifeguard for just as long, and helped with  coaching the younger kids for her local club team. Coach Peyton is attending the University of  Nebraska-Lincoln and studying Political Science on the Pre-Law track. Her future goals include  law school and furthering her coaching and swimming career. She is very excited to work with  GNST and be around the swimming world again.

Riley Johnson Assistant Coach

Coach Riley began swimming competitively at SSAN when she was 9 years old and later switched to SWIM. In middle school, she started junior coaching the younger age groups on her team. She continued swimming throughout high school on her school’s varsity team and was the team captain Junior and Senior years. This is her first time coaching on a swim team, and she is so excited to help y’all become better swimmers and cheer for y’all at meets. Riley previously worked as a lifeguard, and then as a cheerleading coach for ages 5-8 at Spring Creek Athletics, where she learned the basics of coaching and found her passion for working with kids. Outside of coaching, Riley attends school at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, where she is working towards her degree in Elementary Education

Chris Hansen Volunteer Coach

Coach Chris began swimming competitively during his Sophomore year of high school in Norfolk. He continued to compete with Norfolk High through his senior year, when he qualified for State in the 100 Breast and 200 IM. Chris spent his freshman year of college swimming at USD, and then returned to Lincoln when he joined the Army Reserve. While back in Lincoln, Chris began teaching stroke technique lessons with Great Plains Aquatics Club (now known as HLA), and began swimming with the Psuedo Master’s group under GPAC coach Terri Hermes. Coach Chris is excited to help other swimmers continue their love for the sport, and maybe they’ll make it a life-long passion as he has. In his personal life, Chris manages Premier Aquatechs, continues to swim (miles and miles) for Master’s, and enjoys frequent trips to Colorado to ski with his family.

Jocelyn Schneider Team Administrator
Cal Bentz Head Coach Emeritus

Coach Bentz has more than 50 years of coaching experience including 24 years as Head Coach of Swimming and Diving at the University of Nebraska; and 22 years as a high school coach, club coach and teacher.  His collegiate men’s teams produced more than 100 NCAA All Americans and the women’s program produced more than 80 NCAA All Americans.  Under Coach Bentz, Nebraska teams won 16 men’s conference titles and 5 women’s conference titles in swimming and diving.  More than 20 Olympians from all over the world competed for Nebraska under Coach Bentz.

During his tenure at Omaha Westside High School, Coach Bentz’ boys and girls teams won 16 state championship titles.  In 1976, the Omaha World Herald named Coach Bentz, “Nebraska High School Coach of the Year.”  He was a long time member and past president of the Nebraska High School Coaches’ Association and in 1997 was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.  In 2005, he was inducted into the Westside High School’s Coaches’ Night of Distinction.  In November 2008, he was inducted into the Midwestern Swimming Hall of Fame.

Coach Bentz was a four year letterman in swimming, team captain his junior and senior years and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1955.  While coaching at Nebraska he was honored as an Alumnus of the Year and in 1992 he was presented the UNL Parents Association Recognition Award for Contribution to Students.  Coach Bentz has coached and taught, provided competitive swimming camps and clinics in Nebraska and the Midwest for 54 years.  He has worked extensively in fundamental swimming skill development, dry-land and core body strength development and seasonal, periodic and daily workout design.  He has also served as a volunteer coach for the Kearney, Nebraska High School Swimming Team.

Cal Bentz passed away July 4th, 2017. He will always be in our hearts.  

Board of Directors
Chris Hansen President
Kristin Crawford Vice President
Cori Schmit Secretary
Brian Owens Treasurer
Chad Martin Board Member