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 started his swimming career with his neighborhood swim team when he was 5 and quickly fell in love. After joining New Wave Swim Team in 8th grade and swimming for Enloe High School, co-captaining the team his senior year, he began his coaching journey with the Summerfield North Stingrays. He stayed with the summer league team for 2 seasons, with the first being as an assistant coach and the second as the head coach. During 2020 he continued with Summerfield North and taught private lessons.
After moving to Nebraska full time in 2021, Kevin began coaching with GNST that summer. Since joining the coaching staff, he has helped multiple swimmers qualify for Midwestern Championships and has been selected to be an assistant coach for Team Midwestern at Central Summer Zones (2022). Kevin has recently graduated from UNL with a degree in Math and a minor in German. While at UNL, He continued swimming with the club team and was president his senior year. Kevin plans to continue coaching in the future, eventually becoming a career coach.
Lauren Mayo Assistant Coach
Coach Lauren has swam competitively for the past 12 years, 10 of those here in Midwestern Swimming with the Aquatic Club of Elkhorn, and 2 collegiantly with Colorado School of Mines. She served as Midwestern Swimming's elected Athlete Representative between 2018 and 2020, and is a four time NSAA State Qualifier and the 2020 State Champion in the Womens' 200 yard Freestyle. 
Currently, Coach Lauren is attending the University of Nebraska Lincoln where she is majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Mathematics.
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.

Christopher 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
Christopher Hansen President
Kristin Crawford Vice President
Cori Schmit Secretary
Brian Owens Treasurer
Chad Martin Board Member