Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
David Maker Jr Head Coach

Coach David Maker took the helm as head coach in July 2022. He has more than 30 years of coaching experience, with 20 of those years in head coaching positions. He has also held positions as head age group coach, assistant coach, pool manager, and swim dad. His coaching background includes developing swimmers and leading them to excellence at the summer league, club, high school, and collegiate levels. Coach Maker’s enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and dedication to the swimmers are certain to make a positive impact on all members of Las Cruces Aquatic Team. Coach Maker holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Mathematics. He recently retired from a 28 year career as a high school math and science teacher. He, his wife Marge, and their demanding French Bulldog puppy Zoey are excited to make Las Cruces their new home.

Rick Pratt Senior Group

Rick Pratt is a volunteer coach for the Senior Group. Meanwhile, he continues in his Head Coach position of the New Mexico State University Women’s swimming and diving program. Since taking the reins at NMSU in 2005, Rick has guided the Aggies towards becoming one of the premiere teams in the Western Athletic Conference. During his tenure at NMSU, Rick has coached 2 Aggies to compete at NCAA Championships, his swimmers have set or broken more than 60 school records, he was named Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year 4 times, and he continues to push the program to greatness. Prior to NMSU, Rick was an assistant coach at University of Nevada, Las Vegas for two years and helped coach the men’s and women’s teams to their first ever Mountain West Conference titles. Rick previously was an assistant coach at Rutgers where he worked with swimmers who lowered 22 school records during the 2002-03 season. As a competitor, Rick was a two-year letterwinner and captain of the University of Alabama swim team until graduating in 2001. While swimming with the Crimson Tide, Rick was the recipient of the Marshall Shoemaker Award for efforts in practice. He also competed in the 1996 Canadian Olympic Trials. In his spare time, Rick enjoys playing the guitar. Rick, a native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and his wife, Melissa, have two children, Jacob and Olivia.

Christopher Chavez Maroon and Senior Groups


Chris Chavez joined the LCAT coaching staff at the beginning of the 2018 short course season. He quickly became a valued member by coaching multiple groups throughout the year. Prior to LCAT, Chris was an assistant coach and later head coach for the Aggie Outlaws swim team in Las Cruces from 2015-2018. Chris grew up in Roswell, NM and was a competitive swimmer from ages 8 through 13. He later renewed his passion for being in the pool and began swimming again in 2018, learning from and being motivated by New Mexico State University Head Coach Rick Pratt. Chris graduated from NMSU with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and agricultural business. He stays connected to his hometown by raising fish in Roswell and using their droppings to fertilize some fantastic greens and herbs.

B'Elanna Utnage Silver & Black Group

B’Elanna Utnage joined the LCAT coaching staff this fall and is very excited to connect with everyone and see the children grow both in their swim abilities and as people. She was part of LCAT from the ages 7 to 15 and participated in the NM 8 & Under state meet 3 times placing 3rd in breaststroke. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Art from NMSU she is now coaching the Black Group for LCAT

Gracie Pino Silver & White Group

Gracie Pino joined the LCAT coaching staff in January 2023. She uses her diverse competitive swimming knowledge to help develope the LCAT age group team. Gracie has a long New Mexico Swimming history, training and competeing in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Lobo Aquatics Club from ages 6-16 and BEAST Aquatics Club from 16-18. She has several New Mexico Age Group State Championship victories in the IM, Breastroke, and Butterfly events as well as a 2021 NMAA High School State Champion win in the 100 Butterfly. Gracie is currently a second year on the Women's New Mexico State University Swim team, double majoring in Kinesiology and Marketing. She is excited to help advance the skills of swimmers and further the enjoyment of swimming. 

Marina Preiss Masters Coach

Coach Preiss enters her second season with the Aggies after making an impactful addition to the staff in 2021-22.  Coach Preiss helped the Aggies develop swimmers who broke 5 school records at the WAC Championship meet and defeated UNM in dual meet action twice.

Coach Preiss joined the Aggies after spending two seasons as a volunteer assistant swim coach with the Auburn University SEC Program. During her time at Auburn, she assisted with multiple training groups under head coach Gary Taylor. She helped write and run dryland workouts along with being involved in a magnitude of coaching and administrative duties. During her time at Auburn, she was also a USA swimming club coach for Auburn Aquatics.

Prior to working with Auburn Coach Preiss coached in the Austin area with Waterloo Swimming as an age group coach and was a Volunteer Coach for Southwestern University working primarily with their middle-distance training groups.

Coach Preiss Graduated from San Diego State University as a four-year member of their swimming team, she was team captain during her senior year and competed for the Aztecs as a freestyler.

Coach Preiss was born in East Hampton, NY, and competed as a swimmer for East Hampton HS and the East Hampton Hurricane Swim Club. She enjoys Photography, hiking and of course swimming.

Board of Directors
Jeanette Skow President
Sarah Wellborn Vice President
Charles Creusere Treasurer
Lara Prihodko Secretary
Michael Clyons Safe Sport Chair
Kirsten Holles At-Large Director
John Kutinac At-Large Director
Melissa Pratt At-Large Director
Olivia Pratt Athlete Representative