2022 Coaching Staff

Nikki Palmer - Head Coach

Swimming has been a lifelong passion for Nikki. She grew up swimming for Dana Hills and the Terrapins Swim Team in Concord. Nikki earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa, where she was also a member of the swim team. She has been nominated swimmer of the year 5 times and won twice in her illustrious career.

The only thing Nikki has more of a passion for than swimming is working with kids, coaching them to their full potential. She has coached for local swim teams such as Dana Hills, New Wave Aquatics, and Blackhawk. Nikki subscribes to the philosophy that technique drives the swim and strength will follow. She was twice voted Jr Coach of the year at Dana Hills and is a member of the Jr Coach hall of fame.

Dan Cottam - Assistant Head Coach

Dan has been coaching for over two decades at the USS club, recreational, and high school level. Dan is currently the Senior and Senior Development Group coach for the Terrapins Swim Team. This will be Dan's 6th year as the Assistant Head Coach for Dana Dills. He was the co-founder/Head Coach for the Diablo Aquatics Devil Rays where he coached for 7 months (June 2015-December 2015). Dan was also the co-founder/Head Coach for the Crow Canyon Sharks (2005-2015). Dan led the Sharks to 5 Silver Medal National Club Excellence Awards (2010-2014) and 1 Bronze Medal National Club Excellence Award (2015).

His coaching accomplishments include: coaching at 2 Olympic Trials (2008, 2012) and had a semi-finalist in each one, a Top 5 Team finish at the 2011 and 2012 Short Course Junior National Championships, multiple individual Junior National Champions, and a Junior National Record-breaking 400 Medley Relay Team, an LC Sectional Team Title and Coach of the Meet (2014), a Far Western Team title (2010 LC), multiple Top 3 Team finishes at Short Course Far Westerns, 5 Junior Olympic Team titles (3 Short Course, 2 Long Course), multiple individual Pacific Record breakers and relay record breakers, multiple individual/relay Far Western and Junior Olympic Champions, and has prepared 80 kids to swim at the college level.

Pacific Swimming All-Star Coach in 2008 and Head Coach in 2009. He has also been nominated for Pacific Swimming Senior and Age Group Coach of the year. Dan was Co-Head Coach of the Crow Canyon Sea Lions summer team and helped lead them to Contra Costa County titles from 2005-2008. Additionally, Dan was the Athletic/Aquatic Director for Crow Canyon Country Club (2004-2015). Previously, he served as the Head Coach for Carondelet High School (2018-2019) and led the Cougars to a 3rd place finish at NCS. Additionally, he was the Head Coach for the men’s and women’s swim teams at Acalanes High School in Lafayette (2005-2007). Dan directed the Dons’ squads to Top 10 finishes in the CIF North Coast Section all 3 years (3rd place with Men’s Team in 2007). Dan began his coaching career with LMYA Swim Team where he was an Assistant Coach for 2 years and then Head Coach from 2002-2004.

The East Bay native started swimming at 5 years old (Forest Park Swim Club) and began year-round swimming with the Terrapins at 9 years old and continued with them through college (14 years, 1986-2001). At the Terrapins Dan was a Junior National qualifier in the Distance Freestyle events and also specialized in the 200FL and 400IM. Dan earned a swimming scholarship to the University of California at Santa Barbara where he was a four-year member of the Gauchos swim team, won the conference title in the 1650 yard freestyle as a freshman, and also won the Most Inspirational Swimmer Award (2001).

Dan loves coaching for Dana Hills because of the close-knit, family-friendly atmosphere and loves giving back to the community that he has called home for 15 years. He strives to inspire, teach, and encourage his swimmers to be the very best version of themselves.

Maddy Webster - Assistant Head Coach

Maddy has spent most of her lifetime on Dana Hills; she loves it and this community is her family. 

Maddy started swimming at the age of 7 on Dana Hills. From then on, she couldn't stay out of the water. While at Clayton Valley Charter High School, she was a member of the swim and water polo team for 4 years. She is finishing her bachelor's degree at Saint Mary's College of California, graduating in May 2022. While Maddy attended college, she finished her swim career aging out on Dana Hills, and furthered her coaching career. 

After 13 years on the team, she continued her passion for working with kids. Maddy started volunteering on the spirit squad at 13, junior coaching at 16 and became an assistant at 18. While on the team, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame and awarded the Dylan Mitchell Spirit Award. She has a love for children and desires to see them build confidence, reach their goals, and be the best they can be through self-discipline and strong coaching. Maddy looks forward to every season as she gives back to the community that gave her so much.

Eric VanBrocklin - Assistant Head Coach

Eric began swimming for Woodlands swim team in Walnut Creek at the age of seven where he gained a passion for the sport. After many years of Rec swim he joined the Walnut Creek Aquabears and swim year round while also competing for Northgate Highschool. Eric was then recruited by the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and swam on the team for 3 years and graduated with a degree in Geography in 2021.

Eric’s swimming accomplishments include helping Northgate win a State championship in 2015, and compete at multiple Junior national swim meets for Aquabears. At UCSB he specialized in the 200 butterfly, 200 Freestyle, and the 500 Free.

Eric worked with the swimming instructional camp hosted by UCSB. Eric is looking forward to his first season at Dana Hills.