18 & Under World 100s
Pacific Swimming
Excellence 300

Luke Johnson- Head Coach- National

contact: [email protected]

Coach Luke Johnson is coming to Reno with his family from Minnesota.  Luke developed a love for the water early in life swimming, boating and fishing with his parents and grandparents at their family’s cabin.   He started competitive swimming at age 7.  Luke has swimming experience in club, high school, college, masters swimming (3x National Champion in the 1650 Free), and is an Ironman.  Luke started coaching in 2002 as a High School Head Coach, and has coached a few clubs and a couple other high schools since.  Coaching is his passion and is happy to be at the pool every day!

Luke believes swimming should be about having fun, striving for personal improvement, and achieving team success.  The priorities he has set for his teams are in this order: self, family, school, team, social.  Luke has been awarded numerous coaching recognitions in Minnesota. 

One of Luke’s goals will be to improve from the prior years' team results.  Swimming is an amazing sport because of the cross between individual results and team success.  His coaching style is a balance of hard work, uniqueness, individualization and care.  Through a strong season plan and daily effort, his athletes are physically ready and mentally prepared. 

 

Julie Belflower -Head Age Group Coach-Pre Senior

contact: [email protected]

Head Age Group Coach, Julie Belfower, brings over two decades of high-level age group coaching to Reno Aquatic Club. Prior to being named Head Age Group Coach of Reno Aquatic Club in the fall of 2019, Coach Julie was the Development Director and a Age Group coach for Clovis Swim Club, one of the premier swim teams in the entire country. Durring her carrer Coach Julie helped develop several swimmers nationally ranked in the top-10 including multiple number 1 in the USA for their age group. Julie also developed several Jo High point and event champions as well as multiple Western Zone and Texas State qualifiers.

Before joining Clovis Swim Club in 2016, Coach Julie coached at Texas Ford Aquatics, Fort Worth Area Swim Team, and Riptide Aquatics. Prior to coaching, Coach Julie was a very accomplished swimmer earning an athletic scholarship at Fresno State where she broke the team record and obtained her 2000 Olympic Trials time standard in the 200 backstroke.

Coach Julie’s responsibilities include overseeing the curriculum and coach development for RENO’s age group program and day-to-day coaching of the  Pre-Senior group.

During her time as Head Age Group Coach with RENO, Julie has taken the lead on restructuring the age group program and providing training and mentorship for the age group coaches. Julie's success with the age group program was on full display when RENO won the 2021 High Country Championship. RENO doubled the amount of points the 2nd place team scored.

Head Coach, Ryan Evans, commented on Coach Julie:

“RENO is very lucky to have such an experienced and qualified coach to lead our age group program. Julie has decades of experience developing very successful swimmers. I really value her commitment to her swimmers. She does a great job teaching proper stroke technique, creating curriculum for our groups, and challenging our swimmers to be better in and out of the pool. She also brings an element of fun to the pool deck that always has her swimmers enjoying their time in the pool and leaving with a big smile on their face.”

Coach Julie and her husband, Ben, have two boys, Ian and Chase. In her spare time Julie enjoys creating art, travelling and spending time with her family. 

Jim Stretch Senior Group Coach

Contact: [email protected]

Jim grew up in the midwest and at age of nine Jim began swimming competitively in AAU and later
USA Swimming. Jim began coaching in 1984 at the University Club in Lansing MI and began
officiating swimming meets after graduating college. Jim loves coaching and enjoys
working with all levels of swimmers. He focuses on building a solid stroke technique while
developing a foundation that will serve athletes over the course of their swimming career. 
He has helped novice/youth athletes develop and reach all levels of motivational time standards and higher level qualifying meets including Sectionals and Pacific Swimming (LSC) All-Star's.
 
Jim recently moved to RENO and spent the summer of 2021 at Bowers Mansion Pool.  Before relocating here Jim was active in Zone 1 North of Pacific Swimming as a parent/volunteer, official and a Coach.  Jim served as a member of the Board of Directors of Pacific Swimming as the Chairman of Pacific Swimming's Zone 1 North from 2015-2019.  Jim was Zone 1 North Secretary 2019-2021 and continued to serve as the interim Secretary of Zone 1 North until May 2022.

Prior to joining RENO, Jim was most recently the Head Coach of Mavericks (MAV) in Half Moon Bay. From 2013-2019 Jim was the Head Coach of Bulldog Swim Club (BSC) growing the team from 24 to 140 athletes and leading the club from 108th to 28th rank in the Pacific Swimming LSC.  He also previously helped athletes develop at Burlingame Country Club (2008-2010), Carlmont  H.S (2012), Crystal Springs Uplands School, Head Coach (2018-2021), College of San Mateo 2019, Menlo School (2019-2020), Half Moon Bay High School Head Coach (2012, 2020, 2021), Bishop Manogue Catholic H.S. Head Coach (2022)

 

Sam Hardt White Group Coach

Contact: [email protected]

Swim Team BIO
Sam grew up swimming in Carson City where his mom and now father-in-law ran the age-group
swim program. After high school, he went to work for a cabinet and woodworking shop until
he went to college at the University of Minnesota. There he became an age group swim coach
for the Edina Swim Club while also taking over and building the Edina Masters Swim Program to
become one of the top two largest masters’ programs in the State.
 
After college and marriage, he and his wife Dana moved around the country trying out different
states and cities to live and work in. He continued with woodworking and construction with the
agreement to move back home (Northern NV) when they were ready to start a family. They
moved back to Reno in 2008 and now Sam owns and runs a custom wood shop specializing in
tables, doors, and artwork.
 
Both of his children are now passionate about swimming and drew him back into coaching. He
brings playful interaction, hard work, and discipline, with a desire to build team camaraderie
into the program with both the kids and their parents. Sam leads the White Group for RENO
and loves working with swimmers at the developmental yet competitive level. His goal is to
help swimmers achieve that “aha!” moment where they start to understand the connection
between hard work and success in the pool.
 
“I believe the best people to take you to the next level are the ones you surround yourself with.
Help them become exceptional, and you will find yourself there too!” Sam Hardt"

 

Taylor Chase Orange Group Coach

Contact:[email protected] 

Taylor is a native to Northern Nevada and began competitively swimming for Lakeridge Swim Team when she was nine years old. She began coaching after she graduated and has been the HEad Coach of McQueen Swim Team since 2016. Taylor joined the Reno family in April of 2022.

Taylor graduated from UNRin 2019, and completed her masters degree from San Jose State University in 2022. In her spare time, she still enjoys swimming ans working out,as well as spending time with friends! 

"Coach Taylor has been a great addition to our team. She really connects with her swimmers

and brings a lot of positive energy to our program."-Coach Julie

 

Amy Clingensmith Blue Group Coach

Contact: [email protected] 

Coach Amy started swimming when she was 10 years old. She swam for the Orville Orca's and Paradise Piranhas in Northern California. Amy was fortunate to continue her swimming for 2 years at the Naval Academy.

Following that she swam for a masters team at the YMCA in Yokohoma Japan for 4 years. Amy also taught swimming and PE at a K-12 international school.

In 2005 Amy returned to school and finished her bachelors degree in English and in Culturally Diverse Education , along with her teaching credential. She started teaching Kinderguarten in 2011 in Susanville Ca. In 2017 Coach Amy was one of the founding coaches for the Lassen Volcanos Swim Team in Susanville, CA. Coach Amy oversaw the younger swimmers and ran bi-weekly clinics. 

Coach Amy and her family moved to Reno in 2019 to be closer to family and currently is teaching 1st grade at Brookfield Elementary School. Amy and her two sons joined the RAC family this last summer.

Amy is looking forward to bringing her enthusiasm for swimming and foundational skills to our Blue and Mini Groups.

When Amy is not coaching or in the classroom she is swimming for Masters,doing jiu jitsu or snowboarding with her family.

 

 
Ethan Daniels Assistant Coach
 

 

Ethan swam for RAC for four years and Damonte Ranch from 2018-2022. He is currently going to UNR as a freshmen, working for a major in secondary Education with a emphasis in History. He still enjoys the water,swimming and exercise in his spare time. Ethan is also a lifeguard for the City.

Ethan is looking forward to giving back to RAC and to help RAC grow to it's full potential!