Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors

Coaching Staff
Emily Paradis Head Coach

I grew up in Freeport Illinois and always knew I wanted to be a swimmer. After watching my 3 older sisters and HS coach father involved in swimming, it was inevitable. After having success as an age-group and HS swimmer and falling in love with the sport for so many reasons, I went on to swim for UW-Madison. During my time with the Badgers I was All-Big Ten Selection, NCAA All-American, Big Ten champion, school record holder, and team captain. I was also an Olympic Trials qualifier in both breaststroke and IM events in 2000 and 2004.

I decided to get back into swimming, this time as a coach, after the birth of my oldest daughter in 2007. I felt this was an amazing opportunity to give back to the sport that was such a huge part of my life. I started coaching for DeForest Aquatic Club as an assistant coach, working with all ages from 2007-2012. Our Family moved to New Glarus in 2012, and I took over the Head coaching job at the Green County YMCA. I was the head coach for GCY from 2012-2020. While with GCY I was voted age-group coach of the year in 2015. I was able to grow so much as a coach in my time at the YMCA. I enjoyed developing the program into a team that not only fostered the growth of beginner swimmers, but also placed in the top ten at both USA and YMCA State meets.

In my years of coaching I have worked with swimmers of all ages and abilities—from teaching beginner swimmers all 4 strokes to state champions and National qualifiers-- I love it all! I believe that swimming is truly a unique sport and you can get so much from every aspect of it. Coaching to me is about building lasting memories and relationships for swimmers, while helping each individual to reach their full potential. To me, watching a swimmer learn to love the sport as much as I do, is the biggest reward!

On a personal note, I am a mother of 4 children (3 daughters and 1 son). My husband Todd is an elementary principal, and we have 2 giant fluffy cats! My girls are involved in swimming, soccer and basketball and keep us very busy! When we get the chance, we love spending any of our extra time in Door County on Lake Michigan!

Breanna Ruffolo Assistant Coach

I grew up in Manitowoc, Wi and first started doing swim lessons at the YMCA when I was 8. From there my instructors told me I should join synchronized swimming since I loved being under the water all the time. I swam competitively in synchro for about 3 years, and then the program got cancelled so my parents had me join the swim team when I was 11. I then ended up swimming for the YMCA in Manitowoc for 10 years, and also swam for my middle school and high school teams. In high school I helped coach the middle school team which is when my love for coaching really started!

After high school I attended the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point and swam for their team for three years. At UWSP I helped coach for a summer at their annual swim camp, which was so much fun! I graduated from UWSP in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.

Since then I moved to Madison and started working at Zimbrick Inc. as a marketing project coordinator! I am very excited to coach for VAST and can't wait to see the amazing progression the kids make!

Caleb Meixner Assistant Coach
Joseph Milinovich Assistant Coach

Hey everyone! My name is Michael Milinovich but almost everyone calls me Milli. I am really excited to join the coaching staff at VAST and be able to work with everyone! My previous experience with the sport of swimming includes 16 years of competitive swimming with 4 of those years being here at UW-Madison. My coaching experience is not as long, however, I have learned a lot over the last 6 months being the head coach for the boys team at Edgewood High School, the assistant coach for the girls team, and also coaching for MAC in the fall last year. I can't wait to continue learning under Emily and help everyone achieve their goals!

Bree Parent Assistant Coach
Board of Directors
Ryan Geier President
Liz Slager Vice President & Secretary
Michelle Konarske Treasurer
Mylinda Heil
Sarah McClure
Nick Curran
Chad Kemp