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Coaches & Directors

We are here to support you. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, or other swimming-related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For questions related to administration, please contact our office at 403-220-2772.

COACHING STAFF

Mike Blondal

Director of Swimming

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Mike has been coaching in Calgary at the UofC and UCSC since 1988 and has been the Head Coach/Director of Swimming since 1994. In his swimming career, he swam at Lakeside Swim Club, Pointe Claire Swim Club, CAMO, University of Houston Cougars, Vancouver Dolphins, and UBC Thunderbirds. He also swam internationally for Canada numerous times and was a double silver medalist at the Pan American Games in 1975.

He began his education for coaching at the University of Houston and finished at UBC with a BPE major and a minor in zoology. Mike’s previous coaching before Calgary was in Nanaimo, first as the Head Coach of the White Rapids (summer club) and then as the Head Coach for the Riptides (winter club). Except for his first five years in Calgary he has always worked as a Head Coach and has really enjoyed working with all the athletes and parents over the years.

He has coached the UofC Dino’s and UCSC teams to many national championships both at the club level and varsity, as well as placed many swimmers on Albertan and Canadian provincial and national teams. He has been on staff many times at almost every major International competition including but not limited to the Olympics, SC World Championships, LC World Championships, Pan American Games, Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, World Student Games, Mare Nostrum, North American Challenge, European Champs, etc.

Mike has been voted by his peers as CIS Coach of the Year a few times and works extensively on behalf of coaches in Canada and Alberta by sitting on the Alberta Coaches Council and the Canadian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association. He is a coach that believes in quality coaching, and self-reliance for the swimmer. Throughout his career he has had the opportunity to work with great staff, strong boards of directors, and has had the opportunity to build strong relationships with many swimmers. He looks forward to another new season!  

 

Ray Betuzzi

Varsity Coach

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Ray has been involved with coaching for the last 5 years.  He has worked his way up from an assistant in the age group program to running his own group to now being involved at the University level.  Ray is a former competitive swimmer for UCSC and represented our Club and Canada on the international stage as a member of the Sr. National Team.  He also spent 4 years competing at the NCAA level and then returned to continue swimming post grad.  Being involved with the program as both a swimmer and a coach has allowed him to really grow with UCSC.  He is excited to be coaching the senior swimmers and looks forward to helping them achieve their goals in and out of the pool.

Rick Pelletier

Varsity Assistant/Massage Therapist

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Rick returns for his 11th season as an assistant coach with both Varsity and senior swimmers. Rick brings over 25 years of coaching experience, having worked as Head Coach and in various Assistant Head Coaching positions in Alberta and Manitoba. Rick is also a Massage Therapist, and his expertise in sport massage has earned him the opportunity to be selected to numerous international competitions as a member of the IST Staff with Swimming Canada, recently being selected to his third Olympic Games. He has consistently been selected to provide massage therapy at a large majority of International games over the past 10 years. 

OLYMPIC GAMES (2008, 2012, 2016)

FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)

PAN PAC CHAMPIONSHIPS (1999, 2006, 2010, 2014)

FISU – WORLD STUDENT GAMES (2011, 2015)

COMMONWEALTH GAMES (2010)

WORLD SHORT COURSE CHAMPS (1998)

FINA WORLD JUNIORS (2008)

JR PAN PAC CHAMPS (2009)

Carl Simonson

Assistant Head Coach and Gold 15

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Carl returns to UCSC for his 6th season as the Assistant Head Coach and the Gold 15 group coach.  His first few seasons saw great success with the age group program moving into the Top 10 overall in the country with several Provincial and National records broken.

Carl is currently enrolled in the Advanced Coaching Diploma program where he will complete his formal coach education through the National Coaching institute – Calgary.  This two year program comprises of experts in various fields providing weekly seminars and ongoing course work to be submitted and defended annually. 

Carl’s recent career and volunteer highlights include:

  • Coaching in Alberta since 1992
  • Age Group Head Coach (EKSC)
  • Head Coach of the Olympian Swim Club (OSC)
  • Multiple Age Group National and Western Canadian Championship Titles
  • Placing swimmers on 2010 Pan Pacific Championship as well as other National Teams
  • National Medalists and Finalists in both men’s and women’s events as well as in every stroke discipline
  • Multiple swimmers on Provincial and National Teams representing Alberta and Canada
  • Head Coach of Alberta’s 2009 Canada Games Team
  • Alberta Provincial Stroke Coach
  • Elected Executive Member of the Alberta Coaches Council
  • NCCP Level 3 (Senior Coach) Certified (currently working on Level 4)

As an experienced Canadian Swim Coach with a proven record of building successful teams and an ability to effectively manage a large swim club, Carl is a welcome addition to the UCSC Coaching Staff.

Jared Wilson

Black 15

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Jared is coming to us from Edmonton where he both swam and coached for the Olympian Swim Club. With OSC he held a number of roles over the years, including time as Assistant Head Coach and General Manager. Jared uses lessons learned coaching at all levels to bring a fresh perspective to the pool every day.

With his background as a Chartered Professional Accountant, Jared has a very analytical outlook on swimming. Despite his professional designation, swimming is what he is passionate about and has chosen to pursue. His data analysis skills make him a whiz at stats and a major driver behind his coaching. Jared has high on-deck energy and loves to share his passion for the sport with his athletes. Jared has coached a variety of athletes over the years including many Provincial and National level swimmers. Given his belief in technical foundation he has enjoyed coaching development swimming over the years. However, with his passion for race analysis he really enjoys working with older athletes to find new ways to continue to improve.

Off deck, Jared loves to watch and consume other sports as a spectator and a fan. He is an avid Oilers fan which he hopes won’t be too much of an issue in the new surroundings. He loves being outside and spends his time hiking and skiing with his wife Lauren whenever possible. 

Dave Macdonald

Gold 14

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Dave is excited to be returning for his second season with the University of Calgary Swim Club this fall. Dave is Level 3 (Senior Coach) certified.  Dave’s coaching philosophy is that for swimmers to be successful they need to strive to improve every day. Through dedicating themselves to their training and challenging themselves in the pool every workout, he knows that they can reach great heights in the sport.

Swimmers that Dave has coached over the years have won medals at the Senior, Age Group, and Western National Championships levels, while breaking many Provincial and National records. These swimmers have gone on to compete on National teams at the World Championship, World Junior Championship, Junior Pan Pacific Championship and various National and Provincial teams.

He has also been named as a coach to National and Provincial Teams including most recently the 2014 Junior Pan Pacs and 2013 Canada Games. In 2013 Dave was awarded the Swim Alberta Desperado Award, and in 2010 Dave received the Alberta Age Group and Para-Swimming Coach of the Year awards. For the last five years he has been a member of the Alberta Coaches Council and has acted as Chair for the last three.

Dave began his own swimming career at age 9 in Mississauga, Ontario. He swam there for 9 years before attending the University of Victoria in British Columbia. He competed for the UVic Vikes for five years while completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree. While swimming in Victoria, Dave represented British Columbia at the 2001 Canada Games and won a bronze medal in the 200 backstroke at the 2002 Canadian Interuniversity Sports championship.

Dave is excited to continue as part of the of great swimming tradition at the University of Calgary Swim Club and hopes to contribute to this legacy in the future!

 

Lauren Wilson

Black 14

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Lauren is coming to us from Edmonton where she both swam and coached for the Olympian Swim Club. As OSC’s Age Group Performance Coach and Communications Coordinator she was responsible for training some of the clubs fastest 12-14 year olds, club-wide entries, updating social media as well as re-vamping the website. Over the past 6 years, she has coached a range of athletes from young development swimmers to Alberta Champs medalists to Western Qualifiers. She also spent a year working for Swim Alberta where she was heavily involved in the Provincial meets and Swim AB Camps. Through this role, she gained a new perspective of the sport on a local, provincial and national level. Her degree in communications also brings a unique skill set to the club – a skill that she hopes will contribute to making UCSC more successful than it already is.

Lauren, who is NCCP Level 2 certified, is passionate about swimming and truly believes that sport teaches important life skills such as hard work, dedication and perseverance.  She is thrilled to be a part of the Dino swim team and can’t wait to have a positive impact on the swimmers in the club.

Off deck, Lauren enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible with her husband Jared and their chocolate lab Baloo. 

Greg Parsons

Red 14

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Greg is excited to be returning for his 11th year as a coach for UCSC. This season he will be Lead Red Coach and Head Coach of Red 14. Greg is a Level 2 coach (in training). He strives to build strong relationships with each of his athletes that are based on trust and respect. Greg's coaching philosophy is that he believes each athlete must become intrinsically motivated, and aspire to train hard in each and every practice in order to reach their full potential. Greg works hard with each athlete to help them build their goals and take responsibility of their swimming while guiding and pushing them to become the best they can be. Greg believes that great swimming is built on a foundation of great technique and makes this a focus in his workouts. Greg swam for UCSC for 8 years at the provincial and national level before transitioning into coaching and has an immense pride for his team. He is looking forward to another successful season.

Jeff Welechuk

Gold 12

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Born in Hinton, Alberta, Jeff began his swimming career with a local summer club. At the age of 15, he left home and moved to Edmonton and joined the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club. It was there that he first made the national team and then went on to swim with the University of Alberta Golden Bear’s varsity team. In 1995, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, moved to Calgary and began doing technical software support for a geophysical company. Jeff continued to swim for an additional year with the University of Calgary Swim Club. Throughout his swimming career, Jeff had many successes:

• 1996 World Master’s Record Holder – 100 back
• 1988-1993 Varsity Swimmer, University of Alberta Golden Bears, Edmonton, Alberta
• University of Alberta Record Holder, 50 free, 100 free, and 100 back
• 1992 Olympic Trials, Montreal
• 1991 Pan American Games, Havana, Cuba
• 1988 Olympic Trials, Montreal

In 1996, he joined the University of Calgary Swim Club as a coach. Jeff is a level 2 certified NCCP coach who focuses on excellence in stroke development, endurance training, dry land training, meet preparation, parent and coach liaison and using video analysis. In 2015, Jeff left the Oil & Gas Industry to pursue a career in Education. He is currently in his second year of the B. Ed after degree program at the University of Calgary. It was also in 2015 that Jeff won the Alberta Provincial Coach of the year award. 

He encourages the well-being and overall personal and swimming development of each individual swimmer in his group. Jeff also enjoy downhill skiing, mountain biking and having fun.

Personal Quotation: “There is no crying in sports unless you win a Gold Medal at the Olympics. And then I’ll cry with you.”

 

Tao Zhao

Black 12

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Tao started swimming in the Sichuan Province of China at the age of nine. By the time she was thirteen she was a member of the Sichuan Provincial Team. She held the Sichuan backstroke record and was awarded the title of China's National Swimming Master. After her athletic career she started coaching and has done so for twenty years. She has helped develop young swimmers into provincially ranked athletes and has sent athletes from the Sichuan Provincial team to rank in China's National Swimming Championships. Many of her athletes went on to win national championships and also the title of National Swimming Master. She really enjoys helping young swimmers develop their skills and competitive mindset. This is Tao’s second year with UCSC and she is looking forward to another successful season!

Caitlin Kruger

Red 12

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This is Caitlin's first year coaching with UCSC and she is thrilled to be a part of such a big team! She is excited to take on the responsibilities and roles that go along with coaching that are not only related to being on deck. She is eager and passionate about learning more and growing her coaching experience. She started swimming late at the age of 12 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She then moved to Ontario and started swimming for a small town team outside of Ottawa. She graduated high school and went on to swim with the University of Ottawa before changing programs and schools. She is now in her fourth year at Mount Royal University majoring in Sport Business. She has obtained her Swimming 101 and wants to continue her coaching education. Let’s go UCSC!

Jacquelyn Craft

TREXA and TREXC Head Coach

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This is Jacquelyn’s fourth season with the University of Calgary Swim Club. Jacquelyn has been coaching for nine years and is currently an NCPP Level 2 trained coach, working towards complete certification.

Swimming for the Trent Swim Club in Peterborough, Ontario from the age of 9, Jacquelyn saw success as a nationally-ranked breaststroker and Olympic Trials finalist, earning a scholarship to the University of Arizona, a powerhouse in Division 1 NCAA swimming. It was there that she earned All-American status and won the 2008 NCAA Team Championship in her final year as part of the Women’s Swimming and Diving program.

Led by her passion for coaching, she focused her studies on physiology, psychology, and communication, to form a theme of coaching and teaching. Following university, she began her coaching career working in the United States and Australia, before moving home to coach in Canada where she’s been based for the past seven years.

After giving birth to twin girls in February, she is excited to be back on deck as lead of the TREX program and coach of both TREX A and C at the University of Calgary Swim Club!

Joylin Nodwell

TREX B Head Coach

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Joylin is super stoked to be coaching Trex B this year after a fantastic half season with Trex C during Coach Jac's maternity leave. Joylin is a former UCSC swimmer and Development coach with Coach Lorna and she brings with her over 20 years of coaching experience. Joylin is presently head coach of the Foothills Masters Swim Team and the Calgary Winter Club Clippers Masters Team. Joylin literally lives at the pool! Also a yoga and French instructor, Joylin is AFLCA certified, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and is a Level 2 trained coach with hopes to complete certification once life slows down a bit.  

Lorna Snow

Churchill 1 and 2 Head Coach

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Lorna Snow is the Head Coach in the Development Program at Churchill pool. She is one of the most experienced and educated coaches of young swimmers in Canada. She has been committed to UCSC for over 30 years. Lorna has a Master's degree in Physical Education from the University of Western Ontario. She taught Therapeutic Recreation at Mount Royal University for 25 years and continues to coach for the joy of the interaction with the children. Lorna is a certified NCCP Level II swim coach. She has a passion and ethusiasm for teaching excellent technique, and encouraging young swimmers to love the sport and have confidence in their abilities. Her swimmers learn the value of respect, commitment and hard work.

When asked, "Who are the most successful athletes you have coached?" Lorna said, "Approximately 2,500 children have gone through the development program at Churchill pool, have learned to swim extremely well, and have grown up to be happy, healthy, contributing citizens. Their lives were enriched because of the experiences they had in our club. These are my most successful athletes."

Ashley Aplin

Churchill 3 Head Coach

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This is Ashley's sixth year coaching with the development program at UCSC. After spending multiple seasons coaching both the Shouldice 1 and Shouldice 2 squads, Ashley, who is Fundamental Coach Certified (level 1), is excited for the opportunity to be coaching the newly formed Churchill 3 squad! Prior to joining UCSC, Ashley spent nine years competitively swimming with the Airdrie-based swim club Nose Creek Swim Association. Competing at both provincial and national level competitions, Ashley enjoyed swimming the 400, 800 and 1500 metre freestyle.

Outside of coaching, Ashley recently completed two Bachelor of Art's degrees at the University of Calgary. With degrees in Political Science and Law & Society, Ashley hopes to further her educational pursuits and attain a Master's degree within the next few years.

Katie Harper

Shouldice 1 and 2 Head Coach

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Katie spent eight years swimming with UCSC (yes, even she is surprised she didn't sprout gills or grow webbing between her toes) before transitioning to coaching. This is Katie's second year coaching in UCSC's development program. She is a Community Coach and is completing her Level 1 coaching certification this fall.

Off the pool deck, she is currently attending the University of Calgary where she is in the Bachelor of Science program. Katie also has one cat named James Tiberius (J.T.).