Head Coach (All pools)
Dave has loved to swim as long as he can remember. As a young child, Dave grew up 2 blocks away from the Charles Horn pool in Anoka and spent many a summer day swimming and laying in the sun. He began competitive swimming when he was in the ninth grade, swimming for the Anoka High School team. During Dave’s senior year, he set school and pool records in the 200 and 500 free. Then, Dave swam for two years at University of Minnesota Duluth and one year at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.
Dave began coaching between his freshman and sophomore year in college, when together with his parents and other interested families, they began the ABC Aquatic Club which later became Northern Lights Aquatics (NLA). In 1979, Dave left NLA to become an assistant coach and manager at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs where several world record holders and Olympians came to train. Then, in 1980, Dave had the good fortune to coach with The Head Olympic Coach George Haines at his club team.
Dave had his first head coaching job at the Bloomington Aquatic Club where he rebuilt the program winning several state championships and qualifying many swimmers to swim in both Junior and Senior Nationals. Next, Dave took over the reigns of a coach owned program called the Marauder Aquatic Club where, again, they won the state age group championships and had swimmers qualify for Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals and Olympic Trials. After several years, Dave retired from coaching to concentrate on his printing business until he was hired in 1991 to coach the Gopher Swim Club at the new University of Minnesota pool. Once again, Dave had numerous swimmers qualify and swim at various Nationals including one swimmer who went from Junior Nationals to being world ranked in one season. In the spring of 1999, Dave went back home to Northern Lights Aquatics, the team he helped start in 1976, to work with the distance swimmers. In the five years Dave coached at NLA, swimmers he worked with set numerous state records, qualified for and swam in Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals and the 2004 Olympic Trials. In 2004, Dave began the last coaching job he will ever hold here at The Great Wolf Swim Team. He looks forward to building a team that is strong from top to bottom with swimmers setting new records, swimming at Nationals and one day qualifying for the USA Olympic Team.
Head Age Group Coach
Carl first started coaching swimming in 1979 with the Northwest YMCA in Shoreview. During his time there the team won it's first three YMCA state championships. Since then he has coached several teams in Minnesota and Wisconsin associated with USA swimming. During that time two swimmers he coached went on to set National age group records. Most recently he was the Head age group coach at Northern Light Aquatics. His success has come due to finding fun ways to help younger swimmers learn excellence. In addition to coaching swimming, Carl is an eighth grade science teacher in the Spring Lake Park district.
Age Group and Senior Coach
Chip Fechter is one of the top developmental swimming coaches in the United States. Over the past 38 years, he has been able to identify and develop some of the best swimmers in the country. Many of the swimmers on teams Chip has coached started out at the Novice level. With a progressive nurturing style, his swimmers learn the basics of the competitive strokes and develop a love for the sport that have produced numerous national age-group champions, Junior National champions and swimmers, Senior National swimmers, and Olympic Trial qualifiers. Chip has also coached at the High School level with swimmers achieving ALL AMERICAN status. With his desire to make swimming a life long activity, Chip is also coaching a masters group for adults. Several of the masters swimmers were non-swimmers who are now able to swim well over a mile in an hour workout. Chip's philosophy is that swimming “Builds Skills For Life.”
Delano area Head Coach
Lisa began competitive swimming at the age of 11. She swam for Bloomington AAU during the winter, spring and summer months and then for Burnsville High School during the fall. At Burnsville, she swam sprint freestyle and breaststroke. During her three years in high school, she earned All Conference, All State and All American honors, was part of the State Championship team her junior and senior years and was also co-captain her senior year. She went onto swim one year in college.
When Lisa's four children began swimming in 2001, it was then she started coaching and has been coaching ever since. She started as an assistant coach for the MGC Muskies (Maple Grove) 2001- 2004 and then stepped in with Dave Bentz and the Great Wolf Swim Team from it's inception, 2004 to present.
Due to location and travel time to and from the pools in the North Metro, Lisa inquired about starting a GW branch in the Delano area (west suburbs). With Dave's blessing, he said, "Go for it!" Lisa, who is the Administrator and Head Coach in Delano, is proud of the fact that they're starting their 10th season (5th year). This past try-out session was the highest in terms of how many new swimmers joined the team...36! From the novice group, which are called PUPS to the National level swimmers, there's a place for everyone.
Lisa's passion for swimming/coaching is apparent as she coaches her swimmers to be the best they can be. By setting goals and determination, she knows GW Swimmers can accomplish whatever it is they want in and out of the water.
See what Great Wolf is doing in Delano by visiting them on their Facebook page: Great Wolf Swimming/Delano Branch
Coach (Seniors at Columbia Heights)
Blair grew up in Marshall, MN and was a member of the Marshall Meters Swim Club where his mother was a coach. He has been involved in swimming and loving every minute of it ever since. Before joining Great Wolf ranks, Blair was a coach of the great Northern Lights Aquatics team and served as head coach at Mounds View Swim Club and the Tsunami Swim Club. Blair loves to perfect stroke mechanics and has a passion for teaching his swimmers to swim correctly. In his coaching style, Blair combines his experienced wisdom with his characteristic wit and humor.
Varsity coach at Spring Lake Park
Alicia started swimming when she was very young. She swam for Northern Lights Aquatics prior to swimming with the Great Wolf Swim Team. Beginning in seventh grade, she swam on the Coon Rapids High School Swim Team. She lettered all six years, was all conference her sophomore through senior years, and all section her senior year. Alicia swam for the University of North Dakota, specialized in mid-distance freestyle and backstroke. Alicia first taught swim lessons while she was a senior in High School. She continued coaching while she attended college. She coached the Junior Wahoos for the Grand Forks swim club prior to coaching for Great Wolf in the summer of 2010. Alicia loves to challenge swimmers while working on perfecting their technique and having fun.
Delano area coach
Matt started competitive swimming at the age of eight, competing in the USA Swimming South Dakota Summer League for ten years. During his competitive years, Matt was a six time Age Group Highpoint Swimmer, and a two time Male Swimmer of the year at the SD Summer Team State Championships. Matt was an assistant and co-head coach of his hometown swim team (Milbank Area Lions Swim Team), and helped lead them to their first ever Summer League Team State Championship. Matt is a very active coach, and enjoys watching the growth and improvement of his swimmer's both in and out of the pool.