> Welcome to Lyons Swim Club > Swim Team > Coaches

Head Coach and National Team Coach – Casey Hnatiuk

cjhnatiuk@hotmail.com

Coach Casey comes to us from Valparaiso, Indiana where he was the heacasey 2012d coach of the Union Township swim club from 2002-09. While there, he coached Blake Pieroni, a member of the 2016 gold medal winning 400 Free Relay in the 2016 Olympics, a junior national qualifier, high school state champion, numerous sectional, zone and age group state medalists. Fifty percent of his swimmers consistently qualified for all levels of the state championship meets. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Hobart high school, and also the head coach of the Hobart Tiger Sharks. During that time, he also became an A.C.E. Certified personal trainer, working with X-Sport and L.A. Fitness. Before he started his coaching career, he spent six years in the Army in military intelligence as a voice interceptor; ending his term of service honorably as a sergeant.

Coach Casey lives in Naperville, and has three children: Jordan, Sydney and Jaxson. After working with Lyons Township high school and serving as a lead coach during the 2009-10 winter season, Casey was named the head coach of Lyons Swim Club in the summer of 2010, and is now responsible for the entire team. Since being named Head Coach, Lyons swimmers have broken over 130 Team Records, consistenly placed in the top 20 at Age Group State, and has had a swimmer at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials. 

Casey’s personal swimming career started for the Wood Dale park district summer league as an 8 yr old, culminating at Fenton high school in Bensenville. During that time, he was an age group state champion, high school state qualifier, and swam with a high school state champion and Olympic Trial qualifier.

Throughout his career, Casey has had many achievements: Twice named Sectional coach of the year at Hobart, he was the Post Tribune coach of the year (2003), conference coach of the year twice, 2 Army commendation medals, 3 Army achievement medals, and has also achieved Level 3 from A.S.C.A., is an A.S.C.A. fellow, class of 2011 and served on the Illinois Swimming Senior Committee.

Assistant Coach – John Akalaitis

jakalaitis@hotmail.com

John has been swimming ever since he can remember. At a young age he first learned to swim froJOhn Am LT legend Dan O'Connor. John swam during his age group days under Charlie Chesloe for Rice Aquatic Foundation based out of Willow Swim Club and Brother Rice High School. He then swam at Fenwick High School where he earned multiple All-American and All-State accolades. John was a part of the State Championship teams in both Swimming and Water Polo for 2 years straight under coaches Jim Caliendo and the late great Dave Perry, an honor no other Illinois team can claim. John continued his training with the last NCAA Division I swim team at Loyola University Chicago where he served as Team Captain his Junior & Senior year, and earned many team & conference awards and broke several team records. He then went on to earn his MBA in Management at Roosevelt University.



John and his wife Jenny live in La Grange Park with their four children. Two of John's children swim with Lyons today and two are aspiring swimmers from the pool deck. When not at the pool John coaches many of his kids other activities and volunteers for charities that help introduce youth to the Information Technology field. John works for Microsoft Corporation. 

Water Polo Conditioning Coach – Lauren Burel

lmburel@gmail.com

Coach Lauren began her swim career at the age of at 8 at WSSC anCoach Lauren Bureld spent much of her childhood swimming at Westmont Swim Club with Dave Krotiak. She attended Lyons Township H.S. where she was a three-time state qualifier in swimming. She graduated in 2004. She came to Lyons in 2003 and has been with the club since.

Coach Lauren began coaching in high school at Lyons as a junior coach and helped out with the summer age-group water polo program while in college. She coached at WSSC for several years, coached and ran the swim lessons program at the LFC. Today, Lauren is the Head Masters coach, and assists with the Red and Silver swim groups.  Coach Lauren started playing water polo her freshman year at LT, she was a three-year varsity starter and a 2-time All-State selection.  She attended the University of Michigan where she played 4 years of water polo.  As one of the founding members of UM Women's Club Water Polo team she earned Big Ten All-Tournament Team nominations for three years, and Big Ten MVP her senior year.  She graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Spanish and Linguistics.  Lauren currently works with the Lyons age-group and high school water polo programs and is the head varsity coach for the LTHS Girls Water Polo team.

Lead Coach Silver Team – Paul Busse

pbusse@gmail.comCoach Paul Busse

Coach Paul Busse started swimming at the age of 5 at WSSC.  Most of his time was spent at Lyons Swim Club. He attended Lyons Township H.S. where he went to state all four years in the 500 Freestyle, ran cross country, and played water polo. He swam distance (500,100,1650) for Carthage College.  He graduated in Business Management.  He is know for his mustache.  Paul began coaching water polo with Lyons Swim Club.  Today, Paul is coaching swimming and water polo for Lyons Swim Club hoping to provide the swimmers with better swimming techniques, sportsmanship, and having fun!

 

Lead High School Coach - Josh Dunn

dunn.josh@me.com

Coach Josh first began swimming at the age of 9 for Lyons Aquatics.  After graduation from Lyons Township High School, Josh continued his aquatics career swimming and playing water polo at Monmouth College.  There he was a team captain, 5-time conference champion, and a school record holder.  He specialized in sprint and mid-distance events, favoring the 200 Individual Medley and the 200 Free.  His last year at Monmouth College he helped the club water polo team capture the Division III national title.  After graduation Coach Josh was named the first Head Water Polo Coach and also became the Assistant Swim Coach at Monmouth College.  There he helped grow the swim program to their biggest team size in history.  Josh is excited to be apart of the swim program he grew up with and eager to pass on his passion, knowledge, and enthusiasm to all Lyons Aquatics swimmers.

Head Water Polo Coach – Doug Eichstaedt

dougeichstaedt@gmail.com

Doug Eichstaedt joined the Lyons Swim Club at the age of 8 and has been with the club ever since.

Swimming

Doug spent much of his childhood at the North Campus pool swimming with the club.  While attending Lyons Township High School, he was a three-year state qualifier in swimming. (You still might find somcoach doug 2012e pictures in the balcony) He coached the WSSC swim team for many years and started coaching the swim team in 2000.  Doug became the head coach of the swim club in 2002 and returned to an assistant role in 2004.  He currently works with the Blue Group. 

Water Polo

His playing career began his freshman year in high school and has been addicted ever since.  Doug played water polo at the varsity level for four years and capped his high school career with a 4th place finish in the Illinois Water Polo State Championships.  He went on to play four years of club water polo at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Doug spent two of those years as the Head Coach and player.  After college, he became involved with the Lyons Water Polo team as well as the LTHS boys varsity water polo head coach.  Doug continues to be the head coach of each.  The water polo team has grown into a year-round program and continues to expand.  Doug is also involved with the United States Water Polo Olympic Development Program as the head coach of the u18 Midwest girls team.

Away from the Pool

Doug attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison and earned a degree in History and Political Science.  He went on to earn his teaching certification and a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning.  Doug has been teaching 7th/8th grade U.S. History in Oak Park since 2003. 

Lead Coach Red and Blue Teams - Julie Jackson

lyonscoachjuliej@gmail.com

Coach Julie grew up in Downers Grove and started swimming at age 6.  She swam for Judy Busse and Tom Redig and attended Downers Grove North High School.  She was a lifeguard and swim coach at the Butterficoach julie 2015eld Country Club during High School and College.  She graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Sociology and English. 

Coach Julie came to us from the Parks and Recreation field where she was the Aquatic Director at the Oak Park YMCA and the Clarendon Hills Park District.  When she was the Aquatic Director at the Oak Park YMCA she coached TOPS at the Gold and Silver level and concentrated on building a comprehensive swimming program.  After 5 years at the YMCA she moved to the Clarendon Hills Park District where she was a Recreation Supervisor managing the Lions Park Pool and the Aquatics Programs

Coach Julie believes that all kids should have the opportunity to develop in an encouraging and inspiring environment.  She lives in Downers Grove with her husband and two daughters. 

Assistant Head Coach/Lead Coach Gold/Head Coach Masters - Megan Jensen

meganjrt@att.net

Coach Megan started swimming when she was 8 years old for the Elmhurst Pmegan j 2012ark District and swam until she graduated from York High School in 1993.  She went to the University of Iowa where she studied Environmental Studies and graduated in 1997.  She started coaching during college at the Wooddale Park District in the summer and then coached with the Iowa City Swim Club from 1994-1995.  After graduating she began coaching the Elmhurst Masters Swim Team in 1998 and worked at Environmental Monitoring and Technologies (EMT) in Morton Grove where she meet her husband Eric.  Between then and now she has coached at the Villa Park Park District, Bensenville Park District, Elmhurst Masters up until 2009, received her Master's degree in Science Education, and taught 6th grade science for a couple of years in between having 3 children, Jay, Rose, and Tim.  Jay and Rose are both on the team.  Currently she works part time for EMT and enjoys coaching her kid's AYSO soccer teams.  Coach Megan and her family live in Elmhurst. 

Assistant Coach – Kurt Johns

kjohns@LTHS.NET

 

Coach Johns began swimming competitively when he was 8 years old for Lyonkurt 2012s Swim Club.  He was a team captain and 3 year state qualifier while attending Lyons Township High School.  Coach Johns continued to swim for the next 4 years at Eastern Illinois University where he was a team captain and a school record holder. 

Coach Johns began coaching in the summers as head coach of Village Field Club in LaGrange Park where he spent the four summers during college.  After his college eligibility was up, he was an assistant coach at EIU for 1 year as he finished his degree. He spent 7 years as the head boys swimming coach at Naperville North High School where his teams finished in the top 10 at the IHSA state meet 5 times, and finished 3rd in 2007.  During his combined 9 years as a head coach at NNHS and LT he has coached 28 All-State and All-American swimmers.  He was named the Illinois High School Association “State Coach of the Year” in 2007 and again in 2010.  Coach Johns has guided the LT girls swim team to 2 top ten finishes at the IHSA state meet in 3 years.  Coach Johns also worked with Maverick Swim Club in Naperville for 8 years before joining the Lyons Swim Club staff in 2011.

Coach Johns has been a full-time physical education teacher for the past 10 years and is currently teaching at Lyons Township.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 2003, a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction in 2007, and his Educational Administration (type 75) certification in 2010.

Coach Johns is excited to continue working with the swimmers, parents, and other coaches of Lyons Swim Club to continue to build a successful swimming program.  He lives in the area with his wife, Courtney, and two sons - Hayden and Lucas (who will hopefully become Lyons swimmers someday)

Lead Coach Bronze and White Teams – Liz Wilp

lizwilp@me.com

Liz Wilp started swimming competitively when she was 9 years old for the Lockport Park District swim team. She swam all four years at Lockport Township High School and was a state qualifier in the 100 free and relays her junior and senior year. Shcoach lize continued to swim at Western Illinois University where she swam the 100 and 200 breaststroke. She finished up at WIU with a degree in Recreation and Parks Administration. After working in the front office of hotels such as the Chicago Hilton and Towers and the Drake Oak Brook, she got married and had three kids. She stayed home with her kids up until recently and spent some time volunteering with the Gym and Swim program at the Richport YMCA. She recently jumped back into the working world last November by joining the Floofins Pet Care team and walks dogs during the day in all types of weather! Liz is really looking forward to working with the Lyons Swim Club and hopes to help provide the swimmers with a positive and fun experience all while promoting sportsmanship and skill development. 

 

 

 

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