> Welcome to Lyons Swim Club > Swim Team > Coaches

Assistant Coach – John Akalaitis


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


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 and Head Masters Coach – 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!


Head Water Polo Coach – Doug Eichstaedt


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


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


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 - Megan Jensen


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



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. Upon graduating EIU, he took a job as a full-time teacher and coach at Naperville North High School, where he was the head boys water polo coach and (after his first year at NN) took over as the head coach of the boys swimming program as well. 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.  He was named the Illinois Swimming and Diving Association "State Coach of the Year" in 2007 and again in 2010. In 2011, Coach Johns left Naperville North to teach PE and coach the girls swimming and diving at Lyons Township High School. As head coach of the girls program at LT, Coach Johns has guided the team to 4 top ten finishes at the IHSA state meet since 2011. He has been named the ISDA Sectional Coach of the Year" 7 times during his career. Since becoming a high school head swimming coach, he has coached 47 All-State or All-American swimmers. Coach Johns also worked with Maverick Swim Club in Naperville for 8 years before joining Lyons Aquatics staff in 2011. In addition to his work teaching and coaching, he is also on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Swimming and Diving Association. Coach Johns has been a full-time physical education teacher since 2003 and is currently teaching PE and SCUBA diving at LT. 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 Aquatics to continue to build a successful swimming program.  He lives in the area with his wife, Courtney, and his four children - Hayden, Lucas, Connor and Halle.

Lead Coach Bronze and White Teams – Liz Wilp


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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