Elk Grove Aquatics Club team and individual photos in Elk Grove on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (Sara Nevis)

EGAC Coaches

We couldn’t be more stoked about our coaching staff here at EGAC. With decades of collective coaching experience our coaches have a mad passion for bring up swimmers who love the sport. Focusing on technique and benefits that go beyond the race at hand and to a lifetime of love for the sport.



I love coaching. I love coaching practice. It is the ultimate laboratory. A swimmer can experiment and get instant feedback. If we as coaches can convince the swimmer to notice objectively and without judgement the effects of that feedback then the swimmer enhances his/her chances for gain. Isn’t that what we’re here for? Not just in swimming, but in life?


I began with Vallejo Aquatic Club (VJO) in September, 1994. While there VJO grew to 130 swimmers, with many Sectional and Far Western qualifiers. One swimmer in 2002 won five of his six 11-12 boys events at short course Far Westerns.

In June 2005 I joined the staff at Arden Hills. In the thirteen years there I coached many swimmers who qualified for Junior Nationals, Futures and Sectionals, including one eighth grade girl who made top eight at Futures before moving into the Senior group at AH. We also qualified many for Far Westerns, and they led AH (and later DART) to several top five finishes in the team standings.

A special quality of our staff at AH was how well we worked together. The success I had with swimmers in my group was the result of the work of the coaches in the groups they were promoted from. So, it is not just the relationships with swimmers I coach, although that is very important, it is also how I work with my colleagues to bring cohesion to our TEAM of swimmers. That, ultimately, made us successful.



  • 1979-1994 – Radio DJ with stations in Livermore, Sacramento, Monterey, Boise, Honolulu, Oakland, Vallejo
  • 1995-2005 – Vallejo Aquatics Club, which grew to 130 swimmers from 50; coached Sectional qualifiers & Far Western Champions
  • 2005-2018 – Arden Hills (also DART from 2013-2016); coached Junior National, Futures, Sectional, Far Western qualifiers, finalists and champions
  • 2018 – Elk Grove Aquatics Club Gators


  • My wife, Michelle, introduced me to Contra Dancing when we met in 2010. She’s been involved with it for over 25 years. We’ll attend dances locally (Sacramento, Nevada City), as well as weekend dance camps (San Luis Obispo, Carmel).
  • I love golf!
  • Reading thrillers…two favorite authors: Stephen Hunter and Mark Greaney





This is Hillary’s 10th year as an Elk Grove Aquatics Club assistant coach. She is also the head coach of the Monterey Trail High School water polo and swim teams, 2010-Present. Through coaching, she hopes to help young swimmers develop into better athletes and better people, while promoting a love for the sport.

Hillary joined the EGAC family at of the age of 7, continuing to swim year-round with the team for 10 years. She swam for Sheldon High School. Her favorite events include 100 Back, 100/200 Free, and 200 IM.

Hillary studied Civil Engineering and Mathematics at CSU Sacramento. Outside of the pool, she enjoys being with family and spending time outdoors.





My name is Kurtis Gillespie, and I am the Blue Group Coach.  Lets begin with a little bit about myself. I am 28 years old,  I swam competitively for 15 years, and have coached for a combined total of 6 years. When I swam my best strokes were Butterly and Distance Freestyle. By the time I was 16 I was a National Open Water Swimmer. I made Junior Nationals in both 200 Butterfly and the Mile. I have always had a passion for swim and when I retired, a passion for coaching. I have coached for different teams here in the Sacramento area, and am currently the Head Coach for Cosumnes Oaks High School. My inspiration for coaching comes from a long list of my previous coaches, managers, and much more. I want to tell you my plans for Blue Group, my plans include not only just giving out sets and saying “GO!” on the wall, but to condition these kids into pushing past the barriers and mental walls. I have been told my coaching style is unique especially with kids this age. I do not like to “sugar coat” things, and believe honesty is one of the biggest motivators. I care so much about the kids well being not only just in swim but in their personal, outside the pool, life as well. You can’t swim without first learning how to float, but you’ll never swim if you never try. My goals are also to have these kids become the best they can be, to train them in the knowledge of swim as a whole, to build strength, confidence, and a want for more. There will be days where they want to give up (I know, I have been there), but I want them to learn and keep pushing. I want to work on proper technique in swim, in every aspect, not only to go faster but to prevent injury as well. I am so excited to meet all of you and work with all of you. If you have any questions please feel free to come and ask me.



Hi my name is Jesse Walker, I have swam my entire life, I started out at the YMCA with mommy and me classes until I was 8.  Then I swam for a recreational team called the Sacramento Stingrays. I have swam competitively for 8 eight years and I swam for my college in Arkansas for 5 years. My best strokes were backstroke and butterfly.

Coach’s Code of Ethics

As Coaches – We will:
  • Make the best interests of the children in the program the priority in my heart and mind. Maintain the delicate state of balance between what is best for the individual (the swimmer) and the needs of the group (the team).
  • Communicate honestly, openly, and in a mature manner and to be approachable and receptive to parents’ and swimmers’ reasonable concerns.
  • Acknowledge my frailties, imperfections, and my humanity, and within those constraints, pledge to strive to be consistent and fair in my dealings with team members and to treat each swimmer according to his/her needs.