Coaches and Staff
Coaches and Staff

Jeff Rodriguez

Head Coach


Jeff Rodriguez is in his 18th year with the Edina Swim Club.  As Head Coach, Jeff is responsible for the senior program and the overall vision and success of the club, meanwhile, training each senior swimmer to their highest level.

His coaching experience includes developing athletes at all levels. Jeff started within the Edina program in 1997 as an assistant coach and became lead age group coach in 1998.  As age group coach in 1998, 1999, 2000, Jeff led Edina’s Age Group program to three consecutive state Championships. Jeff became Head Coach in 2000 and currently coaches the Silver, Gold and National groups.  Under his leadership, ESC has consistently placed in the top 3 at the Minnesota Championships and has won over 70 plus Top 2 age group awards at the state level.

In the past 10 years, Jeff has coached more than 60 athletes who have competed at the USA and NCSA Junior National Championships and coached swimmers at the Olympic Trials and US Open in 2012 and 2016.  Athletes on the Edina Senior and National Teams regularly place on USA Swimming's top 10 lists and have set over 60 numerous MN state records and 200 plus ESC club records. Jeff was named Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2011, selected as Staff for USA National Select Camp in 2010 and attended in 2014. He was also selected as staff for the USA Central Zone Select Camp in 2015.  In 2016, coach Jeff was nominated for Fitter and Faster Age Group Coach of the year for his age group successes. 

Jeff's coaching philosophy focuses on being a well-rounded athlete and he enjoys seeing athletes continue swimming into the next phase of their careers. He has a strong belief there is a place for everyone on a team and swimming is a lifetime sport.

As an athlete himself, Jeff competed at the Division 1 level for University of Minnesota in 1994-1998.  He was a member of the Big Ten Championship Team in 1996 that won the first championship in over 70 years to start a new tradition for the Gophers.  Jeff came away from his college career being a two time Big Ten Champion (team), received Jerry McCual Award, two time Iron Fish Award, Four time Letter “M” Winner, Hardest Worker and Most Improved and a Member of the Dean’s List and 3.0 club. His events were 200 Breast, 200IM and 400IM during the Big Ten and at the National level.  Coach Jeff earned a Bachelor of Education in Kinesiology with minors in Psychology, Spanish and Coaching from the University of Minnesota.

Away from the pool, Jeff enjoys traveling all over the world and stays active with exercise.

Jason D Smith

Lead Coach: Sr. Prep & Sr. Bronze


This will be Jason’s 8th year coaching club swimming. As a swimmer he found national level success where he swam Backstroke, Breaststroke and IM events.   Some of his highlights include winning USA Junior Nationals in the 200 backstroke, placing top 16 at US Nationals in both backstroke events, selected to the US Olympic Developmental Camp multiple times, 4 time Oregon High School state record holder in the 100 back, as well as back to back state champion in both 100 Back and 100 Breast in his Junior and Senior years (the first in the country to complete this combo).  Jason swam for the University of Florida and then later transferred to the University of Minnesota where he graduated with a BS in Sport Management.  He has trained and been mentored by some of the world’s best swim coaches.

Some of Jason’s coaching highlights include:

  • 15 National Age Group Top 10 times
  • 2 USA Junior National Qualifiers both at the age of 13.
  • Several State and Central Zone Champions as well as state record holders. 
  • Has coached 4 swimmers selected to attend USA Swimming Central Zone Select Camp
  • 4-time lead coach for the Minnesota Zone Team.

Jason’s coaching philosophy is based on providing meaningful experiences to his athletes while enhancing their skills and values in life through sports.  He emphasizes kicking, technique and IM training which allows athletes to develop into well rounded athletes. He believes that in order for an athlete to realize their full potential they must master both the mental and physical side of the sport.

Nicole Helmen-Hendricks

Head Age Group Coach


Nicole comes to Edina Swim Club with over 30 years of swimming and coaching experience.  For the past 10 years she lead an Age Group program in San Diego, CA.  In that time she developed many Nationally ranked age group swimmers, 3 of which went on to compete at the US Olympic Trials.  She also developed many Junior Olympic Qualifiers/Champions/Record Holders, Far Western Qualifiers/Champions, Zone Qualifiers/Champions, and Sectional Qualifiers.  She was also voted Age Group Coach of the Year while she was in San Diego.  

Before coaching in California, Nicole coached in Minnesota.  She was the Head Girls High School Swimming Coach at Mounds View High School for three years, and during that time she was voted Section Coach of the Year twice.   She was also an Assistant Senior Coach with Burnsville Swim Club, Edina Swim Club and Mounds View Swim Club.

She grew up swimming in Minnesota with the Burnsville Swim Club and then went on to swim at St Olaf College. 

Nicole just retired from the United States Navy and is excited to be the Head Age Group Coach.

Wojciech Palczewski

Developmental Head Coach


Wojtek began coaching with the Gators in the summer of 2014. He comes from Poland where he swam from age 7 through all elementary, middle and high school. He graduated from the University of Wroclaw, with a degree in Physical Education and Coaching.  His entire working career has been connected with swimming.  He worked as instructor and coach for the  Vulcans Swim Club Lincoln in England for 2 years. He then opened and managed his own swim school for kids age 2 and over, before coming to America in 2013.  He is excited to bring his extensive experience in swimming and personal training to the team. Wojtek directs the 8 and under swimmers on our team and directly leads the Gator 1 and Gator 3 groups.

Wojtek is a husband and father of 3 young kids, and he loves Minnesota even during the winter time.

Jim Andersen

Lead Coach - Gator 2; Masters


Jim's not new to coaching; he’s been a swim coach since 1973 and coached full time since 1980.  His passion for swimming has influenced many of his former swimmers who now coach all over the United States, many in Minnesota. 


In 2011 Jim received the Jimi Flowers Disability Swimming Coach of the Year Award at the United States Aquatics Convention awards ceremony held in Jacksonville, Florida.  This most prestigious coaching award is named in honor and memory of Jimi Flowers, an incredible coach who developed numerous Olympic and Paralympic champions.  Jim is also a past recipient of the Disability Swimming Outstanding Coach Award (2009).  


Over the years Jim has received other awards including Minnesota Swimming Senior Coach of the Year (2005) and Senior Athlete of the Year (University of Saint Thomas) but his greatest reward comes as a coach watching an athlete strive to become the best he or she can be and in being a part of that journey.  


Jim was raised in a family where exercise was encouraged and he runs every day, mainly in Edina where he and his wife Diane have lived since 1984.  He completed the first ten Twin Cities Marathons and in 1992 both Jim and Diane qualified for the Boston Marathon.  

Wilson Josephson

Lead Coach: Age Group Bronze & Prep


Wilson Josephson, a recent graduate of Carleton College, has been swimming since he was ten years old. Since then, he has swum for a number of club teams--most recently Executive Swim Club, in Manchester, NH--as well as varsity programs at both the high school and collegiate level. While at Carleton, Wilson served for two years as team captain and swam the 200 butterfly and the freestyle relays. He also worked as the team's manager, doing everything from meet entries to archival research to scrubbing the starting blocks. He wrote for Swimming World Magazine as a college intern covering Minnesota Division III swimming--niche journalism, to be sure!--but is entirely new to Minnesota club swimming.

Wilson has four years of coaching experience with the Concord Blue Dolphins, and served as their head coach over the summer of 2015. He is thrilled to begin working with the Edina Swim Club and hopes his passion for the sport will prove infectious!

Isaac Rwenzo



Although Isaac is Rwandan, he grew up in Jinja, Uganda and started swimming as a young boy.  He began swimming competitively at age 12.  In his swimming career, he competed for the country of Uganda at the All Africa Games and the World Championships in Italy in 2005.  He graduated with a B.S. degree in Sports Science from United States University in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Over the last 10 years Isaac has taught swimming to children as young as 3 years old all the way up to high school athletes.  He was the Head Coach for the International School of Uganda Swim Team winning 8 conference championships.  In 2013 Isaac became the Athletic Director/PE Teacher at GEMS Cambridge International School in Kampala, Uganda.  Isaac started a swim team at the school in 2013.  By 2015, GEMS ranked 3rd among all international schools in Uganda beating his former ISU team.

Since 2007, Isaac served as Ugandas National Swimming Head Coach.  He has coached athletes to various World Championship games, Common Wealth Games, All Africa Games and the Youth Olympics.  In 2012, one of his swimmers qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  Isaac was chosen as the Ugandan Head Swimming Coach for the 2012 Olympics. 

Isaac also started a private swimming club in Uganda.  The club had grown to 60 kids ranging in age from 7-18 years old.  Isaac loves to help swimmers reach their full potential and reach the highest level of swimming they can. 

Isaac moved to the U.S. with his wife in May 2015.  They live in Prior Lake and enjoy being outside and being in the water.  Isaac is excited to be part of the Gator coaching staff!



Kerry O'Neill



Kerry O’Neill joined the Edina Swim Club coaching staff in September 2015. Prior to coaching with Edina, he was Head Coach of Richfield Swim Club for 4 years. While at Richfield, he helped grow the club from both a membership and achievement perspective. He became a club swimmer at age 8 and swam through high school (St. Thomas Academy) and college (St. John’s University), at both of which he earned All-Conference, All-State and All-American honors and was a team captain.


Kerry lives in Minneapolis and works as a consultant for an IT services firm. He enjoys cycling, golf, technology/gadgets, aviation (has a pilot license), cooking, playing hockey, traveling, running, and anything that involves being in/on the water during the summer.

Nicole Hedman



Nicole Hedman joined the Edina staff in September 2012 and has been involved in swimming for over 30 years as a club swimmer, high school swimmer, college swimmer, and coach.  She has extensive coaching experience with a number of metro area clubs (ABC swim club, MVSC, Elk River, and Jetstream Aquatics) and also high schools (Elk River, Anoka, Champlin Park, and Skyview in Montana).  Nicole has had the honor of being a Team MN zone coach for 8 years, coaching the 15 & over girls, 11-12 girls and the 10 & under girls.   

As a swimmer, her personal accomplishments include being captain for her high school and college teams.  She was a High school state qualifier and 2 time NCAA qualifier. Coach Nicole's career coaching accomplishments include:

  • 25 state champions ages 8 & under to senior level
  • 50+ swimmers as zone qualifiers
  • 5 junior national qualifiers
  • 3 team state championships

Nicole loves seeing the faces of the swimmers when they have an “I get it moment” or when they surprise even themselves with their swims.  She assists with the Senior swimmers.

She is married to Mark and has 3 children, Nick, Matthew, and Jacob.  She grew up in Ramsey, MN and graduated from Anoka High School and then graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a degree in Elementary Education.  She recently went back to school and finished her middle school math endorsement.  Nicole currently teaches math at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids.

Nora Stauber



Nora Stauber joined the Edina staff in May 2016 and has been involved in swimming for almost 15 years as a club swimmer, high school swimmer, college swimmer and coach.

Growing up in Hermantown, MN, she swam with North Shore Swim Club and then Proctor-Hermantown High school where she was a 2-time state qualifier and team captain her senior season. Following her high school career, Nora swam for the Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks where she was a 4-time Conference Team member and team captain her senior season. While swimming for the Mavericks, Nora also taught swim lessons, coached club, and was a camp counselor with the Maverick Swim Lesson Program. After graduating from MSU with a degree in Sport Management, she went back up North to coach at the Duluth Area Family YMCA and work in the University of Minnesota Duluth Athletic Department. 

In June 2015, Nora began pursuing her Master’s Degree in Leadership at Augsburg College where she also serves as the Swim and Dive coach. She currently resides in Wayzata, MN."

Julie McCarthy

Office Administrator