Indiana Swimming

Coaches & Directors


Coaching Philosophy & Objectives

Coaching Philosophy:

At GREAT our coaches strive to provide a rewarding experience for our swimmers, that allows them to pursue their goals, and succeed both in and out of the water. Through a positive and supportive environment our coaches will help our swimmers set realistic, yet challenging goals and will appropriately train them based on their respective goals. Not every swimmer can be an Olympian, or win every race they compete in; however, every swimmer can pursue excellence of their own degree by achieving their desired level of accomplishment. We will coach our swimmers through the many peaks, valleys, and plateaus that come with competitive swimming, and along the way teach them the skills and life lessons necessary to becoming a great swimmer, individual and leader.  

Coaching Objectives:

We truly believe that there is no better sport than swimming to teach valuable life lessons, and to help learn the necessary skills to have a productive contribution to their profession and community later in life. Through swimming, our goal as GREAT coaches is to set forth these objectives for all of our swimmers: 

  1. Instill Self-Esteem Build a sense of pride and respect in themselves and their endeavors.
  2. Provide Motivation – Form desire and persistence that enables them to stay involved and dedicated.
  3. Improve Technique and Skills Become proficient in the water through focus and discipline.
  4. Cultivate Superior Training Increase speed and endurance by establishing a strong work ethic.
  5. Develop Role ModelsSet a great example for the rest of the team.


Coaching Staff
Jake Downs Head Coach

Coach Downs started swimming in high school and instantly took to the sport. Upon graduating from Evansville North High School in 2013, he attended the University of Southern Indiana where he recieved a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management. Jake has been coaching for GREAT since 2016, and took over as the Head Coach in March of 2020. His passion and enthusiasm for coaching and swimming shine bright, and helps our athletes reach their full potential both in and out of the water. Along with coaching for GREAT, Jake also coaches for Evansville North High School, where he has coached since 2013 and been the head coach since 2018. He also has experience coaching for Oak Meadow Country Club's summer league swim team. Having played and coached many sports, Coach Jake believes that there is no better sport than swimming to teach valuable life lessons, and to help kids grow into exemplary adults and role models. Having coached swimmers of a wide range of age and ability has given him the insight and perspective needed to help all of our athletes achieve goals of all levels. 

Why do you coach?

I coach to inspire, encourage, impact and empower my athletes to become the best versions of themselves that they can possibly be. 

Nick Davlantis Head Age Group Coach

Coach Nick has been involved with competitive swimming for over 15 years. He attended the University of Evansville, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Physics and Education while competing for the Aces swim team. After graduating, he went on to be a teacher and swim coach. After 6 years of teaching and coaching, his passion for swimming and commitment to helping kids reach their highest potential in the sport led to the decision to coach full time as a head age group coach. Nick grew up playing many sports including soccer, baseball, basketball, track, and tumbling and has found that swimming is unique in its ability to leverage both the team and individual aspects of sport to help build healthy, balanced, hard-working kids.

Why do you coach?

I coach to see kids find the same love for a sport that can provide so much back to their development and long-term success. It's something you can do for life and find success at any stage.

Lindsay Benedyk Assistant Coach

Coach Lindsay has been involved in the swimming for over 30 years in various capacities in the Aquatics world. Starting out as a recreational swimmer at 5 years old into becoming a USA swimmer in grade school where she placed in the top 3 at the state level representing Billings, Montana. When moving back to Evansville Lindsay was a first generation swimmer at the start of EVSC swimming for North High School and GREAT, establishing several records. She has almost 20 years of coaching experience working with all levels from younger fundamental groups to coaching high schoolers at the National level. Outside of coaching she is a National Trainer for swim lessons ranging for infant acclimation to advanced techniques for adults and does traveling private lessons in the summertime. In addition she is a Lifeguard and CPR Instructor who also assists boy scout troops with water safety skills. It's safe to say that the water is home for her.

Why do you coach?

I believe we are all born with a unique gift and it's our responsibility to use that gift to not only better ourselves, but help better the lives of others and I want to make swimming a fun, lifelong sport for all.

Alison Jones Assistant Coach

Coach Alison started swimming competitively in the San Francisco Bay Area when she was 8 and never hung up her goggles. Alison swam for Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, where she was a conference champion and NCAA D3 All American. Alison started teaching swim lessons and coaching at 15, where she found her passion for teaching. Currently, Alison is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Evansville. Alison and her husband, Mark, have two sons, Jack and Wyatt.

Why do you coach?

I love to swim and share my love of the sport with others. Swimming competitively taught me many skills that translate to life outside of the pool, including the importance of teamwork, dedication, and persistence.

Errick Lickey Assistant Coach

Coach Errick started swimming for North High School in 2000 and loved competing as an individual and a team. Errick started coaching at North after finishing college at the University of Southern Indiana. Over the last 10 years Errick has coached soccer, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse, but is happy to be back to the sport he loves the most. 

Why do you coach?

I coach to help young people push themselves to accomplish goals that they don't realize they can reach. 

Heather Polley Assistant Coach

While Coach Heather did not grow up swimming competitively, she spent most of her childhood in the pool taking swim lessons at the YMCA and showing off in her Grandpa's pool. She has three grown children who all spent a good portion of their childhood swimming locally and for GREAT in the early 2000s. Most recently she served as the aquatics director at the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana and helped to manage the Deaconess Aquatic Center. 

Why do you coach?

I truly enjoy working with kids in the water to help them overcome their fears and realize that swimming is a sport for everyone. 

Miranda Meister Assistant Coach

Coach Miranda started swimming as a sophomore at Benjamin Bosse High School in Evansville. She instantly developed a deep love for the sport that she wanted to share with others. At 16, she started teaching children how to swim, working mainly with children under five and children with special needs to help them understand water safety and essential life-saving skills. She believes knowing how to swim is one of the most important skills a person can develop. Miranda graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2018 with a Bachelor's Degree in Radio & Television Communications, Public Relations, and Journalism. While working after college, Miranda has continued to share her love of swimming by teaching and coaching new swimmers.

Why do you coach?

I coach because I believe in the sport's transformative power. I help kids develop their swimming skills and foster determination, teamwork, and resilience that will benefit them throughout their lives. It's rewarding to watch their growth and accomplishments in the pool and beyond.

Lisa Bryant Assistant Coach

Coach Lisa started swimming when she was 10 years old in Minnesota and competed at the highest levels of swimming. She was a three time All American in high school, state champion as well as part of two relays that held the Minnesota State Records for several years. She competed in Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals and was an eight-time US Swimming National Top 16 Age Group swimmer.  She swam for the University of Minnesota and University of Evansville. Lisa was MVC All Conference and achieved top 10 times for the University of Evansville in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle. She started coaching when her youngest child started her swimming career and has coached pre-team to high school aged swimmers. Lisa and her husband, Steven, live in Newburgh, have five children and one grandson.

Why do you coach?

Coaching has allowed me to reconnect with my passion for this sport. I love watching swimmers learn a new skill or achieve a new time with their face beaming with pride and building their confidence. Swimmers learn valuable skills that will impact their success in and out of the water Including but not limited to teamwork, perseverance, and hard work.

Board of Directors
Virginia King President
Eric Orth Vice President & Treasurer
Erika Haynie Secretary
Mark Jones Board Member & Safe Sport Coordinator
Mindy Irvin Board Member
Rebecca Rhymer Board Member
Lindsey Alexander Board Member
April Shumate Board Member