Head Coach Jody Braden came to PAC in October of 2004 from the Bellevue Club where he was the head assistant coach. Since his arrival PAC has become one of the top 5 swim programs in the state of Oregon and number one in Portland. PAC swimmers have broken over 700 records and have won state titles at the 10 and Under Champs, 11-14 Champs, and Senior Champs. Also, PAC swimmers have competed and placed among the top at the Northwest Section Age Group (three Champions in 2010) and Senior Sectional Championships (one swimmer finished 2nd in the 100 Fly in 2014 and qualified for Olympic Trials), Western Zones and Junior Nationals, and one ended 2008 with a USA Swimming #1 ranking. Since Jody's arrival PAC has sent swimmers to Western Zones (age group and senior), NCSA Junior Nationals, USA Swimming Winter Nationals, Winter Junior Nationals, Summer Junior Nationals, US Open, and Summer Nationals every year.
Before coaching, Jody was a top swimmer in the Northwest and the world. He competed and placed among the top at Junior and Senior Nationals and the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Trials and was ranked among the top 10 swimmers in the world in the 400 IM. He was a USA National Team member in 1991-1992 and won a silver medal in the 400 IM at the 1991 Pan-American Games in Havana, Cuba. He was a 3 time High School All-American (inducted into the Bishop Blanchet Hall of Fame in 2016) 4 time NCAA All-American in college, winning the 400 IM at the 1991 Pac-10 Championships (3rd at NCAA's) and still holds two University of Washington team records and was inducted into the University of Washington Hall of Fame in 2006 and Bishop Blanchet High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016!
After the 1992 Olympic Trials Jody began coaching for the Bellevue Club where he became an ASCA level 4 certified coach (of the 5,000 registered coaches in the United States only 10% hold level 4 or 5 certification). He has coached swimmers to Junior and Senior Nationals (one swimmer set the national high school record in the 100 Breast after swimming for Jody), top-3 placements at Junior Nationals, and numerous Pacific Northwest record holders, Northwest Section and Zone records (one was just broken in 2010)! He has had swimmers go on Division I Universities where they have competed and placed at the NCAA Championships, one setting an American Record in the 200 Medley Relay!
Tom W McLaughlin
Head Site Coach Columbia Pool
Tom has been coaching for 34 years. Three as a HS basketball coach, 9 as a nordic ski coach (He helped coach two Junior Alaska ski teams to national titles.) and 22 years as an age group swim coach. His first nine years were with the North Pole Aquatic Club, in Alaska. The last 13 years he has coached with PAC. In 2010, Tom was voted by his peers the Coaching Excellence award. In 1996, he won the Volunteer of the Year award from Alaska HS swimming.
Tom has coached swimmers to records, state championships, AGR wins, top national times and spots on All-Star teams and Zones. Many of his swimmers have gone on to swim in college. His sons swam for Duke and Pacific Lutheran University. Tom swam for the River Road swim team in Eugene, OR.
Tom's wife, Mary, is Accts. Mgr. for PAC. In his spare time he walks, reads, golfs, follows the Ducks and does crossword puzzles.
He is a retired elementary and middle school teacher. GO PAC!
Head Site Coach Mt. Scott CC
Jesse has led the program at the Mt. Scott pool site and served as an Age Group Coach for Portland Aquatic Club since 2002 and his favorite thing about working with the Mt. Scott swimmers is that it doesn’t feel like work at all. He loves all the enthusiasm and energy that the swimmers bring to practice and shares their joy when they achieve personal records in the pool.
Jesse’s love of swimming started early. He grew up with a swimming pool in his backyard and soon became involved in competitive swimming and triathlons. Jesse began his competitive swim experience in 1989, when as a seventh grader he dove into the lanes of Osborn Aquatic Center as part of the Corvallis Aquatic Club (CAT). He later swam four years for Corvallis High School, excelling in multiple events including freestyle, backstroke and relays, and finishing out his senior year in 1994 as team co-captain. Jesse spent many years working as a lifeguard, camp counselor and swim instructor, and giving swim lessons and realized a talent for teaching others both in and out of the pool. After high school, he stayed on as an assistant coach for CHS.
In 1999, Jesse moved to Portland to pursue a degree at Concordia University. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s of teaching from Concordia, Jesse is now an elementary school teacher in the David Douglas School District. This will be his 10th year as a classroom teacher, of mostly kindergarten students, around the Portland area.
Jesse coaching resume also includes coaching the Tualatin Hills Barracudas Swim Team from 2000 to 2003; and he was part of the coaching staff for Sunset High School for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
Jesse lives near the Mt. Scott pool with his wife Jamie (they met through their shared love of swimming - both lifeguards), their two-year-old son Franklin, and two enormous labradoodles named Winchester and Macguyver. In their spare time, they enjoy lazy days on the river - paddle boarding, taking the dogs out for run on the river bank, and spending time outdoors with the family sailing, hiking or camping.
Laurie J Kilbourn
Head Site Coach SWCC
Laurie Kilbourn is the site coach for PAC at the Southwest Community Center/SWCC, where she's been coaching since August 2000. Laurie has another five years previous coaching experience before joining PAC’s staff.
Enthusiastic and encouraging, Laurie believes everyone can improve his or her swimming. “Growing up, I spent years in the slow and medium lanes before breaking into the fast lanes," she said. "I know how each speed feels and what it takes to get to the next level.”
Laurie uses video analysis and in-water drills to assist swimmers in improving their stroke technique. She loves helping swimmers succeed!
Laurie has been a competitive swimmer for roughly 35 years, beginning in the age groups, through high school and as an adult at the masters level. She plans to compete at the World Masters Games in 2016. In addition to masters swimming, Laurie took up triathlons in 2010, and she qualified for USA Triathlon Nationals in 2014. She hopes to complete a full Iron-distance triathlon in the next few years.
She is a lifetime member of ASCA, the American Swimming Coaches Association.
Assistant Senior Coach at Dishman
Charlie started his swimming career as a member of the Portland Parks and Rec summer swim league. His mother signed him and his two siblings up as a way to have an hour of peace without her kids. When Charlie turned 13 he decided to join PAC (reluctantly). He spent his days in the pool hiding underwater on the wall hoping the coach would not see him. This resulted in a very mediocre if that swimmer. But the tides turned when the team hired a new coach - Jody Braden. This was half a year after he turned 16. Luckily for Charlie, who wasn't faster than many 12 year olds, was put in the senior group, hence with Jody. This was mostly due to the other coaches not wanting to deal with his antics. Jody immediately changed his perspective and attitude towards swimming. From that point he continued to improve rapidly. Within a year and a half, Charlie and his brother Robert were hanging out in Florida for Jr. Nationals. To this day he still loves swimming. When he is not at the pool coaching or cutting meat at New Seasons Market, he enjoys biking and is an avid movie goer.
Dustin Dustin Schnelle
Mt. Scott Assistant Coach
Hi my name is Dustin Schnelle and I’m Jesse’s assistant coach for PAC at Mt Scott. Swimming has always been a passion of mine ever since I was little. I use to spend the whole summers just messing around in swimming pools. It wasn’t until high school though when I tried competitive swimming. Form the moment I entered to the water on my first day I feel in love with the sport. I ended up swimming all four years for Rex Putnam High School. Which I lettered three out of my four years and found myself improving every year. In high school I also played three years of football. On top of all of that I played two years of lacrosse as well. I was actually the captain of the lacrosse team my senior year. From that experience I learned what it’s like to be a leader. After high school I ended up working at Mt Scott as a lifeguard and swim instructor. I was never fully done with the sport of swimming though. I went back to Rex Putnam to become the assistant coach along with joining USA Masters Swimming. I currently still coach Blue Makos at Mt Scott after coaching Summer Swim League. I’m still new to the whole world of coaching, but I feel that I bring a lot of new ideas to the table. I’m really looking forward to growing as a coach and watching the kids grow as swimmers as well.
Columbia Assistant Coach
Hello my name is Brandon Risley and I the new assistant coach with Coach Tom at Columbia pool. This is the first time I have taken a job coaching an athletic team but I am no stranger of sports. I recently graduated from the University of Utah where I spent four years on the swim team. During my time at school I made three PAC12 squads with the team and swam against some of the best swimmers in the world. Before then I attended Cleveland High School here in Portland, swimming on the team all four years, also swimming at PAC for three years, joining the team midway through my sophomore year. I was never the most talented but after working incredibly hard I was grateful enough to receive my invite to swim for Utah.
Some of the other sports I tried included hockey, diving and cross country. I eventually found my passion for swimming after watching Michael Phelps in the 2008 Bejing Olympics. After four years in college I received a degree in communications in order to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a sports broadcaster. Sports have been my one true love since before I could remember and I spend 90% of my time watching, playing or reading about them. The other 10% I love to hang with my friends, being on my boat, and chill out with a good show/movie on Netflix.
SWCC Assistant Coach
Hello my name is Coach Catherine Skinner. I am originally from California, where I grew up swimming at summer camp and a country club. Over the last few years I have been the Aquatics Director and Head Coach for ClubSport San Ramon in California, the Head Coach for Harmony Landing Country Club, the Head Coach for Assumption High School, as well as the Assistant Site Coach for the Lakeside Seahawks, all in Kentucky.
I have two wonderful grown sons, Ben and Henry, who both swam in Kentucky for the Lakeside Seahawks and the Shelby Sharks, where I started my career coaching in 1994. I am passionate about coaching and working with athletes of every age and ability. I have always loved swimming and all things aquatics. I am extremely excited to join PAC and looking forward to my new chapter here in Oregon. See you at the pool!
Alexander Jolstead Johnson
Mt. Scott Assistant Coach
i, my name is Alex Johnson! I was born and raised in Portland and began swimming for the Portland Parks & Rec league when I was a child. As I got older, I swam for my elementary school where my dad was the head coach. In middle school, I somewhat reluctantly joined Portland Aquatic Club and began swimming with Tom. Tom’s coaching instilled a passion for swimming and, seeing as how I was absolutely terrible at any other land sport, I decided to stick with it. I swam all throughout high school at Jesuit, earning a varsity letter all 4 years, and with Jody’s senior group at PAC for 5 years before heading down to Dallas, Texas to attend Southern Methodist University. While there I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology and swam for the Division 1 team under coach Eddie Sinnott.
Swimming has made the greatest impact on my life, teaching me vital lessons about discipline, time management, hard work, and competition. It was for these reasons that I wanted to become a swim instructor and eventually a coach to hopefully teach and influence kids in the same way that my excellent coaches did for me. When I’m not coaching I enjoy watching football and basketball (Go Ducks), eating good food, and exploring Portland.