ACE Head Coach/ Seniors Coach
Jay has been coaching for 20+ years with experience at levels ranging from summer league to college. He is a graduate of the University of South Dakota where he was a four year letter winner and two year captain of the men's swim program. Following his swimming tenure, he was a volunteer assistant with the Coyotes, were he was able to work with numerous All-Americans and a national champion. He also assisted with the Yankton-Vermillion Area Swim Team where he was an age-group coach.
In 2000, Jay returned to coaching in Omaha, where he was the assistant coach of the Omaha Burke Men's team with head coach Rich Hood. While working with the men's program, he was able to work with numerous state qualifiers, All-Americans and Academic All-Americans. Jay took over as head women's coach in 2002. From 2002-2010, he coached State Champions and All-Americans, and he had at least two Academic All-Americans every year during that period.
Jay began as an assistant coach for ACE in 2009, and became the head coach in 2011. During his tenure, the club has grown from 80 swimmers to over 200, and he has coached state champions, All-Americans, sectional qualifiers, and junior national swimmers.
In 2013, Coach Thiltgen was inducted into the Metropolitan Conference Swimming Hall of Fame.
Jay is an art teacher at Elkhorn High School, and he is the head coach of the Stormin' Antlers women's swim program, after having been the assistant to both the men and women since 2010. Jay and his wife Shawna live in Bennington with their two daughters, Grace and Charlotte.
ACE Assist. Head Coach/ Performers
Nate started coaching for the Aquatic
Club of Elkhorn in the fall of 2012. During that time he has
coached numerous ACE athletes to become LSC Champions, All Stars
qualifiers and medal recipients, Zones Qualifiers and medal
recipients, Sectional Qualifiers, National Top 10 in their age
group rankings, and Midwestern Record
In 2016, Nate became the Assistant Head
Coach of the Aquatic Club of Elkhorn. Additionally, he has been
part of the Midwestern Swimming All Stars coaching staff as an
assistant coach in 2015, and as the Team Manager in 2016. He has
also been a part of the Midwestern Swimming Zones Team as an
assistant coach in 2014, and the Head Coach of the MW Zones team in
2016 and 2017. He is also an Assistant Coach for the Men and
Women’s team for the Elkhorn/Elkhorn South Stormin'
Growing up Nate started swimming with
the Maple St. YMCA. He also swam club for Greater Omaha Aquatics.
He went to high school at Harry A Burke in Omaha where he was a 4
year Varsity member, and team captain his senior
Nate graduated from the University of
Nebraska at Omaha in May 2017 with a degree in Exercise Science. He
also has obtained his Certified Strength and Conditioning Special
Certificate (CSCS) from the National Strength Coaches
Challengers Coaching Director
Coach Kim started her swimming career in
Upstate New York. Her swimming career led her to the
University of Miami in Florida where she was awarded a full
scholarship. At the University of Miami she competed at the
Division I NCAAs where she finaled. She took a year off of
school to travel back to New York to train under her home coach and
swim team. Coach Kim has competed all over the United States
and has competed in different countries representing the United
States of America in many prestigious International
Her love of swimming drew her into
coaching. After her college career was completed, she
continued to train and started coaching and teaching for her club
coach in Miami, Florida. Coach Kim taught children from 2
years old to 9 years old how to swim for years after graduating from the
University of Miami. She also coached children from 3 years
old to high school aged children. She helped design a swim
camp during the summer while living in Miami,
Kim and her husband, Lance, live in Omaha
with their three children, two of which swim on ACE.
Currently, Coach Kim is enjoying coaching the
Seekers Coaching Director
William, aka Caleb, was a part of the Creighton Preparatory swimming dynasty, where he contributed to four straight team championship wins throughout his career there and contributed to a Top 5 finish in the nation for team performance. He was a part of many state records and is the current state record holder in the 500 freestyle from his sophomore season and was a 15+ All-American throughout his four years there. He took his fast-floating ability to the collegiate D1 level and had a successful career there. While he was there, Caleb was a part of a conference championship, he was conference and team record holder, and a two time 1st team All-Conference member. Caleb obtained his degree in general business from Missouri State University.
Currently, Caleb works full time at Medical Solutions and coaching at ACE as the Age Group Head Coach and the Seeker Head Coach.
Explorers (Black) Coaching Director
Matt has been
coaching for ACE since the Fall of 2015, previously serving as the
head coach for the Cooper YMCA summer recreational team in Lincoln
for three seasons. He is currently the the Explorers (Black) group
head coach. Additionally, he is an assistant coach for the
competitively for 10 years, beginning his swimming career at
Nebraska Aquatics, with a brief stop at Lincoln Select Swimming
before finishing his career with Heartland Aquatics, swimming under
coaches such as Pat Rowan, Kyle Hunt, and Erik Wiken. He swam
varsity for four years at Lincoln Southwest, qualifying for the
Heartland Conference meet all 4 years and the Nebraska State meet
his last 3 years, while being named a team captain for his senior
year. Matt then went on to swim for the Mizzou Swim Club, where the
team finished 3rd overall in 2012 and 2013 at the East Coast
Collegiate Swim Club National Championship. He also served as the
President for the Mizzou Swim Club from
University of Missouri for his Undergraduate degree and graduating
May 2015, Matt now attends the University of Nebraska-Omaha as he
is working on his Master's Degree in Athletic Training, hoping to
pursue a career as a Certified Athletic Trainer at the collegiate
Explorers (Green) Coaching Director
Carter Kennell has been coaching swimming for
9 years. He began as a summer recreational swim team Assistant
Coach at Happy Hollow Country Club, later moving on to becoming the
Head Coach of Oak Hills Country Club's summers swim team. Carter
joined ACE in September of 2015 and is the Head Coach of the
Discoverers Group and Assistant for both the Explorers and
Carter is a former high school and college
swimmer. He swam for Omaha Burke High school under Richard Hood,
where he qualified for the Metro Conference Meet all four years and
the Nebraska State Meet for three years. After graduation in 2011,
Carter went on to compete with the University of Nebraska Lincoln
Club Swim team for four years. There he competed in a wide array of
meets across the Midwest as well as attending the East Coast
Collegiate Club National Championship, sophomore through senior
Carter graduated in December of 2015 from the
University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Bachelor in Science in
Biology with minors in Biochemistry, Math, and Ancient
Mediterranean Studies. Carter is now a graduate student at the
University of Nebraska Omaha where he is pursuing a graduate
certificate in Biomedical Studies, after which he plans to apply to
Discoverers Coaching Director
Kenna has been on the ACE Coaching staff for about 2 years. Before she was a coach with ACE, she swam competetively for ACE and Swim Omaha, as well as all four years for Elkhorn High School and served as one of hte team captains her senior year.
She is a third year student at UNO studying Graphic Design. Additionally you may also see her working at Scooter's in Elkhorn! Outside of coaching, school and work, Kenna has been a leader for her church's high school group for the last three years.
What she looks forward to the most every week is coaching the ACE kiddos and watching them improve everyday. Go ACE!
Jenna is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was a four-year letterman and was captain her senior year. After high school she attended UNO where she competed on the Women's Swim and Dive team. While apart of the swim team at UNO Jenna competed on conference squad all four years and earned Summit League All-Summit, Academic All-Summit, Academic Honor Roll, Distinguished Scholars and Commissioners Academic Excellence honors. She was the captain her senior year and received the Connie Claussen Senior Career Achievement Award.
At UNO Jenna received her Bachelors in Elementary Education and Early Childhood and her Masters in Elementary Education and Literacy. She currently teachers 2nd grade in Bennington while and is an assistant coach for the Discovers and Explorers group at ACE. She continues her passion for swimming and competing with the Masters swim program at Common Grounds.
Viola is a former ACE swimmer. She swam high school on the Elkhorn/Elkhorn South Swim and Dive team, where she was a team captain her junior and senior year. During her senior year Viola was named Academic All-American.
She currently attends Creighton University, where she is majoring in psychology on the pre-med track. She has coached summer recreational swim team in past summers. She is very excited to get to be on the other side of the pool deck coaching.
For as long as he can remember, Spencer has been swimming. Through taking swim lessons from the neighbor across the street at the just three years old to participating in the Elkhorn summer league throughout elementary school, swimming has been one of Spencer’s lifelong passions. In 2007, Spencer joined ACE and swam competitively for the team through its many transitions and exponential growth. While in high school, Spencer also swam for the Elkhorn/Elkhorn South Swim Team, competing at the state championships in both his junior and senior years.
After graduating in 2014, Spencer moved to Decorah, Iowa where he attended Luther College. Spencer swam for the Luther College Men’s Swimming and Diving Team in addition to pursuing a major in English. While at Luther, Spencer swam long distance, placing 7th in the 1650 Free and 17th in the 500 Free at the Liberal Arts Championships in 2015. In February 2016, Spencer transfered to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he is currently enrolled in the UNO Writer’s Workshop, hoping to earn his BFA in Creative Writing within the coming year.
Ella recently joined the ACE coaching staff in
the spring of 2017. Before coaching, Ella swam for ACE for many,
many years and also swam for the Elkhorn/Elkhorn South
Stormin’ Antlers all four years, being a captain her senior
Ella recently started school at UNO where she
will be majoring in pre-nursing for two years and then hopefully
attend UNMC nursing school. Ella is also a phlebotomist at
Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. Ella’s younger
sister, Isa, also swims for ACE in the Discoverers
Ella says she absolutely loves kids and enjoys
coming to coach every week to watch the kids grow more in and out
of the water. She says she loves talking to the kids and hearing
what they have to say whether it be about swimming or any funny
stories they have to tell!
Amanda grew up swimming in the Omaha area
beginning at the age of 7. Her swimming career led her to the
University of Nebraska- Lincoln where she specialized in distance
freestyle & the 200 Fly. After graduating, Amanda taught
Kindergarten in the Millard Public Schools district and started
coaching for MAC.
2004, Amanda “retired” from teaching & coaching to
stay home and raise her family. Amanda and her husband Chad live in
Omaha with their 4 daughters, three of which swim for
is excited to return to coaching after serving on the ACE
Board. Amanda is currently an assistant coach for the
Discoverers, Explorers & Seekers groups. She continues
her passion for swimming with the Masters swim program at Common