Coaches Corner


La Grande Swim Club head coach Darren Dutto

An impressive competitive swimming and swim coaching experience combined with his academic training will greatly benefit all the swimmers of the La Grande Swim Club.

 He and his family have lived in La Grande since 2004. He is an Associate Professor at Eastern Oregon University teaching classes in exercise science. He has a Ph.d. in Human Performance and attained his Masters degree in Colorado Springs where he spent two years at the Olympic Training Center working for the Sport Science Division of USA Swimming performing biomechanical technique analysis of swimmers.
Darren grew up swimming in a club similar to LGSC and has held the 100 yd Freestyle and Backstroke records at Tulare Union High School for the past 23 years. He swam on the UC Davis Varsity Swim team from 1987 to 1991 and has continued to compete at a Masters level in both California and Oregon. He is the current Oregon State record holder 30-34 age group for the 100 meters Backstroke.
He has been coaching swimming since 1989 ranging from young beginner and developmental swimmers to older, highly competitive ones. He is currently also the La Grande High School Swim Team coach.
Coach Dutto says: “swimming is a life sport. My goal is to nurture a love for swimming that transcends competition and creates a life long athlete”
For the La Grande Swim Club, Coach states that his philosophy is centered around developing the whole person, not just the swimmer. He plans to create an environment where all swimmers can safely experience personal improvement in swimming, character and life skills. He will be crafting age and level appropriate instruction and training programs as well as team goals to maximize each swimmer’s improvement. He hopes to bring fun and camaraderie into La Grande Swim Club.

Assistant Coaches
Amanda Welch has been with La Grande Swim Club for six years. She has a background in swim instruction and mainly works with our Swim School & Dolphins groups.
Tatiana Ricker has been involved with La Grande Swim Club for seven years, and is also the Board President. She fills in with all age groups and has a background in swim instruction.
Ryan Zastrow has been with La Grande Swim Club for over a year, and helps with all age groups: mainly swim school. Ryan is a tri-athlete and loves the fitness aspect swimming offers, while still focusing on fun with age group swimmers.
Steve Koza has been with La Grande Swim Club for several years as a parent and official and has recently helped to fill in once a week with all age groups. Steve was a competitive swimmer through college.
The La Grande Swim Club has 50 swimmers and under Darren’s leadership is ready for more!