Meet Our Coaches

Aspire Aquatics is please to have assembled a high caliber and talented coaching team: Head Coach Karen Ammon, Coach James Boone, Coach Mia Wood, and assistant Coach April Wood.

The Coaching team will operate collaboratively and in support of each other. Coach Karen is the head coach of all practice groups. Emphasis will be on providing technical instruction in a supportive, respectful, and community-minded environment. She will apply her coaching philosophy, expertise, and strategies to all age groups and seniors in partnership with the coach on deck to create top-down collaboration. Coach Karen will have a presence on deck with all practice groups, while serving as the primary coach on deck for Age 9-12. Swimmers will enjoy reasonable coach to swimmer ratios at Aspire Aquatics. The coaching staff will scale to meet the size and technical needs of the team. 

Email: [email protected]

Coach Karen serves as the head coach of Aspire Aquatics of Colorado and the primary coach of Ambition and Confidence practice groups. Karen's impact in the community is broad and far-reaching, currently serving as the head coach of the Mountain Hi Swim League (MHSL) Wheatlands Sharks swim team and formerly serving as the head coach of the Grandview High School Girls’ swim team.

Spanning 27 years of coaching experience, Coach Karen has coached all abilities of swim athletes from water safety and learn to swim programs to National Top 16 age group swimmers and High School All Americans. Prior to founding Aspire Aquatics, she most recently served for 15 years as the 9/10 Age Group coach and Director of Age Group Development for Colorado Stars. 

Coach Karen brings an undeniable love and discipline of the sport to her swim athletes, swim families, and community.  Her respectful, disciplined, and nurturing approach to teaching swim excellence develops the performance excellence, character, leadership, and team camaraderie of her athletes and feeds their growth mindset. She has earned the broad respect and loyalty of her athletes, swim families, and CSI community.

Coach Karen is married to Dale Ammon, well known in the Colorado swim and USA Swimming communities in his roles as official, CSI Board Member, Western Zone Non-Coach Director, and member of USA Swimmer Board of Directors. She and Dale have raised four children, all swimmers and young coaches who graduated from Grandview High School and various universities. She now has two lovely grandchildren to spoil and care for. 




Teams coached by Coach Karen include:

  • Wheatlands Sharks [formerly Chapparal Sharks]
  • Grandview Girls and Boys High School Swim Team
  • Colorado Stars
  • Special Olympics Colorado
  • Brookdale Swim Club
  • Naperville YMCA
  • Hillsborough Hurricanes YMCA



Email: [email protected]

James is the primary coach for the Strength and Inspire practice groups.

Coach James currently serves as the Head Coach for the Grandview High School Girls Swim Team and Assistant Coach for the Grandview Boys swim team. James was raised in Colorado, swam for Grandview, and spent his summers with the Chapparal (now Wheatlands) Sharks. He both swam for and began his coaching career with Coach Karen Ammon.

After high school, James continued his swimming career at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. At Purdue, he was elected captain of the men's swim team, earned Academic All-B1G honors, set several team records, swam at the NCAA Championships, and coached the Purdue swim camp.

Following his Senior season, James continued with the Purdue men's swim team as a volunteer assistant coach, learning from some of the best coaches and swimmers in the world. During his time as an assistant, he finished his degree in Industrial Engineering.

James is thrilled to begin his 3rd year with Aspire and is focused on building a team culture of smiles, comradery, hard work, purpose and high aspirations. 






Email: [email protected]

Coach Mia Wood is the primary coach for the Hope practice group.

Coach Mia is a Grandview High School All-American in the 500 Free, a University of Mines multiple record holder, multi conference champion (200 Free, 500 Free, 1000Free, and 1650 Free), CSCAA 11 time All-America, First Team Scholar All-American, a four time NCAA Division II qualifier, and an NCAA silver medalist in the 1000 Free.

She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Engineering Physics and a Master's degree in Engineering & Technology Management. Coach Mia is currently working as a Technology Consulting associate at RSM and we are thrilled she is also continuing her swim passion as a coach to our young athletes. She brings tremendous talent and energy to the deck. 








Email:   [email protected]
Coach April Wood joins as an assistant coach to our group coaches on deck.

Coach April is a Colorado School of Mines record holder, multi conference champion (400 IM, 800 Free Relay), CSCAA All-America, CSCAA First Team Scholar All-American, a two time NCAA Division II qualifier, and 5 time First-Team All-RMAC (400 IM, 500 free, 1650 free, 400 free relay, and 800 free relay).

She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Engineering & Technology Management. Coach April is currently working as a Systems Engineers at Raytheon and we are thrilled she is also continuing her swim passion as a coach to our young athletes.