Swimming & Diving Team

Head coach: John Barnes, jbarnes@cadets.com.


Team Philosophy, Goals, Beliefs, and Expectations

The Mission Statement of the STA Swimming & Diving Program:




*Focus on TEAM goals, direction and outcomes.

Together WE WILL create an atmosphere where champions are inevitable.

*Set the GOOD example. 

*Synergism - The WHOLE is greater then the sum of it's parts.

*Chemistry - EVERY ingredient is critical for ultimate TEAM success.

Saint Thomas Academy Swimming and Diving Coaching Staff:

Head Coach: John Barnes: 

John has been STA Program Director since 1998 and has been coaching since 1985.

He is also an Athletic/Advancement Gift Officer at Saint Thomas Academy. 

My coaching and leadership principles:

  1. Make it personal, show your athletes you care!
  2. Treat your athletes with respect.
  3. Be honest and consistent.
  4. Build your team from bottom up, make everyone better.
  5. Do not be afraid of failure, it is a great learning tool.
  6. Buck stops with you take responsibility.
  7. Learn to listen to your team.
  8. Be willing to make sacrifices to be successful.
  9. Never be afraid to show your team that you love them, and you want them to love each other.
  10. Enjoy your time with your team so they enjoy their time with you.

Coaching highlights:

  •  ASCA level 5 Coach 
  • 24 High School All Americans
  • High School Dual Meet record 123-3-1
  • 15 State Championship Teams 14 at STA 1 at Minnetonka HS (The most State Swimming Championships in the History of Minnesota High School Swimming)
  • 1996, 2014 and 2015 MN High School Coach of the Year.
  • Swimming Highlights
  • John was a 4-time high school All-American and a 12-time college All-American. 

Associate Head Coach: Erick Westerback: 

Erick has been with the program since 2005 and is STA class of 1982 and he was a member of the Cadet swimming and diving team during his years at the Academy. He is also the Head Tennis coach for both STA and Vis.

Assistant Coach: Melissa Kelly:

This is Melissa’s first year with the program and she is an English teacher at the Academy. Melissa is big into running and triathlons. 

Diving Coach: Zoe Johnson:

Zoe dove for Holy Family Catholic High School, where she was team captain and went to state.  She holds all of the records for Luther College in both the 1 and 3 meter.  She made national qualifications every year and competed at regionals for three years.  In addition, she was an Academic All-American and diver of the year three times.   Zoe is currently a registered nurse in Minneapolis. 

Saint Thomas Academy SWIM


2016-17 Season

Congratulations on the season! First in True Team and Second in State.


State Champions:

1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,
2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016



The team maintains a private Shutterfly account to post photos. Please visit the Shutterfly Web site to view or add photos/videos. You will need to create a free account if you do not have one, and request permission from a captain's parent to have access.

Michael Murray Photography has a link to order individual or team photos online. 
The procedure is this:

1. Go to http://www.michaelmurrayphotos.com
2. Click on the side tab named "Online Galleries"
3. Click on the "STA Events 2016-17" icon
4. Enter the Access Code "sta17" and click Submit.
5. Select the Swim Team gallery

Photos for view and purchase at Nields Photography
Have you seen the fantastic shots Chuck took?