As former collegiate coaches and education professionals, we thoroughly understand the recruiting process. We know how colleges recruit, when they recruit, where they recruit and whom they recruit. College coaches know they can trust us to verify all athletic and academic information that we provide for them as well as know that our concern regarding our athletes is more than swimming and diving. It is imperative to our directors, that our ACC athletes do well in school, play hard, remain disciplined, and graduate with college degrees. We specialize in getting your daughter/son’s information in front of many coaches and getting them to take a serious look at it.
Rick is the co-founder and president of American College Connection and also holds the title of Director of Swimming. He has coached club swimming for 28 years and has served as an Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for 17 years at a major Division I university. During his tenure there, Rick personally coached 9 Olympians, 37 NCAA All-Americans, and National Champions in 11 different countries (including the United States). He had the honor of serving as one of the Olympic Head Coaches for the Austrian Olympic Team in 2000, and also served on the staffs at the Helsinki and Istanbul European Championships. Most recently, Rick was formally inducted into the Midwestern Swimming LSC Hall of Fame (2015).
Rick loves listening to music with his wife and working out.
Donny Brush is a professional swimming coach with over 20 years of diversified collegiate, age group, and high school coaching experience. He is energetic and a motivational leader, with a proven record of program development and designing strategies and techniques that accelerate individual achievement. As a Terre Haute native, Donny graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Indiana State in 2001 and also received his master’s in athlete development from Indiana State. Donny is coming to us after nine successful years at Indiana University as Associate Head Coach for men’s and women’s swimming and coordinator of off campus recruiting. Donny has helped recruit over 100 NCAA All Americans, 11 Olympians, 12 American Record Holders, 28 World Record Holders.
Melynda enjoys reading, boating, and camping with her husband, Rob, and her two fur babies, Bella and Max. She has 3 children: Holly, Jake, and Amanda along with 2 grandbabies, McKenna and Camden
Todd oversees the ACC athlete development process and brings over 20 years in professional and college sports. He has worked in operations and technology with the Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League, the University of Nebraska volleyball program, and with many other organizations including, Assistant General Manager with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League and currently General Manager of the Omaha Beef Professional Indoor football team.
As an international swimmer, Penny Heyns established herself as the world’s greatest female breaststroker of the 20th century by becoming the only woman in Olympic history to win both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke events and by breaking 14 individual world records during her career. Penny is now a motivational speaker / mentor and teams with ACC to connect international swimmers with the US for a chance to study and compete in America.
Coach Kevin Weldon is one of the country’s most experienced competition swim professionals. With 33 years leading the Dayton Raiders, Coach Kevin has developed: 30 Olympic Trials qualifiers (2 Top 8 Finalists), 4 National Age Group record holders, 2 Senior National Champions, 40 State High School Champions, 12 Ohio State High School record holders, 1000+ Swimmers who’ve competed in the Ohio High School State Meet. The 2018 International Swim Coach Association Hall of Fame inductee has also helped his swimmers acquire more than 1-Million-Dollars in athletic scholarships over the course of his career. Before coaching the Raiders, Coach Kevin was the head coach for the Sunkist Swim Team (1985-1989) and the Kankakee YMCA (1984-1985). He was also a University of Nebraska Men’s assistant coach (1981-1984). Coach Kevin hopes to provide a safe and positive sports experience for all Raider athletes, and the opportunity for each swimmer to achieve their full potential. The Dayton Raiders are a 3 time USA Swimming Gold Medal Level Club of Excellence under his leadership.
Kevin is married to his wife Lana and they live in Beavercreek, Ohio They have 2 daughters and 4 grandkids.
When Kevin is not on deck coaching or working with ACC swimmers, he enjoys working out, reading, and movie watching.
Maria is an Olympic gymnast, nutritional coach, and public speaker. She was the Central American champion 1986-88, the only female gymnast in the Pan Am Games (Indianapolis 87) to have competed in four event finals, and the first Central American gymnast to have competed in Olympic games (Seoul 88).
Maria left Guatemala City and moved to the USA when she turned 12 to train at a leading gymnastic academy in Houston, TX. Maria suffered an extensive injury and after surgery and recovery she competed four more years, until her retirement.
After gymnastics, Maria Ines took up cheerleading and karate, competing in both but not at the level of gymnastics. She also coached gymnastics for three years and delivered balance beam clinics in Guatemala City, Austin, TX, and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Maria Ines graduated from Francisco Marroquin University with a BA in Business Management and obtained her MBA from the University of Texas, Austin. She worked in Marketing, Business Consulting, and then founded a bilingual staffing company. She also taught Leadership and Organizational Development at Francisco Marroquin University and Universidad del Istmo (UNIS).
Having suffered from binge eating disorder as a result of extreme dieting and high levels of pressure when she was an athlete, Maria Ines faced body image issues ad struggled with her weight in her post-gymnastics years. She eventually created a system for implementing nutrition and lifestyle changes and turning them into habits, which led her to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, great performance, and eliminate all stress around food.
After 20 years in marketing, management, and consulting, she did a complete shift to Nutrition and Health, obtained her Certification in Nutritional Coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York, and founded Let’s Be Fit Today, whose mission is to help young athletes incorporate nutrition and lifestyle changes to boost their health, performance, and confidence.
Maria Ines has been active in Nutrition Education in Central America and the USA, delivering engaging presentations and workshops at schools, athletic clubs, not-for-profits, youth ministry groups, associations, and universities. She is passionate about helping young athletes, kids, and teenagers harness the power of nutrition to feel and perform at their very best while enjoying stress-free, healthy eating, and a positive body image.
Maria Ines lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband, Roberto Bonilla, a two-time Olympic swimmer, and their four children, all of whom practice competitive sports. Her son, Roberto Bonilla Flores, is a Junior-Pan-American Games medalist in the 400m IM, 200m Breaststroke, and 200m Butterfly.
Maria Ines volunteers with The Woodlands Rotary Club and TWST Swim Team. She enjoys long walks, strength training, reading, and being outdoors.