Our Coaches

Jack Perkins - Founder and Volunteer Head Coach

Jack began his career as a diving coach in 1992 and has experience coaching at all levels, from beginners through elite.  His extensive experience includes being the NCAA Division 1 Diving Coach at DU, a National Team Coach for Puerto Rico, Team Leader and Head Coach for Team USA at the Dresden Youth International Diving Meet in Germany, and he has been a USA Diving Junior National Team Coach since 2016.

Jack’s divers have won many accolades including earning the opportunity to compete in the Junior Canadian-American Championships, British Elite Championships, Junior Pan American Games*, Junior World Championships, numerous FINA Grand Prix*, World Univeristy Games*, FINA World Cup, US Olympic Trials for close to two decades, and NCAA National Championships, including a diver that in his freshman year broke the Divinsion I NCAA 10 meter record and won NCAA's.  Additionally, over 100 of Jack’s athletes have gone on to earn college diving scholarships, many at arguably the most prestigious diving universities in America.  

Off the pool deck, Jack has been very active with USA Diving, Inc. where we was formerly the Acting CEO (2018-2019), Treasurer on the Board of Directors (2016-2018), Chair of the Junior Rules Committee (2012-2016), as well as a member of the Junior Subcommittee to the Committee for Competitive Excellence (2012-2016), the Finance and Audit Committee (2007-2016), the Governance and Elections Committee (2009-2012), and was the Chair of the Rocky Mountain Diving Association (2008-2018). 

Along with his diving activities, Jack has been a business consultant and mining industry professional since 2000.  He is the founder several businesses and has served on numerous Boards of Directors for non-profit organizations, locally and nationally.  Previous to earning an MBA from DU, Jack studied East Asian Philosophy and Religious Studies at George Mason University.  

*denotes a medal won at International competition


Jenn Hess - Club Director and Head Coach 

Jennifer dived with the Mile High Dive Club for five years before competing for the University of Arizona.  She completed both a Bachelors of Science in Physiological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry as well as a Masters of Art in Bilingual Education during her five years diving for Arizona. She taught Kindergarten Spanish and worked as a LAP instructor for non-native English speaking 3rd and 4th graders.  She also coached for Tucson Dive Team for three years before returning to Colorado and the Mile High Dive Club.  Jenn has a true passion for working with children and seeing them grow as both an individual and as an athlete.  Jenn has had the opportunity to help develop divers into National Champions, who have been selected for the USA National Team, who have gone on to represent the USA at various international competitions as well as Olympic Trials, and has aided in securing college scholarships for over a hundred and fifty MHDC divers.  Jenn was a Team USA coach at Junior Pan-Am Championships in Chile where her MHDC diver won a gold and silver medal.  Also, she was named a senior Team USA coach for a FINA Grand Prix meet in Rostock, Germany.  Recently, she was Team Leader for Team USA at the inagural Pan-Am Games in Colombia where her MHDC diver won a gold and bronze medal.  In her free time, Jenn is an avid skier and loves to travel with her devoted husband and incredible kid.


Jacie Jones - Office Operations Coordinator

 Jacie just couldn't stay away! This Arizona native is back working the front end while pursuing her Bachelors in Early Childhood   Education. After six years of experience as a project manager for a local Arizona business, she is going on three years now with   the Flip School. Jacie and her spouse have two children and three dogs to keep home life fun and entertaining. In her spare time   she loves reading, crocheting and volunteering in her community. She is excited to, once again, be a part of our team!


Michael Bruno- Junior Olympic Coach

Michael Bruno comes to the MHDC from the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  After his middle school swim class teacher watched him jumping and practicing different flips during swim class, the coach suggested joining the high school swim/dive team when he became a freshman.  Shortly after joining, he fell in love with the sport and the wholesome community it garnered. Not having a local club made learning to dive more complicated, however, watching countless dive meets on YouTube and attending summer diving clubs in other states helped Michael to develop his skills and knowledge on and off the boards.  He eventually walked on to the Saint Bonaventure University diving team where he won the gold medal for 3m his senior year.  Now as a member of the coaching staff for the MHDC, Michael shares the lifelong lessons he has acquired from countless coaches, use his failures and successes to encourage athletes to hone their own skills, make lifelong friends and to have fun competing in one of the most complex sports in the world. 


Nathan Baeckeland- volunteer coach

Nathan was born and raised in Belgium. Following in the footsteps of older siblings, he started trampoline gymnastics at a very young age. After 13 years in gymnastics, he made the transition to diving. He trained in the Netherlands, and one year in the USA where he was a visiting student at the University of Minnesota. He competed nationally and internationally and represented Belgium at the 2020 Grand Prix in Rostock and the 2021 Fina world cup in Tokyo. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Leuven, Belgium. After graduating and retiring from diving, he crossed the Atlantic again to work in Colorado.


Hanos Mahari - Junior Olympic Coach

Hanos grew up in St. Michael, Minnesota where he started diving at the age of 12 to learn how to do backflips and frontflips to celebrate for after he scored goals in soccer!  He found success in high school, where he stills hold records, and wanted to continue the sport in college.  He graduated in 2019 from St. Cloud State University where he was captain his senior year, won 1 meter at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, as well as went to nationals and was named 2-time All-American Honorable Mention. After college he pursued a Master's at Minnesota State University Mankato and coached there from 2019-2023.  During his time there he set new records for the program by tripling the size of the diving program and being the first ever in program history to have 5 girls on 3 meter and 6 girls on 1 meter in the top 8 at finals at conference!  Hanos was names NSIC Diving Coach of the Year and was consistently able to qualify divers to the NCAA Division II Championship.  He recently moved to Colorado for a new job in sales and is so excited to join Mile High.  He says, "I have had such an amazing experience with diving that I just want to give back to everyone involved and help the kids grow as an athlete and an individual!"  


Eden Evans- Junior Olympic Coach

Eden grew up in North Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire, England where she transitioned to diving after a short time in gymnastics. Eden dove for both Harrogate District Dive Club and Cambridge Dive Team during her time in the UK. When Eden moved to Colorado at the age of 14, she began diving with Mile High as a Junior Advanced and in four short years and a lot of focused hard work she received a scholarship to dive at Grand Canyon University. When Eden is not coaching, you can find her on the slopes snowboarding, hiking, painting and traveling. 



Andrew Hull- Junior Olympic Coach

Andrew grew up in Denver, CO and dove for East High School. He was awarded Colorado diver of the year in 2012. He dove for Indiana University from 2012-2014 and for the University of Iowa from 2015-2016. In 2014 he placed 3rd at the NCAA Zone championship meet. That following summer, he placed 4th in the USA Diving senior national championships in 2013 and 2014 in the synchronized 10-meter event, and 12th in the individual 10-meter event in 2014. He completed his degree in Human Physiology in December of 2016 and was the assistant diving coach for the University of Iowa during the 2016-2017 NCAA season.  We are very fortunate to have Andrew work with our kids while he is attending Med School.  


Kyle Goodwin - Junior Olympic Coach

Kyle started out at MHDC as a little ripper when he was 10. He attended Regis Jesuit High School where he won state four years and became the Colorado state record holder. He went on to dive at the University of Missouri from 2015-2019. At Mizzou, he placed 3rd on the 1 meter during the 2019 SEC Championships as well as competed at NCAA Championships all four years and became an All American Honorable Mention on 1 meter, 3 meter, and platform.  He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design as well as minors in Business and Art History. Since graduating in Kyle taken up advertising design, as well as coaching.  We are very lucky to have him with our staff even though Kyle is frequently out of state.  


Charlie Clifton- Junior Olympic Coach

Charlie is originally from Nashville!  He dove with Middle Tennessee Diving under Tim Jones and was a two-time state champion and an All-American from 2012-2016.  He placed 6th at USA Diving Nationals in 2016 on 1-meter.  From there, Charlie went on to dive at the University of Georgia where he qualified for NCAA championships in 2017 on both 1m and 3m springboards and competed at the SEC Championships his freshman and sophomore year on springboard and platform.  His collegiate athletic career ended when he medically DQ'd his senior year which led to the birth of his coaching career as he became the graduate assistant coach for the University of Georgia under 2012 Olympian Chris Colwill.  Charlie graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Sports Management, and also holds a Master’s degree in Science of Education, with an emphasis in Sports management and Policy.  Charlie recently moved out to Colorado in January of 2022 for a new job in software sales.  We are very fortunate to have Charlie on our staff and can see how he enriches the lives of your children with his positive energy! 


Ben Herdt- volunteer coach

Ben Herdt's career in diving has spanned 30 years, as a diver, coach, judge, program manager, and educational facilitator for coaches and judges.  As a high school diver, Ben was a NISCA All-American and a Junior National Qualifier (in 1m, 3m, and Platform diving events).  As a college diver, Ben was a 3-time Big Ten Champion at the University of Minnesota.  Ben has coached professionally in the NHSF, NCAA, Canada, USA, and Australia.  In Australia, he acted as Program Manager for Diving South Australia were he oversaw the 2013 Australian National Coach of the Year.  Ben has coached national finalists in the USA, Canada and Australia. Most recently, Ben has spent the last 8 years coaching at Laramie High School in Laramie Wyoming where he has coached 6 state champions and 3 NISCA All-Americans.  



Sal Strack- Stength and Conditioning Coach

Sal comes to us from San Diego where he worked as a Strength & Conditioning Coach for San Diego State University for six years.  He has specialized experience in the foundational movements and sport specific training unique to divers.  Sal’s education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and is one presentation away from earning his Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology.  He has made a significant impact on the strength levels, overall lifting technique, and recovery periods for our program.  The kids have seen major gains in overall muscular strength and a decrease in injury.  Sal has a strong focus geared towards working with the team on prehab movements as well as following through with them on rehabilitative exercises.  We are very fortunate to have Sal as a member of our team!