ACC Team

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 playing athletics. It is imperative to our directors, that our ACC athletes do well in school, play hard, remained 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.

The ACC Team

RICK PAINE - PRESIDENT, SWIMMING DIRECTOR

RICK PAINE - PRESIDENT, SWIMMING DIRECTOR

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).

Email: rick@accrecruits.com

CHARLENE JOHNSON-WHITTED - VOLLEYBALL DIRECTOR

CHARLENE JOHNSON-WHITTED - VOLLEYBALL DIRECTOR

Having played and coached at the highest levels of volleyball, few, if any, can match Charlene’s resume. Her experience as a 2x All-American at BYU and 2006 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, 2000 Olympian, 2006 National Champion coach at Nebraska, Youth and Junior National Team coach and Youth Olympic Team coach in Singapore are simply highlights in her storied career. Charlene has a love and passion for the game and because she has been able to achieve her goals, she has a strong desire to help younger athletes reach their goals as well. When Charlene recommends an athlete from ACC to college coaches, her experience and knowledge of the game makes college coaches stop and listen.

Email: cjohnson-tagaloa@accrecruits.com

DONNY BRUSH - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SWIMMING

DONNY BRUSH - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SWIMMING

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.

Email: donny@accrecruits.com

GARY KINKEAD - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SWIMMING

GARY KINKEAD - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SWIMMING

Gary Kinkead has been involved in swimming for more than 45 years as a competitor, coach and administrator. He has 25 years of experience in USS (United States Swimming) and high school coaching.  Kinkead began his coaching career in 1970 as the assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. The past 21 years have been as the Head Swimming and Diving Coach at the University of Indianapolis, a Division II NCAA Institution.  Kinkead is a member of the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) and is an ASCA level 5 certified coach. He served on the NCAA II Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Committee through 2007. Kinkead worked at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, he has been president of the Indiana Swim Coaches Association and a delegate to the USS National Convention. Gary retired from UIndy in July 2015.

Email: gary@accrecruits.com
LORI PAYNE - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SWIMMING

LORI PAYNE - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SWIMMING

Lori is a true water baby, having grown up under the sun of S Florida, and the umbrella of Jack Nelson. Recruited in high school as a distance swimmer, she swam at UNC-Chapel Hill: took the 'mandatory time off after college' and reinvented herself as a USMS master swimmer. She has been a part of masters since 1991 and has been a long time member of the development/growth committee, and the assisting with the operational end of national meets. With a degree in sports management, and thirty years of coaching experience, (most recently developing a new D II team) Lori knows just what makes the student athlete recruiting process successful.

Email: lori@accrecruits.com
DAWN DILL - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SWIMMING

DAWN DILL - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SWIMMING

Dawn Dill joined the ACC team in 2016 after coaching at the collegiate level for 15 years, most recently serving as Head Coach/Associate Professor at MIT. While at MIT, Dawn was a four-time NEWMAC Coach of the Year and she built the swimming and diving program into one of the best in the nation. She recruited student-athletes who earned over 300 All-America performances and four individual national titles. She has also coached at Vassar College (01-03), Smith College (00-01) and the University of Massachusetts (98-99). After a rewarding coaching career, Dawn now enjoys helping swimmers and their families navigate the college recruiting process. 

Email: dawn@accrecruits.com

MELYNDA NASH - COORDINATOR FOR RECRUITING EDUCATION

MELYNDA NASH - COORDINATOR FOR RECRUITING EDUCATION

Having been an educator and student outreach adviser for over 20 years, Melynda brings a wealth of knowledge to our team which helps our student athletes understand the academic side of recruiting. Her extensive knowledge of navigating the education system at all academic levels, and passion for helping students reach their highest potential and be successful greatly enhances ACC's ongoing commitment to helping student athletes find the best all-around fit for college.  Melynda is a veteran of the United States Navy.

Email: melynda@accrecruits.com
TODD WALKENHORST - ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

TODD WALKENHORST - ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

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 Director of Operations with the Omaha Beef Professional Indoor football team.

Email: todd@accrecruits.com