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

RICK PAINE - PRESIDENT

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

JOHN SHEPHERD - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF  VOLLEYBALL - RECRUITING

JOHN SHEPHERD - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF VOLLEYBALL - RECRUITING

JOHN HAS PLAYED VOLLEYBALL SINCE HE WAS 14 YEARS OLD. HE PLAYED NCAA VOLLEYBALL FOR FOUR YEARS IN THE MIVA CONFERENCE. HE WAS ALL-CONFERENCE TWICE AND WAS SO HONORED AS A NCAA ALL-AMERICAN. WHEN THE ARMY CALLED, HE PLAYED AND COACHED HIS U.S. ARMY EUROPE TEAM TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND WAS SELECTED TO THE ALL ARMY TEAM. JOHN HAS COACHED AND WORKED WITH YOUNG PLAYERS DURING HIS 40 YEAR YMCA CAREER. MOST NOTABLY HE SCHOOLED A YOUNG PLAYER WHO WAS A MEMBER OF THE 1984 USA GOLD MEDAL OLYMPIC MEN’S VOLLEYBALL TEAM. NOW, AS A MEMBER OF THE ACC TEAM,  JOHN WANTS TO USE HIS KNOWLEDGE AND PASSION FOR VOLLEYBALL BY HELPING YOUNG LADIES USE THEIR VOLLEYBALL SKILLS TO FURTHER THEIR COLLEGE EDUCATION.  

Email: john@accrecruits.com

WES SIME - SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST

WES SIME - SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST

Wes Sime played competitive volleyball at the national level with Kenneth Allen, a Top Ten ranked volleyball team out of Chicago coached by Jim Coleman, who at George Williams College was an Internationally recognized leader in USVA. Wes had peers in competition including Terry Pettit, Russ Rose, Mick Haley and Doug Beal. He went on to coach the All Army Volleyball team and club teams at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Waterloo team (D-I level in Ontario, Canada). In the 1990’s Wes provided coach assistance in sport psychology while Mick Haley was the USA National Team Women’s Volleyball team and has advised the current National Team coaches for the past ten years.

Dr. Sime is an exercise physiology resource as well as a sport psychologist with credentials to serve the USOC athletes as well as high school, college and club players. As a Professor Emeritus in Health and Human Performance at the University of Nebraska, Dr. Sime has provided assistance and advice to John Cook and he is very well equipped to advise young players and their parents (who have questions) about career options and
specialty areas of study in college as well as surviving and thriving in the grind of athletics and academics.

Email: wes@accrecruits.com

DONNY BRUSH - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/NCAA Rules Specialist

DONNY BRUSH - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/NCAA Rules Specialist

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

MELYNDA NASH -  ACADEMIC ADVISOR/COORDINATOR FOR RECRUITING EDUCATION

MELYNDA NASH - ACADEMIC ADVISOR/COORDINATOR FOR RECRUITING EDUCATION

Having been an educator and student outreach advisor 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
KELLY KLEIN - SPORTS OPERATIONS

KELLY KLEIN - SPORTS OPERATIONS

Kelly Klein is focused on the operations side of ACC.  His main focus is creating an incredible experience for our families.  His passion is helping students get a college degree without having to pay the enormous costs of continued education.  He began his relationship with Rick in 2016 as the software engineer and immediatel saw what a great thing ACC does for student-athletes.  He is now focusing on how we can increase our exposure into other sports and help families all across the world get a better education.