Making a Splash

Minnetonka Aquatics coach pursues a lifelong love of swimming.
Young swimmers flex their muscles at the pool.

Minnetonka’s Sara Goff just can’t stay out of the water. After swimming all through high school, getting recruited by the University of Wisconsin-Madison (where she was team captain, an NCAA Championship Team member, a USA Olympic Trials qualifier and more), and coaching swimmers all through her college summers, Goff was headed for a lucrative career in finance. She moved to Boston and threw herself into her work, only to find that she missed the pool.

Driven by that urge, she did a little volunteer coaching in Boston, but that wasn’t enough. So she resigned from finance and started from scratch with an organization she knew well: Minnetonka Aquatics.

“I started from the bottom,” says Goff. “I did jobs that normally high school or college kids would do.” But her perseverance paid off. After starting as an assistant coach in 2011, Goff ascended to become a national-level assistant coach, focusing on the fastest, oldest athletes in the club. Finally, after her veteran boss resigned, she applied for the position of head coach—and got the job.

Under Goff’s watchful eyes, Minnetonka’s elite athletes spend their summers working hard in the pool. With the Minnesota Regional Championship and Junior Nationals coming up this month, they’ll be working extra hard to get that gold—and coach Goff will help them along the way.