Coaches

Our goal is to raise the level of competition swimming in the central valley.

Ellis Aquatics is a year-round Level 3 USA Swimming club serving the Tracy & Mountain House area. We are a coached owned team founded by Clay Basepayne, Pat Windschitl, Candy Windschitl and Erin Mann. Since 2010 we've worked hard to make our part of the central valley a force in swimming. We've built a team of 30 swimmers to one of the largest teams in Pacific Swimming and earned Level 3 in USA swimming's club recognition program, an accomplishment only met by 6% of clubs nationally! As coaches our goal is to train local youth to become lifelong athletes who love the sport and the experiences it brings.

Senior Team Coaches

Founding Coach, - Senior Program

Weston Ranch High School Swim Coach

Coach Clay has demonstrated a lifetime dedication to the sport of swimming. He began swimming under Ervin Zador for Delta Valley Aquatics where he learned the importance of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. As an age group swimmer Clay won Far Westerns, and Western Zones and as a national swimmer he finished in the top 16 for both Jr. Nationals and the US Open. He was also a 2-time High School All American and was the Valley Oak League High School record holder in the 200 IM for over a decade.

In college Clay was the top swimmer in Breaststroke for the University of the Pacific under coach Ray Looze and a finalist in Big West Swimming at his college conference champions. That year he and his team won the Big West Conference, upsetting UC Santa Barbara for their first conference loss in more than 24 years to UOP. In 2016 Coach Clay and his UOP team were recognized in the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame.

Clay has coached at Bear Creek High, Sierra High, Merrill West High, Weston Ranch High and for the MDST. While at Sierra the varsity girls team took VOL Championships in 2007, 2008, & 2009, the first swimming championship wins in the school’s history. While at Weston Ranch Clay has coached the team to back to back section qualifications and well as breaking multiple team records. In 2016 he helped Ellis Aquatics become a founding member of a new "super club" California Gold Swimming. With Gold Coach Clay has helped develop Sectionals finalists, as well as Jr. Nationals and US Open qualifying swimmers.

Elite Team Coaches

Founding Coach, Team Graphic Designer, - Age Group Elite Program

West High Swimming and Water Polo Coach

Pat started swimming with an area recreation team at 5 years old and swam through high school at Sierra High under Coach Dave Breitenbucher. At Sierra he broke Coach Clay's record in the 100 Fly. He later went on to work for Coach Dave at Sierra with Coach Clay. Since then he has coached with the MDST, the now defunct Manteca Aquatics, and is at West High. At Sierra he helped coach the girls team to take first in the VOL Championships in 2007, 2008, & 2009, the first swimming championship wins in the schools history.

With Ellis, Coach Pat has helped athletes find success at both the national and local level with swimmers winning Far Westerns and Junior Olympics, as well as being ranked top 10 in the nation. While finishing his teaching credential Coach Pat assisted helping our Senior program where we saw multiple state champions. More importantly, he's proud to see many of his previous swimmers carrying on his passion for swimming and continuing to coach with us or with their own teams throughout California.

His training philosophy is that all athletes can find success through dedicated hard work. He's a huge proponent of Growth Mindsets, and the idea that everyone can improve through intelligent and reflective practice. As of 2018 he's excited to be done with his credential program and back to coaching Age Group swimmers full time.

Cassidy Waters

Founding Swimmer, - Youth Elite Coach

West High Women's Water Polo Coach

Coach Cassidy started swimming when she was 13 for the Tracy Triton's summer league team. At West High she swam under our head coaches Clay Basepayne and Pat Windschitl. Soon after she began swimming for them with Ellis Aquatics. Cassidy demonstrated not just an exemplary knowledge for swimming but was also a strong team leader. She began coaching with us in high school and after leaving for college she's coached her own swimming and water polo teams in the Bay Area and Stockton.

After graduating as West High's Senior Female Athlete of the Year she continued swimming at Delta College. While at Delta she set multiple records, was a finalist at the State Championships Meet, and played water polo. She then transferred to CSU East Bay where she continued to swim collegiality while earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She is excited to return home to the Central Valley and share her passion for swimming. Her goal is to help all our kids become strong athletes and future leaders.

Age Group Team Coaches

Jacob Lawson

Age Group and High School Development Coach

West High Head Swim Coach & Men's Water Polo Coach

Coach Jacob came from a background of water. He was born in Santa Cruz and learned how to swim at the age of three. He's always enjoyed open water activities. At the age of six his family moved to Tracy and started swimming with an area club team at age 12. In high school he moved to Ripon where he continued swimming with the Ripon High Program. At Ripon he helped petition to start up a waterpolo team, which the school established during his senior year.

After high school Coach Jacob continued his education at MJC. While he believed that the aquatics life was over he was found by Coach Candy and hired on to help with our growing youth program. Since then Coach Jacob has developed into a amazing and energetic coach. He has worked as the head coach at Lathrop High, an assistant coach at Tracy High, and is the head coach for West High Swimming and West High Men's Water Polo.


Julie Verwijst

Fundamentals Program Coach

Tracy High Head Swimming & Girls Water Polo Coach

Julie started competitive diving at age 5, at 6 she switched her focus to swimming . She attended San Mateo High School and competed on the boys team in both swimming and water polo. Her senior year she switched her focus back to diving placing in the top 5 at the Pacific Association Championships.

She began coaching in 1999 with Hastings Lake YMCA in Illinois and became head coach the following year. She started swimming for the masters team at Hastings Lake and went on to compete at Master’s Nationals and brought home 5 medals.

In 2012 Julie moved back to California and started coaching with Ellis Aquatics in 2013. In 2014 she began coaching with Kimball HS as an assistant coach of the swim team. In 2015 she moved on to Tracy HS to assist with water polo and take the Head Coach position with the Tracy HS Swim Team. She is now also the Head Coach of Girls Water Polo.

She continues to swim and compete with the California Gold Masters program.

Fundamentals Team Coaches

Founding Coach, Fundamentals Program Director, Red Cross CPR & First-Aid Instructor

Coach Candy has been associated with swim programs in the central valley in one way or another for for nearly the past twenty years. Starting as a parent volunteer she wrangled age group goobers and got them to their events unharmed. She has also served as a board member, club president, league representative and league president over the Mid-valley Swim League before stepping down to exclusively help coach our youngest athletes.

Coach Candy started with our program by helping to coach the siblings of swimmers who hadn't yet been able to qualify to swim with the recreation teams. Since then, these swimmers have gone on to become accomplished age group swimmers. Coach Candy has taken on her own groups, which eventually grew to become their own program, and becoming an even more essential and appreciated part of our club team.

Laura de la Garza

Fundamentals Program Coach

Head Water Polo Coach Mountain House & Assistant Swim Coach Lathrop

Coach Laura started swimming for the Grand Ledge Dolphins swim club in Michigan when she was 9 years old. She swam and played Water Polo for Grand Ledge High School before transferring to Lathrop High School as a Junior. While at Lathrop she was a key member of the first ever 200-free relay team to qualify for CIF Sections in the schools history. After graduation she continued swimming and playing polo for San Joaquin Delta College. At Delta her polo teams placed 3rd at State her freshman year and 4th during her sophomore. Coach Laura is also the Assistant Swim Coach at Lathrop High School and Head Coach for the Women’s Water Polo program at Mountain House. She hopes to be able to teach swimmers the basic techniques of each stroke in order for them to build up speed and be successful in their athletic careers.

Clare Lawlor

Jr. Assistant coach

West High Swimming and Water Polo Women's Team Captain

Coach Clare is a fourth year West High swimming and water polo Team Captain under our Coaches Pat Windschitl, Jacob Lawson, and Cassidy Waters. At West she's won multiple awards for her leadership abilities and dedication to the sport. She was also a key member of West High's CIF Sections Relay teams. Clare's primary events at West High are the 200y and 500y freestyle.


Priscilla de la Garza

Jr. Assistant coach

Masters (Adult) Team Coaches

David Breitenbucher

Masters Coach

Head Coach Sierra High Swimming

Coach Dave has decades of coaching experience in the Central Valley. He started swimming with the Manteca Dolphins summer league team in the 70's and later coached for the program while he was at Delta College in the early 80's. He then coached for Delta Valley Aquatics and was Coach Clay's first coach for that team. After coaching at Manteca High from 89-96 he opened Sierra High's swim program as served as the head coach since.

At Sierra Coach Dave was the high school coach for our coaches, Clay Basepayne and Pat Windschitl, and they both give credit to Dave for their love of sport. At Sierra his team has taken numerous VOL championship titles and helped foster many Olympic Trials athletes. As a US Masters swimmer he has competed both locally and internationally, competing in the World Fire Games 94 in Perth Australia.