Coaches’ Corner


Shawn Kornoelje – Head Coach

Shawn is returning for his second season as Head Coach.

Shawn just finished his 12th season as the Associate Head Coach of Oakland University. Finishing his 28th year of coaching, which has included working with all levels of swimmers from Novice to International, Shawn is looking forward to getting back to where he started, coaching a great summer club!

Among Shawn’s best memories; He coached multiple medalists for the United State Paralympic teams, with many swimmers posting multiple American and world record-holding swims. Along with the time at Oakland University, his coaching has been a great experience. In 2012 Shawn was bestowed with his second Order of Ikkos Medallion, presented by the United States Olympic Committee, for the 2012 London Paralympics. The Order of Ikkos is a special order reserved for the coach of an Olympic/Paralympic medalist. The United States Olympic Committee awards this medallion which signifies the highest level of excellence that a coach can achieve.
Another coaching experience Shawn is proud of was being a key member of the S. Paralympics coaching staff from 1998-2004. Assisting in the training and preparation for team camps going into the 2000 Sydney Games, the 2002 World Championships in Argentina and the 2004 Athens Games, where he served as the head coach of the men’s swim team. Shawn also served as a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Michigan’s women’s swim team, which finished as the NCAA championship runners-up in 1995.

Shawn grew up in Zeeland, Mich., and is a 1991 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, His coaching experience includes stints at the high school and club level. Shawn led Ann Arbor Huron High School to back-to-back Class A state runner-up finishes for both the boys and girls in 1990 and 1991. Shawn lives in Clinton Township with his wife, Cheryl Angelelli, a 3x Paralympic Swimmer. She won 2 Bronze in 2004 Athens, and 2 Silver in 2008 Bejing Paralympic Games. Shawn has two ‘furry’ children, Lexi and Charlie, Shih Tzu’s that like barking at anything that moves outside!

Aaron Helander – Assistant Coach

Aaron Helander has been swimming competitively for 15 years. He started his career at his local YMCA where he got the nick name “iron lung” for his love of playing underwater.

Aaron is a recent graduate from Oakland University and is looking forward to returning as a 2nd year HHSC coach. While at Oakland he served in several leadership positions such as being a Leadership Consultant, a Success Coach, and being an Orientation Group Leader where he welcomed over 2,500 freshmen to OU!

When he’s not busy studying, swimming, or taking his girlfriend on romantic dates he can be found exploring trails and creeks! Aaron is looking forward to having a lot of fun with all of you this summer!

Lydia Mattar – Assistant Coach

Lydia Mattar has been a competitive swimmer for the past 16 years. She is a junior at Saginaw Valley State University and is a member of the varsity swim team. Lydia is majoring in mathematics with a minor in mechanical engineering.

Lydia swam at HHSC for 4 years and is excited to be a part of Heart of the Hills one more. Lydia’s accolades include scoring top 4 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this year in all 4 individual events as well as conference champion in the 200 breast stroke. She also qualified for, and competed in the NCAA Division II National Championships in 4 events and earned honorable mention All American honors in 2 relays.

Brett Larson – Assistant Coach

Brett has been swimming for 8 years, and will be going into his ninth season this fall at Oakland University. Brett has also swam for NOW, Liquid Lightning, and Rochester Adams High. Brett has taught both group and private lessons at Heart, some of these swimmers being on the swim team. Brett guarded his first season at Heart of the Hills in 2014, and will be senior lifeguard this year.

China Burke – Assistant Coach

China Burke has enjoyed competitive swimming for over 13 years. She has swam for BBD, BBA, LL, Troy High, and Beachwood. She has appreciated her time on the blocks, but is now excited to share what she has learned with the swimmers at Heart of the Hills Swim Club. She is keen about teaching correct technique and formation of the strokes, but most importantly she encourages the swimmers to have fun and enjoy their time swimming, because it goes by faster than you would think. China is an honors student at The University of Tampa, studying International Business Management. In her free time, she teaches cycling classes at her Universities’ Fitness Center. If you have any questions for Coach China or are interested in private lessons, feel free to contact her at or 248-404-0080.

2015 A FINALS.. Braveheart!
Opening cheer for home meets.
Water Cheer!
The reward for WINNING a Dual Meet? PUSH IN THE COACHES!
Victory with the Coaches
2015 HHSC Coaches
2016 Seniors
2016 Coaches