West Coast Aquatics Coaching Staff

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.

Coaching Staff

Danica R Burge-Garside

CEO & Head Coach


Danica Burge is a native to San José, born and raised in East San José.   She has also been a coach of several high schools within the San José area for over 10 years including Branham high school, James Lick and currently Evergreen Valley High school. She has taken many of those teams to league championships, CCS Championships, trained an athlete to a two years CCS title, and had many relays and individuals place in the top five at CCS for the past 4 years in a row. 

Coach Danica grew up as a WEST swimmer, swimming for West for over 15 years.  She is deeply routed in the succes of this team and the community.  She was a member of WEST's Senior Gold group and swam for Head Coach Paul Weiss.  She has been able to experience the success that comes with being part of a competitive USS club team, traveling to elite meets, swimming in Nationals, and later being awarded a swimming scholarship to a Division I University.  She is a graduate of San José State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Kinesiology and Masters in Education with an emphasis in Administration and Counseling. 

Ryan K Richardson

Lead Age Group Coach


Ryan has been a part of the swimming world for almost 20 years. He started swimming competitively for Sun Devil Aquatics, a year-round swim team based in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2005, he walked on to the University of Arizona Men's Swim Team and swam under one of the world's premier sprint coaches, Rick DeMont. In 2008, he anchored the 2nd Place 200 Freestyle Relay that helped the Wildcats win their first NCAA Championship. The following summer, he went on to compete at the Olympic Trials in the 50 Meter Freestyle. Ryan graduated from the University of Arizona in 2009 with a Bachelors degree in Economics.

In 2012, Ryan moved to San Jose to join the coaching staff at West Coast Aquatics. This is the first team he has coached for and continues to enjoy racing competitively in his spare time.

Michael Ricco

Swim Lesson staff member


Mike Ricco, also more readily known as “Ricco”, is working towards his Communication Studies degree and a minor in Psychology, and is the new Director of the Learn-to-Swim Program at West Coast Aquatics Swim School. He has been working in aquatics for roughly 15 years now and has been provided great opportunities working for some of the best swim schools around the bay area. Some of the organizations include a lengthy extent of employment for a couple branches in the YMCA Association where his personal growth in the aquatic field blossomed. Working for family oriented and non-profit organizations really helped shape the mentality of what a community based organization is.  Operating within the local communities and neighborhoods ensures a sustainable provision of community-service, health, personal growth, and improvement.  He has also gained a considerable amount of knowledge by working with top competitors and incredible athletes, such as Olympians, who have helped train and inspire new techniques for competition and stroke development. 

Today, swimming is such a large part of our society and a great social activity.  From attending pool parties to enjoying a sunny day at the beach, as well as exercise for many adults and children, and a healthier lifestyle barely touch the surface of what swimming brings to the table. Being a part of a world where Ricco can provide an essential skill such as swimming for many reasons such as safety factors or personal growth, has been a deeper fulfilment and greater satisfaction. It is truly rewarding to make a connection through engagement with spreading the knowledge of swimming and being able to reinforce a stronger commitment to the community and its individuals.  

Mark R De Guzman

Assistant Coach


Christa A Prior

Senior Silver, Gold and Age Group Gold


Sean Laidlaw

Swim School Principal