Website Manager

Gig Harbor Canoe &

Kayak Racing Team

Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team

Meet the Coaching Staff

Alan Anderson - Master Coach / Founder
Level 3 ICF Certified 


From a young age, Alan has always been a dreamer, adventurer, man of grit. He has two adult children, a denture business in the area, and a local hike that he's made to a cliffside where he and his neighbor bobcat go to clear their minds. A fun, not commonly known fact about Alan is that his record at Pizza Hut's all-you-can-eat night is 33 pieces... including crusts. He was born in Tillicum and has lived in Washington ever since but that never kept him from traveling the world.

Alan got his first kayak in 1982 which started him on a path of kayak racing. Here are some favorite memories of his:

"Sea to Summit (2 day adventure race), Vancouver, British Columbia to Whistler Mountain (1996-2002). In '96 I entered this inaugural event in B.C. with 70 other competitors, mostly local B.C. folks that wanted to enjoy a "suffer fest" in the beautiful B.C. Coastal range. By the time I finally won gold in 2001 with my teammate Mark Gosney, it was the largest race of its kind in the world... some 600 kayaks on the starting line with competitors from all over the continent! On the podium that year, I was recognized for being the first to ever sign up back in '96! The attraction for me in the years I dedicated to this event was not so much about beating others, but rather winning the more challenging internal battles that every successful athlete must wage. [Another event] was the World Masters Games - Kayak Marathon - Melbourne, Australia 2002. After 3 or 4 miles, 2 k2's had left the field behind... for seven miles the Australian team tried to shake the U.S. boat off its stern wake to no avail... finally, the U.S. boat made its move in front of a huge crowd at the 1/2 way point... for the next mile or so, the Australian's hung tough riding wake... then the U.S. boat started a series of 30 second intervals.... it took 4 of these to break the Australian's spirit. That night, Mark and I enjoyed the ceremonies with gold medals around our necks!"

Today, Alan gets loads of enjoyment watching young people grow to love the sport. He loves seeing the kids face their fears when first getting started. He loves seeing them rewarded for their hard work and passion when they stand on the podium. We know Alan as one of the best storytellers of his time. He inspires people. He challenges people. He creates opportunities that no one else would have dreamed of. He started GHCKRT with nothing and has gained the love and respect of hundreds of athletes, coaches, and parents across the paddling world. Words can not come close to capturing the character of this man.

Alyson Mrozinski - Head Coach
Level 3 ICF Certified 


Alyson grew up locally in Gig Harbor with a family of 3 brothers and a sister. She showed horses in 4-H from 3rd grade until mid high school when she chose to focus on competing in sprint kayaking for GHCKRT after already paddling for 3 years. The sport led her all around the country and world for competition and became her passion very quickly. 

Mainly due to the incredible influence of Coach Alan and Jon on her life, she chose to pursue the same career as a coach. "My character was so shaped by Alan and Jon in a positive way that I wanted to gain the skills and knowledge to be able to do that for future generations." She had dreams of racing at the highest point possible so she moved to Oklahoma City to help coach the local kayak team there and train with the fastest women in the country after graduating high school in 2014. Shortly after moving to Oklahoma City, the university cut programming of the sport resulting in Alyson finishing her time there as a rower in order to help her obtain her Human Performance degree. 

Since the fall of 2018 she has moved back to Gig Harbor to coach this team. She loves people sincerely. The best way she does so is by building them up and challenging them to grow to be more than just great athletes, but to be people with strong character withstanding what life throws at them. 

Sadie Hanks - Team Manager & Head Development Team Coach
Level 3 ICF Certified 


Sadie has given a lot of her time to GHCKRT. From the time she was two years old, she was paddling in kayaks but joined the team as a canoer in the year 2012. In 2018 she began coaching as an intern, developing in her leadership to become the Development Team Coach and coach for groups 2 and 3. 

Sadie is known for the joy that she brings to any situation. It could be pouring rain in 35 degrees and you will see the kids with high energy ready to work hard because of Coach Sadie's inspiration. She has a gift for serving young athletes by being personable, encouraging, and skilled in her craft.

When she is not coaching she is studying for her Associate's Degree, spending time with her cat, watering her plants, planning her next backpacking adventure, or helping out friends and family with genuine care. Sadie is multi-talented and has blessed this team with her presence and work ethic. 

Tod Cole - Head Masters Coach, Group 2 and 3 Coach
Level 3 ICF Certified 

Coach Tod got involved in the paddling world in Gig Harbor 2014. He is the owner of Recluse Leather works & inventor with a U.S. Patent as a lifetime carpenter. It's easy to say he enjoys building things. Tod volunteers with Pierce County Search & Rescue 4x4 Unit. He loves hiking in the mountains, photography, or pedaling a bicycle. Something that not many people know about Tod is that he holds the Bonneville Salt Flats Motorcycle Land Speed Record holder: AMA 650-APS BG @ 162.47 mph.

Tod has an eye for coaching by observing the little things. His goals are to continue learning & helping others learn how to meet their goals as they enjoy the sport. Currently he heads up the Masters Team of adults on GHCKRT. Everyone he coaches can agree that he does everything he does with a spirit of excellence.

Dimitri Melynk - Assistant Coach Groups 1, 2 & 3
Level 3 ICF Certified 


Born and raised in Hawaii Dimitri was drawn to the water at a young age. Unless he was forced to do otherwise, he was found swimming, surfing, fishing, or skin diving. Through the years his love for the water grew into becoming a deep-sea fisherman, certified rescue diver , life Guard, an all-around waterman. In traditional Hawaiian style, he also paddled outrigger canoe and found a new passion for a team sport that can never be matched.

In 2013 he moved to Gig Harbor where he met his wife and started a new job. He left his career as a senior project engineer in construction and began a new career in the fitness community as a barbell coach specializing in rehab and strength and conditioning. He developed a lot of knowledge through his own fitness journey of weighing over 430 pounds and rehabbing back and knee injuries. He soon realized he  found his calling.

But something was missing and he never could really figure it out...

In January 2022 he started working with lots of athletes from GHCKRT, helping the team develop a strength program geared for their specific sport. Through several months of working with "some of the greatest well-minded kids I have ever been exposed to" he transitioned into a more integral role. Dimitri soon found himself hired as a paddling coach.

If you ask Dimitri, he will tell you that "The passion Alan has for this team and for the work that the team does is infectious, and I felt empowered to want to help the team as much as possible." He would also tell you that, "Through this relationship I have been able to be out on the water, reignite my passion for the ocean, and also step back into an outrigger canoe for the first time in 10 years. Since that started I haven't looked back and I haven't stopped smiling. I now have the opportunity to be with these kids and help them from the dock all the way to the lifting platform."

Scott Puckett- Assistant Coach

Introducing Scott Puckett, our newest coach for the team! Scott paddled on the team from 4th grade through high school. He has a wealth of paddling experience, including several national championships. He has also been coaching the team off and on for the past 10 years, assisting past head coaches, and even serving as interim head coach. Scott is passionate about coaching and loves working with both new and experienced team members. In addition to coaching and paddling, Scott works as a Software Engineer and has a beautiful wife and young daughter. He is excited to get to know the team and is open to meeting and getting to know everyone.

Peyton Kusche - Assistant Coach Groups 2 & 3

Peyton first joined the team as an athlete training in the kayak. He started later in age yet developed his skills quickly enough to eventually become one of the top kayak males on the team in his last year as a senior in  high school. He was able to represent our country and race internationally at Olympic Hopes Regatta and Junior World Championships.

Since graduating, Peyton has finished Navy boot camp and is training hard for upcoming physical tests. He hopes to be a medic out on the field before becoming a nurse. Until then we get to have some fun with him coaching, paddling, and working on boats!

Andy Michels - Outrigger Coach



Andy comes to GHKCRT with twenty years' experience racing outrigger canoes.  His experience includes recreational kayak, dragon boat, and outrigger paddling.  He has raced in Canada, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand.  He recently served as a coach for the Kikaha O Ke Kai Outrigger Canoe Club in Tacoma. Andy is the founder of the Wollochet Bay Outrigger Canoe Club and is President of the twenty three member clubs of the Pacific Northwest Outrigger Racing Canoe Association. He has three grandsons who will soon reach paddling age.  

Jonathan Sousley - Coach Emeritas


Jonathan Sousley is another legend alongside Alan Anderson in the history of GHCKRT. Formerly the strength and canoe coach for the team back in the beginning days of GHCKRT, many of the current coaches were under his leadership when they were athletes on the team. He and his wife currently live in San Diego, and enjoy sunny skies, as well as being close to his two children (also former team members). He's coached many people whether it was water related, soccer, or life in general. He loves adventure and being healthy and active. 

Jon loves people so well by the way he meets them where they are at and gives them the stepping stones to move toward better things. He is an inspiration, encouraging, persevering, faithful, and fun. It was a difficult time to see him move from Gig Harbor, but we enjoy when he makes visits back and yet again pours into the newest generation of paddlers in the Harbor. 


Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team
PO BOX 1097 
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

Phone: 253-444-2578
Email: [email protected]
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