Coaches BISC
Monique Shelton

Head Coach — 

Monique was born in Long Beach, California, and is a level 5 Coach. She brings 40+ years of experience competing and coaching at the highest levels. Monique joined her first swim team at the age of 3, at nationally known Phillips 66, and has loved the water ever since. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education and is a published research author in swimming. Coach Monique began coaching professionally right out of college at Northeast Missouri State University, an NCAA Division II program (now named Truman State University), where she was able to do research in addition to her coaching responsibilities. Desiring to move west after four years, she began teaching middle school and club coaching. She grew a small local team called Streamline Aquatics (1991-1998) from 60 to 150 swimmers. She produced multiple Jr. National Qualifiers, National Qualifiers, and an Olympic Trials Qualifier. She was named Age Group Coach of The Year for Southern California Swimming – Eastern Section during her time at Streamline.

Coach Monique took a hiatus from the swimming world to pursue other passions — fire service, home renovations, and entrepreneurship — but soon found herself back on deck. She coached the top Age Groupers and was Strength Coach /National Team Assistant to Dave Kelshiemer, a 2016 & 2020 USA Olympic Team Coach. She assisted her team in developing several nationally ranked athletes, National Team members, and National junior team members, including Olympian Jordan Wilimovsky -1500M and Open Water 10K Olympic Team member 2016/2020. Monique then left to take on the Head Coaching responsibilities at Beach Cities Swimming, where she worked from 2013-2023.

Monique has been involved in the governance of the sport all along the way. Under her watchful eye, she has coached over 75 Sectional qualifiers, 39 Futures qualifiers, 26 Junior National qualifiers, 11 US Open qualifiers, 8 National qualifiers, 1 Para Olympic Trials qualifier, 3 Olympic Trials qualifiers, a 3-time Jr National Champion & National Jr Team Member. She is on the National Team Coaches’ List. Philosophically, Coach Monique believes, “It is pretty simple: I believe in ‘physical literacy’ on land and in the water. I believe in quality over quantity. High-quality work will win out over talent every time.”

“I am honored and excited to join Bainbridge Island Swim Club and its rich history of success. I look forward to working with our athletes, families, and the Parks and Recreation Department staff to lead this team to be the best it can be. Let’s go BISC!”

Leilani Tonsmann (Age Group Coach of the Year 2019)

Lead Age Group Coach —
Leilani currently assists with our intermediate groups. Teaching children in and out of the pool is her passion. Along with coaching BISC swimmers (2009), she also works as a parks department swim instructor. She holds a BA in Education from Arizona State, where she swam competitively from 1984-87. After graduating, she taught elementary school for eight years and concurrently obtained her MA in Education from CWU. She has previously coached summer league swimmers in Arizona and Washington and has brought her ASCA Level 2 status as a coach. She is available for private lesson instruction through the Aquatic Center Parks program.

Katherine Fort

Age Group Assistant
Katherine is originally from Seattle and grew up swimming for Wedgwood Swim Club, Swim Seattle, and Roosevelt High School. She attended Scripps College in Claremont, CA, where she swam for CMS (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps). She has coached summer league, high school, and club teams have recently been back in the water, swimming with Bainbridge Aquatic Master’s (BAM). She is a licensed mental health counselor and counseling professor at Antioch University Seattle. She loves to help people of all ages connect to their authentic selves, build positive support communities, and harness inner strength and resilience, especially through swimming! She lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband and two boys, Jonathan and Lukas.