Galen Matthew Diaz
Head Coach, Senior Swim Coach
Coach Galen has been
involved in aquatics for most of his life, beginning as an age
group swimmer and a water polo player for several local clubs.
Growing up in Yorba Linda, Galen attended Esperanza High School and
played water polo and swam for the Aztecs all four years. Galen
attended California State University at Fullerton where he played
water polo and eventually graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in
Galen joined the
Esperanza aquatics coaching staff in 1987 and worked as an
assistant coach under his mentor, Doug Kimberly, for several years
winning California Interscholastic Federation championships in 1992
and 1994. In 1996 Galen took over the head coaching position and
continued in the tradition of excellence at Esperanza by returning
to the CIF finals in 2001 and winning the title in 2003. Galen has
been honored as the CIF Coach of the Year on two occasions, Orange
County Coach of the Year, and several top 10 finishes in CIF
Division 1 swimming.
Galen was also asked to
lead and organize the SOPAC regional development camps for United
States Water Polo, during his tenure at Esperanza. Many of the
athletes involved in those development camps went on to play at the
major college level and the Olympic Games.
Galen has been married to
his beautiful wife Beth for over 25 years and is the proud father
of both his daughters, Jessica and Ashley who swam and played water
polo together at Long Beach City College. Ashley now coaches
alongside Galen at Esperanza HS and Jessica works with Student
Athletes in Character Development at Baylor University. Galen
intends to carry on his philosophy of hard work, quality character,
and team work to the EAST program and is excited for the future of
our program and community.
Ashley Kaye Haney
Director of Operations
Ashley has been involved with swimming and water polo since she
attended her dad's CIF water polo game at 2 days old. She
grew up primarily playing Soccer while playing Water Polo and
Swimming in the off-season. When entering high school, she
chose to focus on Water Polo and Swimming. She played water
polo and swam at the varsity level for 4 years at Esperanza High
School earning Most Valuable Player and 1st Team all League
Honors. As a sophomore, with her sister Jessica as a Junior,
they were part of a team that reached CIF Division 1 playoffs for
the first time in 6 years. She attended Long Beach City
College and was named the Team Captain and earned All-Conference
and All American honors as a Redshirt Freshman in her first
year. She was brought on to coach the Esperanza High School
Frosh/Soph Girls Water Polo team along-side her sister and they
successfully coached the girls to their second league championship
in a row. Ashley was then granted early acceptance to Cal
State Fullerton as a Business Finance Major and attended both
Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach City College in the fall so she
could play water polo one more year. She and her team were
able to win their conference and proceed to the regional
Shortly after graduating with her Business Finance degree,
Ashley was hired as the Esperanza Women's Head Water Polo coach in
Annette Spicer Nielsen
Gold Swim Coach
Annette Spicer Nielsen grew up as one of the youngest of seven children in an aquatic swim/water polo family. She began swimming at the age of 4 years, where her parents Donald and Anna Spicer helped in begin the Fullerton Aquatics Swim Team (FAST). After 14 years of club swimming, becoming an All American Distance High School swimmer, winning 3 consecutive CIF titles, Annette went on to receive a full scholarship to the University of Arizona.
Upon finding out her father was ill, she came home enrolled and competed at Fullerton College from 1987-1990. While attending Fullerton College she went on to win the State Championships in the 200 and 500 free events. In 2010, Annette was inducted to the Fullerton College Sports Hall of Fame. And to this day still holds team records.
From 1989 to 2013, Annette was the Head Age Group coach of FAST. There she developed and guided many swimmers to the Jr. Olympics, Jr. National, Sr. National and Olympic Trials.
Annette believes that technique and the focus on middle distance swimming will make a swimmer well rounded, with the opportunity to perform and excel in the events they love, whether it being distance or sprint swimming. She attributes a lot of her achievements and her love of coaching to her mentor, the late Kevin Perry, FAST coach 1991-2008 (coach/mentor of Olympic 2012 Gold Medalist, Tyler Clary).
Annette's biggest supporters are her husband Kory and 2 beautiful girls Nicolette and Paige. She is so happy to be a part of the EAST family values and the philosophies in which the team stands for.
Kyle M Cabotaje
Junior/Bronze Swim Coach
Kyle has been part of the EAST family since the day the
team began, first as a swimmer and now a part of the coaching
staff. He began coaching in 2017 as the Pre-Team coach and is
now currently the Junior and Bronze coach. Kyle was a club
swimmer for 13 years, being a Junior Olympic swimmer for 10 of
those years. He graduated from Esperanza High School where he
was a Varsity swimmer, scholar athlete and Aztec Award
winner in 2018. Kyle is currently attending Cypress
College where he is majoring In Kinesiology/Sports Psychology. He
will also be part of the Cypress Charger Swim Team. Kyle
hopes to pass on his enthusiasm and love for swimming and to
encourage a strong work ethic and a never ever give up attitude to
his swimmers so they can enjoy swimming as much as he has.