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Coaches & Directors

 

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

Dave C Salo

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Head Coach Emeritus Executive Consultant

David Salo served as the Novaquatics Head Coach from the fall of 1990 until May of 2006 when he assumed the General Manager position. Dave began his coaching career at the University of Southern California where he served as Assistant Men’s Coach under legendary Head Coach, Peter Daland. Dave rejoined the USC Trojan’s as the Head Coach of the Women and Men’s collegiate team in May of 2006. Dave replaced Mark Shubert, former Olympic Head Coach and now National Team Head Coach and General Manager of USA Swimming.

Salo served as assistant coach for the USA Women’s team in the 1999 Pan American Games as well as the 2000 Olympic Games and was appointed by USA Swimming to Head the Men’s Team at the Goodwill Games in 2001.

Salo is a graduate of Long Beach State (B.A. and M.A.) and the University of Southern California (Ph.D.)

Adam D Crossen

Associate Head Coach

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Senior Gold II

Soka University, Aliso Viejo

Since 1995, Adam Crossen’s experience includes working with Olympic Coaches Mark Schubert, Dave Marsh, Teri McKeever and most recently Dave Salo. Crossen swam for the Hall of Fame legend, Mark Schubert, at the University of Southern California, then followed that up with a stint at Auburn University, working with perennial Coach of the year Dave Marsh, while completing his Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. Crossen later went on to serve as Assistant Coach at Cal Berkeley under ASCA Coach of the Year, Teri McKeever, where he saw the rise of USA Swimming phenomenon, Natalie Coughlin. During the year of 2006 at the University of Southern California, Crossen served as Coach Salo’s right hand man, responsible for NCAA Compliance, recruiting coordination, strength an conditioning programming and on-deck coaching. USC came away from Salo’s first season with three individual NCAA Championships (Rebecca Soni - 200 breaststroke; Larsen Jensen - 500 & 1650 freestyle). Prior to USC, Crossen spent 3 years assisting Coach Salo with the Irvine Novaquatics and Soka University and was integral in working with a team that saw 25 athletes compete at the 2004 Olympic Trials, while placing 4 members on the USA Olympic Team. Crossen was also instrumental in helping Salo inaugurate the Soka University Varsity Swimming Team. Coach Crossen brings energy and leadership which will be instrumental in the further development and continued growth of the Novaquatics.

Ken M LaMont

Associate Head Coach

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Senior Gold

Northwood High School, Irvine

Ken was born and raised in Southern California to an already involved swimming family. When he was old enough to walk he was old enough to swim and joined his father’s swim team in El Monte.

By the early 1980’s, Ken’s team moved to the San Gabriel Valley where Ken continued his club swimming career. During those years Ken began coaching at a local country club during the summers. It was also during these years that Ken participated in a sectional All-Star meet where he met for the first time a young Dave Salo. Soon after, Ken began college at USC where he once again met up with Coach Salo, who was hired on as an assistant coach during Ken’s years there.

He continued to swim into his junior year when the decision was made to retire as an athlete and concentrate on graduation. He continued to coach during the summers and upon graduation accepted a sales job with a major food cooperation. It was also during this time, after establishing a lasting relationship with Coach Salo in college, that Ken sought a position with the new head coach of the Irvine Novaquatics. With the growing success of the program Ken left his corporate world to focus full time on his coaching career. He has helped in the achievement of many regional championships and enjoys the direction of the program. He continues to focus full time on his coaching while also accepting a coaching job with a near by high school.

Nathan R Wilcox

Site Head Coach

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Senior Gold

Los Cab, Fountain Valley

 

Coach Nathan previously swam at Irvine Novaquatics under the direction of Coach Dave Salo and Coach Ken Lamont. He is excited to return to Irvine Novaquatics after coaching another prominent team in Southern California Swimming for nearly seven years. Coach Nathan grew his previous club from a small team of 140 swimmers to over 400 swimmers. During his time with his previous team, his Senior Elite Group produced multiple Junior and Senior National swimmers along with multiple swimmers who finished in the top 20 at Junior Nationals. In addition to his swimmers’ successes, Coach Nathan’s team was awarded Bronze Medal status from USA Swimming. Coach Nathan’s team finished consistently in the top 3 at Sectional Championships Medium Team Division. Coach Nathan’s team finished first at the 2016 Winter Sectional Championship Medium Team Division and a top 8 women’s finish at the 2016 USA Swimming Future Championships.

Upon his return to Nova, Coach Nathan originally worked as the Senior Gold 2 Assistant Coach under Coach Adam Crossen and Coach Ken Lamont. Coach Nathan primarily worked with the Soka Senior Gold 2 Group and Coach Adam Crossen. Nathan is excited for the opportunity to lead the Los Cab program. Over the past several seasons at Los Cab, Coach Nathan has had swimmers achieve Junior National, Senior National and Olympic Trials cuts.  In addition to his swimming roles, Coach Nathan has served as the Coaches’ Representative for the Southern California Swimming Board of Directors and is currently Chair of the Orange Committee. Coach Nathan attended California Baptist University where he studied Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. Coach Nathan is proud to be an Irvine Nova Alumni and CBU Alumni.

Rod J Hansen

Associate Head Age Group Coach

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Age-Group Gold

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Rod Hansen, started with Nova as the 8 & under coach in 1994. His current position with our team as Associate Head Age Group Coach, training our 9-14 year old swimmers.

Coach Rod's coaching philosophy is to create a fun environment where every swimmer enjoys their time with NOVA.  Along the way he has been fortunate to coach several SCS and National Age Group record holders.  He is always looking for ways to get kids to swim faster.  

Proud Alumni of SDSU.

Andi Kawamoto-Klatt

Associate Head Age Group Coach

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Senior Gold, Age Group Gold, Senior Silver, and Age Group Silver

Soka University, Aliso Viejo

Andi has been on the coaching staff of the Irvine Novaquatics since 1990 and is currently the Associate Head Age Group Coach.

Andi’s background stems from the study of psychology, for which she has a Bachelor’s (UC Irvine) and a Master’s (Pepperdine). She has worked as a Child Development Instructor for the Irvine Unified School District (6 years), spent 4 years working with the Neuropsychological Concussion testing team for the Mighty Ducks Hockey team and has been a certified Pilates instructor since 2001 (Body Arts and Science International)
   

Joanna D Mykkanen

Developmental Coach

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Developmental

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Joanna grew up in Northen California where she swam competitively for 10 years. She has 8 years of head coaching experience and 15 years experience as a swim instructor.  Joanna is a current NOVA masters swimmer and the mother of three NOVA age group swimmers. Her family has roots with NOVA back to the team inception in 1979.

Coach Joanna graduated from UC Berkeley in 1988 with a B.A. degree.

Drew J Crowell

Assistant Coach

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Senior Silver and Developmental

Soka University, Aliso Viejo

Drew Crowell was born in southern California.  He grew up in Orange County until high school, when his family moved to Overland Park Kansas.  It was at Blue Valley Northwest High School that Drew started swimming.  After high School, Drew attended Orange Coast College (OCC) to once again enjoy the California lifestyle. 
In his first swim season at OCC, Drew swam for Coach Dave Salo.  Shortly after, Drew joined the Nova family in 2004 by taking a position at Los Cab in the pre competitive program.  In 2005, Drew started coaching at Woollett working with the bronze group.   After swimming two years at OCC, Drew transferred to California State University, Fullerton. Once he transferred, Drew became an assistant coach at OCC and helped the men’s and women’s teams capture the state title in 2006.  In 2008, Drew earned his B.A. in History while coaching the silver groups at Woollett.  Later that year, Drew took an assistant position at Soka University of America under Coach Adam Crossen.       
Currently Drew coaches the Senior 1 and Varsity groups at Soka and is an assistant coach for the Soka University swim team. 

Geza Futo Tendai

Assistant Coach

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Senior Bronze and Age Group Bronze

Los Cab, Fountain Valley

Currently enrolled at Cal State Fullerton, with a major in Kinesiology.
In his free time Geza is an avid mountain biker.

Kevin A Little

Assistant Coach

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Age Group Silver

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Kevin grew up in Irvine, California and started swimming for NOVA when he was 6 years old. After graduating from Woodbridge High School in 2007 he went on to compete for the University of Southern California all four years, graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Communication in 2011. During his swim career Kevin competed at the Junior Olympics, Western Zones, Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals, and Pac-12 championships. Prior to coaching at NOVA, he coached for 3 years in the Irvine Swim League.

Gavin J Moore

Assistant Coach

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Age Group Bronze

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Gavin grew up in Irvine and swam for Novas as a kid.  He continued to swim as well as play waterpolo for four years at Woodbridge High School in the varsity group.  He began coaching for Novas in the fall of '08 in the 8 and under program, but moved over to the bronze program in the summer of '09.  He is currently a senior at Cal State Fullerton as a Business Marketing major.

Alejandro Francisco Nieto

Assistant Coach

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Senior Silver II & Senior Gold I

Northwood High School, Irvine

Alex Nieto, was born Alejandro Nieto in Nicaragua.  Immigrated here with his parents as a child to California in the 80's and was raised in Orange, California.  He attended El Modena high school in Orange and was both on the cross country and swim teams in high school.  He later enrolled into Santiago Canyon Community College and Cal State, Fullerton where he played club water polo in college and was a large part of student organizations in college.  He graduated in 2007 from CSUF with a degree in economics and a minor in business administration. 
 
Alex currently coaches swimmers from all sorts of organizations.  Other than working with the Irvine NOVA's, Alex is  head coach of the girl's and boy's swim team at Northwood High School.
 
When Alex is not on a pool deck mentoring young minds and helping create athletes, he likes to hike and spend time in the outdoors adventuring.  He has plans to some day travel the world on an extended trip just to see what it is like.  He thinks that traveling with a backpack is the way to go.  He can't wait to renew hsis passport so he can fill it back up with stickers from around the world. 

Alicia J Ruiz

Assistant Coach

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Age-Group Bronze

Soka University, Aliso Viejo

Alicia grew up swimming and competing locally in Laguna Hills, Ca. Her love for swimming helped her greatly in her true athletic ability, Waterpolo. After swimming and playing waterpolo in HS.  She attended University of the Pacific on a waterpolo scholarship. Alicia continued to swim and give back to the community, gaining experience coaching club waterpolo & swim. She has an undergraduate in Political Science and studied Early Education as well. Alicia continues to swim and plays Masters waterpolo locally. Alicia joined Nova in 2011 after working with the Nova Swim School & Star Club programs.

Quincy Kelly

Assistant coach

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Bronze Coach

Aliso Viejo, Soka University

Quincy grew up in Northern California and learn to swim before she was 2-years old.   She joined the Dolphins of Marin when she was 8, and competed until she was 17.   Upon graduating from Sir Francis Drake High School, Quincy enlisted in the US Army.   After 6-years of enlisted time, Quincy went to flight school and learned how to fly helicopters (Huey and Blackhawk).   She retired from the Army after 22-years.   In 2007, while living on a military base in Germany, Quincy’s daughter joined the swim team, and Quincy decided to volunteer to help with coaching the younger swimmers.   She continued coaching, even after a move from Germany to Hawaii.   In 2016 Quincy moved to California, and started working at SwimLabs in Lake Forest, but was later hired as a coach at Nova.

Alyssa Noelle Schrader

Assistant Coach

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Senior Silver I

Northwood High School, Irvine

Alyssa is an Orange County native and has over 9 years of competitive swimming experience and 7 years of swim coaching experience. She is currently coaching the 9/10 & 11/12 Bronze 1 groups at the Woollett site for Nova with 5 years of experience in this capacity running comprehensive practices focusing on developing the essential swim fundamentals and fostering a healthy, competitive attitude towards the sport of swim. In her free time she enjoys yoga, hiking, biking, surfing, snowboarding, and hanging out with her dachshund, Achilles. 

Chiara Faye Spinazzola

Assistant Coach

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Senior Silver I

Woollett Aquatic Center

Chiara Spinazzola grew up in Narragansett, RI where she swam for a club team out of Providence, RI and Boston, MA.  She started coaching at Irvine Novaquatics in April 2018 and currently coaches the Senior Silver Level Groups.

 

In addition to working with NOVA, Chiara has coached at San Clemente High School and a team in the Irvine Swim League.  She is also currently the Assistant Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Team at Concordia University Irvine.
 
Chiara is a graduate of Cornell University where she won an Ivy League championship and set an Ivy League record in the 100 backstroke.  Throughout her four years at Cornell, she broke three individual school records in the 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle, and was a part of four relay team school records in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and 200 and 400 medley relays.  She also served as team captain and earned the team’s MVP award during her time at Cornell.

 

In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, swimming, running, hiking, yoga, surfing, biking, and spending time with family and friends.

Lindsay Elizabeth Willmer

Assistant Coach

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Age-Group Bronze

Los Cab, Fountain Valley

 

Lindsay was born in Northern California.  She represented the USA at the World University Games in Sicily, Italy, was ranked in the top 20 in the world and was a 1996 Olympic Trial finalist in the 200M breaststroke.  She also competed for UCLA.  Through her time as a Bruin, she became a 4 year All American, 2x team captain, 2x PAC-12 champion in the 100 BR, voted 3x Most Inspirational, PAC-12 record holder in the 100 BR, and broke 6 UCLA records (one of which she held for 22 years).  Before UCLA, Lindsay swam with The Woodlands club team in Texas and was a 2x Junior National champion in the 100 BR.  She won CIF for the California North Coast division as a sophomore.  Lindsay has a unique swimming story, in that she swam summer league until she was 16 years old.  

 

Lindsay has been with NOVA since 2018. More than anything, she wants her swimmers to look forward to coming to the pool every day.  She wants them to smile, work hard, be detailed swimmers, and be a part of a supportive team. The motto in her Bronze group is GOOD SWIMMERS and GOOD PEOPLE. She is wife to one and a mommy to 5. Her oldest will swims for NOVA at the Los Cab sight.  Her other four kids love to come up with relays ideas for her swimmers!  

John C Mykkanen

Assistant Coach

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Senior Gold II

Northwood High School, Irvine

John Mykkanen competed at the 1984 Olympics just after graduating from high school, and was the youngest US male swimmer that year. He was a distance freestyler. Mykkanen later attended Cal Berkeley, and then became a chiropractor in Orange County, California. 

John has been a long-time member of the Novaquatics Family, from his early days training under Flip Darr, to present as he spends his extra time away from his chiropractic career, as an assistant coach. John's wife continues to work with our Develpmental Swimmers, while his three children progress through the program.

 

Alyssa Taylor Tong

Assistant Coach

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NOVA Intro

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Amy Visarutanun

Assistant Coach

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NOVA Intro

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Steven Joseph Simpson

Assistant Coach

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Age-Group & Senior Bronze

Los Cab, Fountain Valley

Hi, I'm Steven and I've been teaching swimming for 8 years now, from Orange County to San Francisco, to Southern Oregon, all ranging from infants to teens, adults just starting out, and those with learning challenges. I was an Ocean Lifeguard for the City of Laguna Beach, and Santa Barbara. I have a Bachelor's Degree from SFSU in Art Education. I've swam all my life, including being conditioned by the NOVAquatics program. I'm certified in BLS, CPR & AED, all by the American Heart Association.

James Asturias

Assistant Coach

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Age Group Bronze

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Miranda L Krause

Assistant Coach

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Senior Bronze

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Katie Jackson

Assistant Coach

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NOVA Intro

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Katie Jackson was born and raised in Sacramento, California and began her swimming career at the age of four. She also participated in the sport of water polo all four years of high school at the varsity level. She competed at the collegiate level at Sierra College where her team won back to back conference championships, as well as a member of the first ever CCCAA State Championship title in the college's swimming history. She finished her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Sports Performance from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She has continued her education and will be finishing her Masters of Science in Coaching and Exercise Science from Concordia University Irvine, in December 2020. She has coached swimming at many different levels including: swim lessons, recreational teams, club teams, and collegiate levels. She is currently a member of the coaching staff for the Men and Women's Swimming and Diving Team for Concordia University Irvine. Coach Katie enjoys working with young athletes to inspire them to achieve their goals and share her passion for the sport. 

Tyler Lee Curry

Assistant Coach

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Age Group Bronze

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

 

Tyler began his coaching career at the age of 16 as a volunteer coach for his local summer swim league.and eventually became a Head Coach for the ISL team, Village Park Piranhas. He also helped coach swimming for the Special Olympics and had been the boy's head coach at Head Coach for Woodbridge High School from 2014-2020. He was sad to say goodbye to coaching high school, however Coach Curry is looking forward to continuing his passion for coaching swim and helping to shape these young swimmers!

Michael Collins

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Head Masters Coach

Michael Collins has been the Nova Masters Head Head Coach since November
2000. Before that he coached at UCLA for four years and the Davis
Aquatic Masters for 8 years. He has an extensive background in coaching
swimmers and triathletes of all ages and abilities.

Additionally, Collins travels around the country to coach swimming,
triathlon, and running clinics. Although his main background was in
swimming, he has taken many of the concepts used in swimming -
technique, drills, and interval training and applied them to running and
cycling as well.

Collins continues to compete in triathlons, running events, swimming
events (both in the pool and open water), and road & mountain cycling.
In triathlons he race from sprint to half Ironman distance. He often
wins his age group and finishes as one of the top overall amateurs as
well. He was the 2002 World Aquathlon amateur champion in Cancun (2.5K
Run - 1K Swim - 2.5K Run).

In addition to coaching and racing, Collins is a well known author. His
articles have appeared in SWIM magazine, Swimming Technique, TRIATHLETE
magazine, Triathlon Today, American Swimming, and many other national
publications