All Aquazot Swim Club coaches are USA Swimming certified with extensive backgrounds in athletic education. They are specially trained to develop each swimmer's aquatic skills at the rate appropriate for each individual.

Coaching Staff

Brian L Pajer

Head Coach - Azot 3 Irvine


Azot 3 group

Brian Pajer founded the Aquazot Swim Club in 1999.  In the first year, Brian’s leadership and coaching led the Aquazot team to win the SCS Junior Olympic Championships and placed among the elite teams at the US Nationals. Over the past 19 years, Brian has coached Aquazot swimmers who have represented the USA at the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan Pacific Championships, & Pan American Games.  Aquazot has been named a USA Swimming 'Gold Medal Club' 5 out of the last 7 years.

Coaching Accomplishments:

·   2x U.S. Open Women’s Club Champions 

·   2x USA Swimming State Club Champions

·   5x USA Swimming Gold Medal Team Recognition

·   6x USA Swimming Sectional State Club Champions 

·   Three USA National Championship Individual Event Champions

·   2009 World University Games – One athlete

·   2009 USA World Championship Team – One athlete

·   2007 Pan American Games – Two athletes

·   2004 Olympic Games – Two athletes

·   2003-2009 Head Coach of the UC Irvine Men and Women’s Swim Team

·   2005 & 2007 Big West Conference- Coach of the year

·   2007 Big West Conference - Men’s Champions

·   2005 Big West Conference - Women’s Champions


Todd J Hickman

Coach - Senior 4 Irvine


Todd Hickman started competitive swimming at the age of 5. He was a well rounded swimmer holding records in Orange County in fly, free, and IM’s. At age 14 he broke the National Record in the 500 free and was first in the nation that year in 9 events. He won CIF in the 200 IM his senior year and was first in the nation in High School. He received a full ride scholarship to the University of Arizona and was an NCAA All American in 1987. After college he competed in his 3rd and final Olympic Trials in 1992 and was 9th in the 200 IM.

Since then, he was the athlete rep for Southern California Swimming for the National Convention; where he held positions in the Club Development Committee, Time Standards Committee, Officials Committee, and Athlete Accountant. 

Coach Todd’s everlasting devotion is that his swimmers realize and achieve whatever particular goals they set for themselves; and they find personal success and satisfaction in knowing they made the effort to do the best of which they are capable according to their own level of competency.


  • Helped make AZOT a USA Swimming Gold Medal team for 5 years 2013 to 2017.
  • 2017/2018 National Junior Team Coaches List
  • Qualified 1 swimmer for 2012 US Olympic Trials
  • Qualified 3 swimmers for 2016 US Olympic Trials
  • Coached National Age Group Record holder
  • Coached 3 relay teams to National Age Group Records
  • Coached 5 relays and 7 Individuals to Southern California Records
  • 3 Swimmers at National Select Camp
  • 1 Swimmer at National Diversity Camp


  • Olympic Trials qualified & finished top 16 3 times 1984, 1988, 1992
  • USA Nationals Qualified 9 years best finish 4th place 400 IM
  • Full Scholarship University of Arizona 1984 -1988
  • NCAA All American 1987
  • USA Junior National Team 1984-1985
  • Ranked top 15 in the USA and top 25 in the world 1984-1988 and 1991-1992
  • Age Group National Record Holder 13/14 boys 500 free
  • Member US National Lifeguard Team 1990
  • High School Swimming 1st in Nation 200 IM 1984
  • Athletes Rep. Southern California USA Swimming 3 years 1996 to 1998


Vanessa Manalastas

Coach - Azot 2 Irvine


An Aquazot Alumna, Coach Vanessa has been active in the sport of swimming since she was a child starting out as an age group swimmer for Head Coach Brian Pajer.  After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, she returned to the pool and earned an Infant Toddler Instructor Education Program certificate from the United States Swim School Association.  She transitioned back into age group swimming and was recruited to join the Aquazot Coaching staff in 2013.  In 2017 Vanessa joined the JSerra High School coaching staff where she currently leads the freshman/sophomore swim program. 

Combining the knowledge she obtained through the certification program, her years as an age group swimmer and high school coach, Vanessa delivers effective instruction and training to children with a wide range of personalities and learning styles.  This is reflected in her ability to help most of her AZOT 2 swimmers achieve Blue, WAG, JAG and JO times. 

In her free time Vanessa enjoys swimming, surfing, and spending time with her husband and friends.

Rian Wise

Head Developmental Coach - Zot 1,2,3