Felipe Delgado is a two-time Olympian (1996 & 2000). Felipe started his career by swimming for the South Gate Gators before moving to Orange County. Felipe competed at Mission Viejo High School where he set numerous high school records. He went on to compete at Arizona State University where he graduated with a Marketing Degree. Felipe graduated as a member of the dean's list and was recognized as a scholar-athlete. While at Arizona State, he was a fifteen time All-American, and qualified for finals multiple times at the NCAA Divison I Championships. He was the bronze medalist at the 1996 NCAA Championships (50-yard freestyle) and went on to help set multiple team records in the relay events, while posting Top 10 all-time swims in individual events. Felipe was a Pac-10 Champion and US Open bronze medalist (50-meter freestyle). Felipe finished his career swimming for Mike Bottom and The World Sprint Team.
Felipe is married to Megan Delgado, and has three daughters and one son—Anicka and Valentina, who both currently swim for the Gators Swim Club, Francesca and Luca, both in learn-to-swim lessons at Evolution Swim Academy.
Site Director / Head Coach
is the Site Director at Ladera Ranch. He comes to the pool
deck with a myriad of experiences with children, as well as
competitive swimming. He has 15 years of experience as a classroom
teacher, working with grades K through 6 and spent 10 years as an
age-group swimmer, and finally coach. Evan began his swimming
career late in life at the older age-group level, he swam for
his high school team in Ohio and then went on to The Ohio State
University where he walked on as a sophomore and earning varsity
status by his senior year. In that same year, Evan represented the
United States in international competition as a member of the U.S.
Maccabi Team competing in Sydney, Australia where he won 3 gold
medals (one individual and 2 relay). Evan has coached for
nearly 20 years at the age-group level and one year at the
collegiate level. He holds a Bachelors of Science from The
Ohio State University and a Masters of Science Education from
Northern Illinois University. He has been married to his wife
Tracey for 23 years and they have two boys Eric and Ryan. Eric has
represented the Gators Swim Club since his Junior Year of High
School and will again be swimming this fall at the University of
Redlands as a junior.
Alicia R Thornton
Alicia Thornton graduated as valedictorian of Aliso Niguel High School, where she was also CIF champion in several events. She was an accomplished age-group and high school swimmer in Southern California, achieving Junior and Senior National Time Standards in multiple events. Alicia swam for the University of Southern California, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health. She also worked for USC as a nutritionist in childhood obesity research and prevention.
Jeff F Natalizio
Head Senior Coach
did his college swimming at UC Berkeley, and credits much of his
coaching style to having trained with some of the sport’s
greatest coaches- Nort Thornton, Mike Bottom, Dave Salo, and Dave
Durden. Jeff is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
(CSCS) and, as a strength coach, was instrumental in Anthony
Ervin’s achieving a record-setting gold medal in the 50
freestyle at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Before joining Gators, Jeff
spent a year coaching in Serbia, working with some of that
country’s top swimmers. Jeff has been coaching with Gators
since April, 2015, and many of his swimmers have gone on to swim in
college at various levels. Jeff brings a level of technical and
physiological understanding to his workouts, and his passion for
the sport of swimming is palpable and infectious. In his own
swimming, Jeff is a multiple US Masters national record holder. You
can learn a little more about Coach Jeff at www.ziofitelite.com
Kathi Kopp was an age-group, high school, and varsity swimmer. She also swam and played water polo at CSU, Chico. Living in Germany for 25 years, Kathi swam in a Masters Program for SV Goeppingen, and SB Goeppingen before retiring and beginning her coaching career. She has been coaching in Ladera Ranch since 2005 with the Ladera Liquids, which is now the Gators Swim Club. Kathi is always continuing her professional development and is a Level 3 ASCA coach. During the day, Kathi is an elementary school teacher.
Kim S Thornton
Kim Thornton As a child, Kim suffered from asthma which severely limited her physical activities until she learned to swim. Her doctor suggested that swimming might help develop her lung capacity. At the age of 7, her swimming career began. Kim took to the water like a fish and joined the local swim team, City of Commerce, in Southern California. She achieved National Ranking by the age of 10 and set several National Age Group records in breaststroke and individual medley events. At the age of 12, Kim qualified for Senior Nationals in the 400 IM and by 16 headed for the Olympic Trials in 4 events, 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 and 400 IM. However, she fell short of her goal of the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Kim hung up her cap and goggles and retired from swimming for nearly 40 years until she joined Masters Swimming in 2005. With the great support from her teammates and coaches, her love for swimming was quickly rejuvenated. Once again, swimming became her focus and zest for life. Now as a coach for Gators Swim Club, Kim’s goal is to help her swimmers be successful in the water. Her main emphasis is to motivate each one to achieve their own personal goals in swimming and to enjoy the sport.
Jason grew up in Irvine, California as a
well-rounded athlete. He began swimming at the age of five, played
on the high school basketball team and become an All-American in
water-polo. He is considered one of the most athletic and energetic
personalities in the sport of swimming. Practically unknown in the
swimming world before 1998, Jason lit up the U.S. National
Championships that year winning his first national title in the
100m freestyle, and that was only the beginning. He went on to win
a gold and silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games, and in 2002, he
dominated all opponents becoming the number one ranked swimming
sprinter in the world. At the 2004 Olympic Games, Jason took home a
bronze medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay and the gold in a
world-record-breaking swim in the 4x100m medley
relay. In 2008, Jason qualified for the Beijing Olympic
Games in the 100m freestyle, the 4x100m free relay, and the 4x100m
medley relay. At 32, the oldest man on the U.S. swim team and
tri-captain, Jason anchored the U.S. men's 4x100 freestyle relay
team to a come-from-behind victory, stealing the gold from the
French. You can expect to see his leg of the race, the fastest 100m
relay split in history (46.06), for decades to come in sports
highlights. After many years of placing 4th and 5th in his
individual swims, Jason persevered and achieved his 1st individual
medal earning the bronze in the 100 freestyle. He also dominated
the last leg of the 4x100m medley relay, winning the gold and
securing Michael Phelps' record-setting 8th gold medal. Jason
qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games as a part of the 4x100m
freestyle relay and helped bring home a silver for the United
States in that event. In 2009 Jason represented the U.S. in
Israel at the Maccabiah games. It was a tough decision to make
having to pass on the World Championships but this was more than
just another swim competition. During this trip Jason got the
opportunity to see many of the sites he learned about as a kid as
well as compete against the best Jewish athletes around the world.
Winning 4 gold medals was only part of the experience. During his
time there he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports
Hall of Fame, lit the flame at opening ceremonies, met with the
Israeli President, and much more. As a proud husband and
father, highly respected athlete and Olympic gold medalist, Jason
has become an inspiration to a wide variety of audiences. He
successfully balances his family life with motivating others and
sharing his stories.
combined her skills in business and talent as an athlete to build a
career helping other athletes reach their greatest
Bee started coaching multi-sport athletes in 2002 when she joined
The/Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT).
She has been helped many athletes achieve some very impressive
For years Bee coached swimming at Irvine
were she trained and developed kids in the 8 and under division.
While there, she studied under Dave
, Head Coach of Nova and the USA Olympic Coach in 2000 & 2004,
where she learned that every workout must have a purpose and that
in order to get results, you don’t need to do excessive
Currently she is the owner of Capo Masters swim club in San Juan
Capistrano which consists of a group of mainly triathletes of all
different levels training year round for upcoming races. She also
Head Age Group coach for
swim club for the 12 and under groups and Assistant
Coach at J Serra Catholic School.
In addition to her BA in International Business from California
State University, Fullerton, Bee has several certifications
including ASCA (The American Swimming Coaches Association) Level
One Coach, CPR, Water Safety, and Spinning Instructor by Johnny
Bee was coached by Joe Friel associate, Gordo
, for 3 years. As a pupil of Mr.
, Bee learned that through hard work, persistence and a progressive
approach to training, breakthroughs in performance are inevitable.
Her Ironman race results prove that with the right plan and
attitude anyone can achieve their
Bee’s athletic career began at St. Elizabeth High School in
Wilmington, Delaware where she built a reputation as a star
volleyball player. She was named to the All-Catholic and All-State
teams and she was selected MVP in both her junior and senior years.
She went on to play volleyball for Wilmington College where she was
also named MVP her sophomore, junior and senior years and to the
All-American team her senior year.
Bee’s running career started in 1991. She has competed in
countless 10k races, ½ marathons and marathons, including
the Boston Marathon in 1999. She completed a few sprint triathlons
in 1990 & 1991 and got back into racing in 1999 when she signed
up for the
½ Ironman. She was hooked./ After 15
and knee injury Bee started competing in cycling where she raced
Semi-Pro for La Grange’s Elite Women’s Team. She has
won State Championship cycling titles in 2008, 2009, 2012 &
2013 and finished in the Top 10 numerous times at local Pro
She has now transitioned into Mountain biking and is