Stephen J Pickell
Head Coach of SOCAL Aquatics
Coach of Senior 1 Group
Steve was a two time Olympian (1976 / 1980) and won a Silver Medal For Canada in the 400 Medley Relay in the 1976 Olympics. Set two world records in the 100 SCM Backstroke and 100 SCM Butterfly in 1977. Seven time All-American, NCAA Champion and Team Captain at the University of Southern California.
Started coaching as an assistant to Hall of Fame Coach, Peter Daland, well attending graduate school at the University of Southern California. From 1999 to 2015 coached swimming and water polo at Foothill HS. In 2015 he became the Head Swim Coach at Tustin High School. Current coach member of USA Swimming and is a ASCA Level 4 Coach. Selected as a National Junior Team Coach 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
When not coaching Steve is managing the family insurance business, fishing, playing basketball and spending time with his wife, Shelley and his four sons, Blake, Nick, Paul and Cooper.
Assistant Coach of
Senior 1 & 2
A 1975 graduate of Tustin
California’s Foothill High School, Bruce is the third of four
highly successful aquatic brothers, often referred to as
“Orange County California’s First Family of
Swimming.” Older brother, Steve, a two-time swimming
Olympian (1972 Olympic Bronze Medallist and 1976 Olympic Team
Captain), and Bruce are among a rare group of siblings, in any
sport, to make the same Olympic Team. Unfortunately the
heartbreaking IOC decision to remove the 200-meter Individual
Medley from the 1976 Olympics robbed Bruce and Steve of the unique
opportunity to compete against each other in an Olympic swimming
event. However, Bruce and Steve do share the
distinction as the>. Bruce broke Steve’s 200-meter
Individual Medley World Record in August of 1975, while competing
against Steve in the U.S. Sr. National Championships in Kansas
City, KS. In that same meet, Bruce and Steve, swimming for
Long Beach Swim Club, shared the equally unique accomplishment,
(along with teammates Tim Shaw and Rex Favaro), as the
last club team to break a swimming relay World Record (4 x
200-meter freestyle relay). Earlier that same summer at the
World Championship Team Trials in Long Beach, CA, Bruce
also accomplished the rare feat of breaking the same World Record
twice in the same day (June 18, 1975) in the 200-meter
In 2016, furthering their exemplary
career as a world-class swimming duo, a panel of 20 coaches,
swimmers, administrators and media members selected Bruce, and
brother, Steve, to the Pacific 12 Conference’s All-Century
Men’s Swimming and Diving Team. Bruce and Steve were
two of ten USC Trojans receiving this illustrious honor>
Bruce was twice named World Swimmer of the
Year,>Robert J. H. Kiphuth Award as the high point winner at the
U.S. National A.A.U. Outdoor Championships. He was inducted
into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in 1984
and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in
1987. In May of 2001, Bruce was inducted into the
University of Southern California Athletic
Hall of Fame; the fourth male swimmer in the
school’s 125-year history awarded the honor. Bruce also
participated in carrying the Olympic flame as a participant of the
1984, 1996 and 2004 Olympic Torch Relays in the Los Angeles area.
It is also interesting to note that
in the midst of these extraordinary athletic accomplishments, and
throughout much of his prime swimming career, Bruce became noted
for achieving athletic success in spite of waging a quiet and very
personal battle against the crippling arthritic disease, Ankylosing
Spondylitis, an affliction from which he has suffered since the age
A licensed California Real Estate
Broker for the past 30 years, Bruce has marketed and sold over $1
Billion worth of multi-family and commercial real estate. He
is a Senior Vice President and Broker Associate with Berkadia
Apartment Real Estate Advisors,>
Bruce is a founding and current
board member of Swim with Mike, a non-profit organization, which
provides financial scholarships to physically challenged athletes
enabling them to attend college. Swim with Mike was
established in 1981 following a tragic motorcycle accident which
left his close friend and USC swim teammate, Mike Nyeholt,
paralyzed from the chest down. Bruce is also an active
supporter of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, the
YMCA of Orange, the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Villa Park
High School Aquatics, and San Antonio de Padua Catholic
Bruce is a 1979 graduate from the
University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of
Communications, where he received his B.A. degree in
Journalism. He resides in Villa Park, California along with
his wife Sharon, and their four children, Kyle, Troy, Brooke and
Quinn. His son, Kyle, is a member of the USC Class of 2016
and played water polo for the university.
Head Coach of Senior 3
Group / Assistant Coach of Senior 1 & 2
Kyle started teaching swimming for
the Tustin Unified school district in 2003 when he was still in
high school. While at Tustin high school, he was part of the 2005
Century league champions and CIF relay teams. After high school,
Kyle was an assistant coach under Coach Boyd Philpot for Tustin
High School as well as under Coach Pickell with SOCAL aquatics for
a few years.
In 2010 Kyle left the aquatics
world for an opportunity to serve in the United States Marine Corps
as an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter. He achieved the rank of
Sergeant and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, Good Conduct
Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and the National Defense
Service Medal. He was honorably retired from the military in March
2015. After the military he went on to finish his BA in
Organizational Leadership from Brandman University.
The call of the pool was too much
for Coach Kyle so he returned to work with SOCAL in June 2016. He
is also the Head Coach of the boys’ water polo program at
Tustin High School. When not on the pool deck, you can find him
spending time with his wife Christiana and two kids, Emma and Odin.
Head Coach of the Masters
& Pre-Senior 1 Group
Ben was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Canada. A graduate
of Minnesota State University where he swam varsity and earned
a BSc in Exercise Physiology. Swam competitively for 14
years. Ben is the current MSU record holder in the 100
freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 butterfly. Also a ten
time NCAA II All-American and a two-time NCAA II medalist in 100
fly and 100 backstroke. Competed in the 100 butterfly and 100
freestyle at the 2008 Candian Olympic Trials, placing 23rd in the
Began coaching in 2004 and is in his eighth season as the Head
Coach of the Pre-Senior 1 group. Current ASCA Level III
coaching certification Since beginning his tenure with
the team in the 2010/2011 season, six of his athletes have combined
to break 27 team records. Owns and operates the In Depth
Swim School - a private swim lesson business in Newport Beach,
CA, and has taught hundreds of children of all ages water safety
and stroke mechanics.
When not coaching, Ben enjoys riding his motorcycle, exploring new
places, playing guitar, surfing, mountain biking, and enjoying the
Southern California sun!
Head Coach Developmental Program & Coach of the Black Group
Vickie was born and raised in Santa Ana, California. She graduated from Santa Ana High School in 1974 after playing varsity tennis and swimming varsity all four years. She then continued her swimming endeavors at Saddleback Junior College for two years earning the job of Team Captain her second year. She placed in finals at the State Championships both years. Vickie earned her AA degree in Psychology in 1977 from Saddleback College. After twenty years of working and raising her three children Vickie returned to college at Cal State Fullerton and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in psychology in 2000.
Most of Vickie’s work experience has revolved around children. She worked at Blue Buoy swim school for four summers during college. She coached age group swimming at SOCAL Aquatics, her club team, from 1975 until 2002. She coached two national record holders and numerous National top 16 swimmers and Junior Olympic champions. She has coach the Foothill Girl’s Varsity swim team for three years. Currently she works at Aqua Wave swim school in Foothill Ranch. Vickie is a coach member of United States Swimming and an ASCA level 3 professional Coach.
All three of Vickie’s children swam for SOCAL and attended Foothill High School participating in the aquatics programs. Bryan is finishing his CPA training, Kevin is a manager of sourcing for PetCo and Amber is an OT for Rehab Alliance. Vickie’s husband Rick is Vice President of Finance at Smith and Noble in Corona, Ca. and is very involved in youth sports in Tustin. Vickie and Rick were recently made Grandparents when Kevin and his wife had a baby boy.
Vickie’s favorite hobby is reading and keeping up with the busy lives of her children.
Co-Head Coach of Pre-Senior 2 and Assistant Coach of the Black Group
Luis is originally from Peru where his love of swimming began at the early age of 4. Eventually he made his way to California with his family and graduated from Tustin High School in 2014 where he played varsity water polo (Empire League Champions of 2011) as well as swimming. His specialty was freestyle where he qualified for CIF in his sophomore, junior and senior years. He also had some pretty impressive swims at THS in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly coming within seconds from THS alumni and olympian, Michael Cavic.
Luis also brings with him private lifeguarding experience before joining SOCAL. He currently has a full schedule. Apart from coaching at SOCAL, he attends Orange Coast College where he is also part of the swim team. He plans>or CSULB and majoring in Kinesiology.
Some of Luis’ hobbies include long distance road biking, ocean swimming, playing guitar, hiking, collecting vinyl records and music appreciation.
Co-Head Coach of the Pre-Senior 2 Group and Assistant Coach of Senior 3 Group
Mykaela was born and raised in Tustin, CA. Her love of all things aquatic started with swimming and surfing at the beach. At the young age of 5, she joined her neighborhood swim team, The Tustin Dolphins. She competed with them until she was 12.>
She currently attends Santiago Canyon College and plans to transfer to CSULB where she will major in nursing and sociology. In her free time, she likes to eat (nom nom), hang out with friends and her beloved dog Piper, go to the movies, clothes shopping, always up for a concert or music festival, and she still loves the beach!
Head Coach of the Pre-Senior 3 Group
Alex was born and raised in Irvine, CA. She began her love of sports with playing softball when she was 5 years old. She was a pitcher, catcher and did left ?eld all before retiring at age 12. Alex graduated from Northwood High School in 2006 where she swam and played varsity water polo. After that she played water polo for Coach John Wright & Gabriel Martinez at Santa Ana College where she received her AA degree. During her time at SAC, she was voted All Conference Athlete and her team was ranked in the top 10. After that she kept her studies going with a water polo and swim scholarship at Vanguard University of Southern California where she graduated with a degree in Kinesiology and also studied sports training. Alex aspires to>
Her professional background includes lifeguarding at Disneyland, head swim instructor at Waterworks Aquatics from 2008-2010, coach of the 12u girls SOCAL water polo team since 2011 where she was able to help capture 2 national titles for the team, and last but not least she is also the assistant Varsity coach for THS girls water polo team from 2014-present. She has been coaching the Barracuda (9-10y/0) group since 2010.
Some of Alex’s hobbies include WINNING, surfing, and volunteering at the animal shelter.
Pristine S Moran
Head Coach of the Minnows & Sea Turtle Groups and Assistant Coach for the Pre-Senior 1 Group
Pristine started swimming for SOCAL in 2003 until graduating from Beckman High School in 2010. Her coaching began at a young age of 15 when she helped coach the pre-competitive group during the summer of 2008. She has taught swim lessons at Beckman through the Tustin Unified School District since her sophomore year of high school and was promoted as the program's head lifeguard in 2012. She also swam>
Pristine graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Psychology and>
Assistant Coach of the Sea Turtles, Minnows & Pre-Senior 3 Groups
Nolan was born in Newport Beach and raised in Huntington Beach. He graduated from Huntington Beach High School and is currently attending Chapman University with a major in Health Science and minor in music. Nolan grew up playing t-ball, soccer and swimming. He chose swimming because he lived by the ocean and always enjoyed being around water and going to the pool! Prior to coming to SOCAL, he was a lifeguard and swim coach at the Pacific Sands Cabana Club/Surf City Aquatics for 3 years. Outside of swim, he enjoys playing volleyball, going out with friends, playing video games and going to Mexico with friends & family.
Assistant Coach of Sea
Turtle and Minnows Group
Jennifer was born
and raised in Santa Ana California. She has always had a love for
sports like volleyball and basketball, but most importantly
swimming. Her love for swimming began when she was 8 years old and
continued all throughout high school. She swam for Foothill High
School’s swim team for 4 years. She currently attends Cal
State Fullerton where she is majoring in Criminal