Coaches & Directors
Coaching Staff

Paul L Smith

Director of Coaching-CEO


Paul and his wife Laura are the owners of Sol Mates, LLC which owns and operates Mesa Water Polo, Mesa Aquatics, Mesa Aquatics-Masters. Both are graduates of UC Santa Barbara, Paul played water polo for and competed in two NCAA Championships, as a swimmer he was an NCAA Swimming All-American in 1980 and 1981 and a University Games Gold medalist/Record holder. Recently, Paul has continued as a masters water polo player and also has been a two time USMS Master Swimmer of the Year recipient; is a multiple USMS World and National Record Holder;  has been a USMS All Star 5 times and is a 10 time USMS All American. He has acquired 174 Age Group Top Tens in USMS to date.   Laura swam 4 years and was team captain for the womems swim team, competed in triathlon after college and is presently the strength and conditioning coach for the Mesa Aquatics Club national Training Group, as well as coaching the 10&U swim team and masters swimming.

Paul has a B.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Coaching Minor from the University of California, Santa Barbara and went on to obtain his Masters Degree in the same field from Antioch University. Paul is a USA Certified Water Polo & Swimming Coach and an ASCA Certified Coach who has been a team assistant to clubs participating in both the 1988 & 1992 Olympic Swimming Trials

Taylor Johnson

Head Coach


Taylor grew up in Canyon Lake, CA, in Riverside County. She found her passion for water polo at 13 and never looked back. She attended Temescal Canyon High School where she played as a member of both the varsity water polo and varsity swim team for 3 years. During that time, she was a part of two Division 5 CIF Championship Teams. Additionally, she played at Elite Water Polo in Murrieta during her high school career. On her down tine, she coached youth water polo there as well.  After graduating from Temescal, she moved to Tempe to play on the NCAA Women's Water Polo team at Arizona State University and study Industrial Engineering. She graduated in May 2016 and began working at Arrow Electronics, located in Phoenix, as an Industrial Engineer. She is excited to have water polo back in her life and is excited to share her love for the sport and knowledge with the next generation of water polo.

Nathan Ames

Senior Coach


My name is Nathan Ames I have been with the club since it's first day back in 2012 and have played for 3 years before that. I've been to countless tournaments with the best team in Arizona and hope to keep that title with this team as a coach. I am one of the first nationally qualified refs in the state of Arizona and qualified back when I was only 16. I have reffed for the girls Olympic Development program as well as 2 out of the 3 Rocktoberfest 12u championship tournaments. I plan on going to Chandler-Gilbert community college for an unknown major. Water polo has been a big part of my life and I am glad to move into coaching for this club.

Alex Fesler

Age Group & Splashball


Hello! My name is Alex Fesler however I respond to almost anything. I started playing water
polo in 2010 on a recreational team, and in 2012 I started playing with Mesa Water Polo. I like to
play as goalie or defend set. As time passed and life got busy I moved away from the sport and
after taking about a year off I began to coach at the recreational level and moved into coaching
club here with Mesa Water Polo. To give some insight on the rest of my life, I am 19 and a full-
time student in my Junior year at Arizona State University. I am a double major in Air Traffic
Control and Unmanned Aerial Systems. I am also a licensed pilot working towards becoming an
airline pilot someday. If you haven’t gotten the hint already, I’m not the average person on the
block. Just to put the cherry on top though, I have to say I am a motorcycle rider, even during
through the lovely Phoenix summers.

Jessica Rudd

Team Manager


Jessica started swimming at the age of six for the summer recreation programs and continued to do so each summer through high school. She swam on the varsity team at Westwood High School in Mesa all four years of high school. At age 13 she joined the summer recreational water polo team and never stopped playing. She has played on several club teams, including the early Mesa Water Polo and the youth Sun Devil Polo team at ASU. She traveled to Colorado, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Texas to play for different teams in various tournaments. At age 16 she was selected for the zone team for the Olympic Development Program run by USA Water Polo. Jessica joined a girls team from Texas to play in two consecutive Junior Olympic tournaments and her senior year of high school, her team won the State Championship.

Jessica began coaching age group water polo with the city recreation league for three summers in a row. She moved on to coach for Mesa Water Polo when the club first began in 2012 and has been with them ever since. She is now team manager for both Mesa Water Polo and Mesa Aquatics Club and hopes to continue to provide opportunities for kids to fall in love with the water, just as she has!