Our Coaches

Head Coach & Senior Group Coach

Ryan Muraoka

Growing up in Kailua, I learned how to swim under the legendary Aulea swim coach, Al Minn, over about 5 summers during grade and middle school. A long time ago.

In High School, I played Football and ran Track for ʻIolani School.

I coached the McKinley JV Football team for a season as their Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach.

I got involved in club swimming when my oldest daughter joined a swim team at age six. Not knowing much about the sport of swimming, I watched and asked many questions from each my daughter's (second daughter started 4 years later) coaches. A few years later, I became a volunteer assistant coach for their swim team and dove head first into increasing my knowledge by learning from veteran coaches at other clubs as well as our previous Head and Assistant Coaches.

I became a member of USA Swimming and the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) and have furthered my education and knowledge through attendance at every Coaches clinic held in Hawaii since becoming a coach over 7 years ago, and continue to take USA Swimming on-line clinics and continuing education courses.

In addition, much of my technical stroke education has been focused on learning from the top coaches in the profession. I have spent countless hours watching over and over the latest developments in stroke technique and training instructional DVDs hosted by David Marsh (Mecklenberg & former multi NCAA Champion Auburn University & US Olympic Coach), Richard Quick (Stanford University & US Olympic Coach), Terry Laughlin (Total Immersion Swimming Series), Ian Pope (Australian Olympic Coach) & countless other Age Group and Senior level coaches. To supplement my visual instruction, I also have read and learned from revolutionary coaches such as David Salo (USC & Olympic Coach), Bob Bowman (N. Baltimore Head Coach & Michael Phelps coach), Terry Laughlin's Total Immersion and Dick Hannula and Ernest Magliulo.

Much of my current coaching philosophy has been heavily influenced by Dr. Dave Salo's "Sprint Salo" concepts and methodology of training at high intensity and low yardage, and Dr. Brent Rushell who has coined the term Ultra short Race Pace Training (USRPT) but has been researching and studying this scientifically backed concept for over 40 years (one of his mentors, Forbes Carlille who is considered the godfather of modern day Australian swimming, highly recommends Dr. Rushell's research).

I have been successful in past leadership positions from leading our American Marketing Association - UH Mānoa to being named the #1 Collegiate Chapter in the county as a student, to turning around a winless football team to .500 team in a year, running a school PTA and helping manage a very successful pharmaceutical team in Hawaii.

However, I feel my greatest strength as the Head Coach at Splash Aquatics is my passion and love for teaching, mentoring and working with our swimmers, our great coaching staff, the Splash Aquatics ʻohana and the sport of swimming. I believe my non-traditional path toward coaching swimming is a blessing in that I feel that I am always in a constant "learning" mode and I strive to be open to new and traditional ideas and theories which I oftentimes try to incorporate in our training and planning, as well as bringing outside the box thinking based on my life experiences to our program.

Junior Group Coach

Matt Velasco

Living in Waikiki, I first received lessons at a near by YMCA. I soon developed a love for swimming and joined Punahou Aquatics. I eventually switched to Rainbow Aquatics in my high school years where I received OIA first team honors at Kalani High School. I never had the killer passion to be great at swimming but always loved racing and the people I met along the way. Helping the younger or less talented kids was always something I enjoyed so I decided to give coaching a try. I started coaching at Kalani High School in 2012 and Splash! Aquatics in early 2014. I am truly appreciative for the opportunity here and look forward to my future here at Splash!

Age Group Coach

Kelli Ann Ifuku

I'd have to say my favorite part of coaching is seeing the swimmers grow and develop. Not only am I excited to watch them reach new goals and become better athletes, but I love seeing them grow as people. I wouldn't be as strong, independent, and confident as I am today if it weren't for my coaches, teammates, and the priceless friendships I have made along the way. Swimming has been such a large part of my life. I've swam for various clubs since elementary school all through high school, as well as for my high school team. Coaching for Splash Aquatics is an invaluable opportunity for me to stay involved with the sport I owe so much to.

Developmental Coach

Raymond Nunez

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Started swimming competitively when I was ten years old for various summer recreational teams. Graduated from Campolindo High school in Moraga where I swam and played Water Polo every year. Attended Diablo Valley College where I continued to swim and play Water Polo. Started teaching private swim lessons when I was 15 and later went on to coach JV Water Polo at North Gate High School in Fall 2011. Transferred from UH Manoa in the Fall of 2012 and hope to graduate by 2014. Started coaching at Splash Aquatics.

Lauren Ishida

Age Group Coach at Hongwanji

Ashley Ichimura

I have been blessed with working on the Splash team since October 2011. The team as a whole has welcomed me with open arms and for that i am truly grateful. I feel like I have been in the water my entire life. I started swimming competitively at 11 years old and carried on til the end of my senior year, swimming for both club and high school. While in high school they introduced for the first time women's water polo which I eagerly joined and played for 3 years.

I am a certified lifeguard and have been actively employed as such since 2005. In 2006 my company hired me as a swim instructor for the local learn to swim program which teaches kids in various age groups and skill levels water safety and proper stroke techniques of all major swimming styles. Nothing can compare to those years growing with my team. The bonds that I shared with my teammates and the skills I learned have been with me long after I stopped swimming competitively and that is what I want for the kids in Splash.

I am a firm believer that the tools you learn in the water translates to many other aspects of growing up and I try to integrate as much of those life skills as possible in practice. I mainly work with the "minnows" group, the newest members of the team and my main focus is technique. Good technique is the corner stones of any successful career and can lead to bigger and greater things. Also, there is a big emphasis on team spirit and self confidence in my practices because I feel they are just as essential to a successful swim career as how to stroke properly. I hope that I can make my swimmer's time in the pool as much fun and educational as my coaches did for me when I was growing up. I'll see you in the water!

Developmental Coach at Hongwanji

Niko Wendt

Growing up in Kapolei, I began swimming in 2004 for Hawaii Swim Club (HSC) under Coach Dexter Lee. I continued to swim for HSC as well as Kapolei High School until 2012. I began teaching private swim lessons, as well as working as an assistant developmental coach, from age 16 up until I began working at Splash Aquatics in February of 2015. In the fall of 2012 I started college at the University of Hawaii, Manoa under scholarship through the Army ROTC Program, and hope to graduate in the Spring of 2015. Other than working with our developmental group at Splash, I also work as a personal trainer and an outdoor education instructor at UH.

Taylor Henry

Part Time Coaches

Alyssa Muraoka

What I love most about coaching is watching our swimmers develop while having fun. It is also rewarding to know that I can have a beneficial impact on my swimmers in ways my past coaches had on me. My coaches were role models I looked up to who not only taught me how to swim, but taught me valuable life lessons as well. The friendships and knowledge I have accumulated from about twelve years of swimming has played an integral role in who I am today. Also, the lesson I learned that is most useful and applicable to life is if you work hard, the results will soon follow. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to give back to my sport by being able to coach such wonderful swimmers and to share with them the knowledge I have amassed throughout the years.

Evan Sakai

As a previous swimmer for Splash! Aquatics, I've had the opportunity to befriend many of the swimmers and get to know them both in and out of the water. After serving as team captain for the first couple years of the team and graduating from high school in 2011, I wanted to give back to the team and thought the best way to do that was to help coach. Since I was already familiar with the philosophy and teaching methods of the team, I found jumping into the coach's role to be fun and interesting. I enjoy coaching because I get to work closely with swimmers who are just starting out. It's a great feeling to have when you see the swimmers you coach constantly improve and get faster in the water. I hope to continue coaching for as long as I can because nothing is more rewarding than watching those you've impacted grow as swimmers and individuals as a whole.

Grant Zukeran

Hello there! My name is Grant Zukeran and I competed in junior swimming for ten years, four of which were with Splash Aquatics. Since I was home schooled, the team was my classroom and my opportunity to socialize. My best friends came from the swimming community and I loved seeing them every day to practice and become better swimmers and characters. Splash was by far the best out of the three teams I have trained with and in my opinion, the best team in the State. Not only is the coaching terrific, but the camaraderie among the team members screams family. It was this combination that drove me to my State Championship in the 200 Breaststroke and my trip to Senior Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington.

During my senior year, I made a tough decision to play tennis in college. After I chose to give up swimming, I immediately started to miss it. I knew then that I couldn???t leave it behind completely, which is why I decided to coach for the team that I benefited so much from. My goal is to help these upcoming swimmers achieve which of I was fortunate. Nothing would make me happier than seeing these athletes smile when they reach that time or goal they desire. I know how much it means, and I will be glad do everything I can to help. Work hard and swim on!