Coaches (The Crew)


Coaching Staff
Paul Folts Head Coach

Before moving to San Diego in 2012, Paul grew up in Champaign, Illinois, where he was lucky enough to be exposed to a strong swimming culture at a young age. Being a town that developed multiple Olympic swimmers, Paul began swimming at an early age, first in a competitive summer league and on to year round swimming by the age of 10. From there he became a school record holder, 4-year Illinois high school state finalist, and an All-American. After spending some time away from the pool, Paul returned to competition at San Diego Mesa College for one year as he started his life in California, and became a Junior College All-American along the way.

Coach Paul truly valued the roles his coaches played for him and what the sport of swimming added to his life, which is why he decided to take the step from being an athlete to becoming a coach. He has gained a multitude of experience ranging from his beginnings as a swim lessons instructor throughout high school, to his time both training alongside and coaching National level swimmers as an assistant coach for the Champaign County Country Club and Champaign County YMCA HEAT. After coming to San Diego, Paul was offered the position of Head Coach for the Peninsula Family YMCA in 2014, where he eventually met Coach Tyler and fellow coach Vincente Andrade, who started SDSA together.

Paul is currently also the Head Coach for Coronado High School as well as an athlete retention tech and Assistant Swim Coach for San Diego Mesa College. He is excited to share his experiences and knowledge of swimming with developing athetes in order to help them use it as a way to reach their highest potential - both in and out of the water.

Tyler Thompson Coach

Coach Tyler emphasizes technique in his coaching and programming. Having qualified for ASCA Level 4 coaching as a direct coach of an Olympic Trials qualifer in 2016, he belives that swimming benefits overall development, both in the pool, and out of the water. Coach Tyler grew up swimming in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he swam for the Flagstaff Stingrays and Snowsharks club swim teams, winning multiple Age Group State Championships as an individual swimmer before moving onto three other varsity sports in high school since his high school had no swim team. 

Before forming SDSA, Coach Tyler coached at the Mission Valley YMCA in San Diego for about 8 years, including a stint at Toby Wells. He served as the Head Coach for the San Diego YMCA club swim team in 2016, leading the team to a record 5th place performance in 2017 and served as the Head Coach for Boys and Girls Swimming at Serra High School from 2017-19 before moving on to coach San Diego High School in 2021.

Coach Tyler coached at Olympic Trials in 2016 and has coached swimmers with International, National and Junior National qualifications. Swimmers have gone on to NCAA Division 1 schools, as well as other post-high school competition. Still, Coach Tyler loves a first B time and JO time as much as the high level training. 

Coach Tyler is also a full-time a lecturer at San Diego State University in Rhetoric and Writing Studies.


Justin Chang Coach (Sea)

Coach Justin has been swimming since he was 7. He started out swimming with First Colony Swim Team in the suburbs of Houston. Once he was 13, he transitioned into a high school only swimmer. There he was All-District for 4 years, All-Region for 3 years, and All-State for 2 years. He has medaled at state with his 200 Free relay.

Coach Justin has been coaching since he was 16. He started out as a swim instructor, teaching kids between the ages of 5-13 how to swim. During high school, he would also run the dry land program for his high school team, as well as coordinate the strength and conditioning program during the off season. He also coached for a summer league team for 3 years, where they have gone undefeated for all 3.

Coach Justin is a big believer in dry lands and technique. Having been lucky enough to have done drylands with Markell Lyng, the strength and conditioning coach who was part of the team that coached Simone Manuel, he has seen first hand how important dry lands is to swimming.

He also believes that through mental fortitude, you can achieve anything.

He is looking forward to working with everyone and making everyone a better version of themselves.

Neil Franka Coach (Sea) and (USD/Plunge)

Neil was born and raised in San Diego. He began swimming at the Clairemont Parks & Recs team at 9 before moving to North Coast Aquatics by age 11. Neil swam on the NCA until he graduated High School in 2013. Neil went on to swim at Mesa Community College for 2 years and redeveloped his passion for swimming. Neil received a scholarship to University of the Pacific where he swam 2 more collegiate years. He graduated with a B.S. in Mathematical Economics in 2018.

Neil holds records for Mesa Community College, University of the Pacific, and for the County of San Diego. He specialized in the 100 Fly, 100 Free, 200 Free, and 200 I.M. He has also had the opportunity to swim with several Olympic swimmers (including Kathleen Baker, Marius Kusch, Michael Andrew, Jacob Heidtmann, and Kristian Gkolomev) and gain coaching insight from Olympic Coach David Marsh.

Since college, Neil has coached Mission Valley YMCA Masters, Plunge Masters, UCSD College Club Team, and Swim San Diego (SSD). He currently runs his own novice swim team that bridges the gap between swim lessons and SDSA. He also provides private swim coaching to triathletes and competitive swimmers.

Neil enjoys swimming, rowing, and weight training to stay active. Neil still occasionally participates in swimming competitions. As a result of his business, Neil believes that swimming provides people with a discipline that can be taken far outside the pool.

Manoli Guillermoprieto Assistant Coach (Sea)

Coach Manoli was born and raised in San Diego, and in the water! At age 5, Coach Manoli joined the Mission Valley YMCA Swim Team as a Mini Seal and swam with the team until she graduated high schoool in 2013. Coach Manoli is an experienced athlete, with several years in gymnastics and competitive soccer before buckling down as a swimmer in high school. During her time swimming at MVY, Coach Manoli had the great fortune of gaining the duo of Tyler Thompson and Dawnella Gilzean as both coaches and mentors. As an undergrad at UC San Diego, Coach Manoli began swimming masters with coach Ron "Sickie" Marckic for three years before she graduated with a degree in Biochemistry & Cell Biology. After a few years of living in San Francisco, Coach Manoli returned to San Diego where she currently swims with the Plunge Masters team. 

From a young age, Manoli can remeber the impact her coaches had in her life, and the feeling of the pool as a second home. Coach Manoli began lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons for individuals at all levels and ages at MVY when she was 15.  Shortly after graduating high school Manoli began coaching the Mini Seals swim team where she stayed until graduating UCSD. 

Coach Manoli is a firm believer that forming a healthy relationship with the water, and competition, is vital to a swimmer's development both in and out of the pool. She values tehcnique and personal growth above times, training her swimmers to move their bodies with intention.

Coach Manoli is also a Customer Success Manager for Benchling. 

Kylea Shehan Assistant Coach (Desert)
Mia Cervantes Assistant Coach (Desert)
Jafet Contreras Assistant Coach (Desert)