The Novaquatics are known for its wide range of swimming development. From its introduction into

competitive swimming, to its nationally ranked statutes.  The Novaquatics offer levels of swimming

for any age swimmer and ability.

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Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Dave Salo

Head Coach Emeritus Executive Consultant

David Salo served as the Novaquatics Head Coach from the fall of 1990 until May of 2006 when he assumed the General Manager position. Dave began his coaching career at the University of Southern California where he served as Assistant Men’s Coach under legendary Head Coach, Peter Daland. Dave rejoined the USC Trojan’s as the Head Coach of the Women and Men’s collegiate team in May of 2006. Dave replaced Mark Shubert, former Olympic Head Coach and now National Team Head Coach and General Manager of USA Swimming.

Salo served as assistant coach for the USA Women’s team in the 1999 Pan American Games as well as the 2000 Olympic Games and was appointed by USA Swimming to Head the Men’s Team at the Goodwill Games in 2001. Salo also served as Head Coach for USA women's teams to World Championships in 2013 and 2015 as well as Head USA Men's Coach to the 2019 World Short Course Championships. Since retiring from USC in 2020 he has assumed the responsibility as Head Coach of the Tokyo Frog Kings of the International Swimming League and has returned to Orange Coast College as an assistant coach to former NOVA swimmer and now Head Coach of OCC, Anthony Iacopetti. Salo also coaches the recently created ProNOVA group at NOVA.

Salo is a graduate of Long Beach State (B.A. and M.A.) and the University of Southern California (Ph.D.)

Adam Crossen Associate Head Coach

Senior Gold II

Soka University, Aliso Viejo

Since 1995, Adam Crossen’s experience includes working with Olympic Coaches Mark Schubert, Dave Marsh, Teri McKeever and most recently Dave Salo. Crossen swam for the Hall of Fame legend, Mark Schubert, at the University of Southern California, then followed that up with a stint at Auburn University, working with perennial Coach of the year Dave Marsh, while completing his Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. Crossen later went on to serve as Assistant Coach at Cal Berkeley under ASCA Coach of the Year, Teri McKeever, where he saw the rise of USA Swimming phenomenon, Natalie Coughlin. During the year of 2006 at the University of Southern California, Crossen served as Coach Salo’s right hand man, responsible for NCAA Compliance, recruiting coordination, strength an conditioning programming and on-deck coaching. USC came away from Salo’s first season with three individual NCAA Championships (Rebecca Soni - 200 breaststroke; Larsen Jensen - 500 & 1650 freestyle). Prior to USC, Crossen spent 3 years assisting Coach Salo with the Irvine Novaquatics and Soka University and was integral in working with a team that saw 25 athletes compete at the 2004 Olympic Trials, while placing 4 members on the USA Olympic Team. Crossen was also instrumental in helping Salo inaugurate the Soka University Varsity Swimming Team. Coach Crossen brings energy and leadership which will be instrumental in the further development and continued growth of the Novaquatics.

Ken LaMont Associate Head Coach

Senior Gold

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Ken was born and raised in Southern California to an already involved swimming family. When he was old enough to walk he was old enough to swim and joined his father’s swim team in El Monte.

By the early 1980’s, Ken’s team moved to the San Gabriel Valley where Ken continued his club swimming career. During those years Ken began coaching at a local country club during the summers. It was also during these years that Ken participated in a sectional All-Star meet where he met for the first time a young Dave Salo. Soon after, Ken began college at USC where he once again met up with Coach Salo, who was hired on as an assistant coach during Ken’s years there.

He continued to swim into his junior year when the decision was made to retire as an athlete and concentrate on graduation. He continued to coach during the summers and upon graduation accepted a sales job with a major food cooperation. It was also during this time, after establishing a lasting relationship with Coach Salo in college, that Ken sought a position with the new head coach of the Irvine Novaquatics. With the growing success of the program Ken left his corporate world to focus full time on his coaching career. He has helped in the achievement of many regional championships and enjoys the direction of the program. He continues to focus full time on his coaching while also accepting a coaching job with a near by high school.

Nathan Wilcox Site Head Coach

Senior Gold

Los Cab, Fountain Valley

 

Coach Nathan previously swam at Irvine Novaquatics under the direction of Coach Dave Salo and Coach Ken Lamont. He is excited to return to Irvine Novaquatics after coaching another prominent team in Southern California Swimming for nearly seven years. Coach Nathan grew his previous club from a small team of 140 swimmers to over 400 swimmers. During his time with his previous team, his Senior Elite Group produced multiple Junior and Senior National swimmers along with multiple swimmers who finished in the top 20 at Junior Nationals. In addition to his swimmers’ successes, Coach Nathan’s team was awarded Bronze Medal status from USA Swimming. Coach Nathan’s team finished consistently in the top 3 at Sectional Championships Medium Team Division. Coach Nathan’s team finished first at the 2016 Winter Sectional Championship Medium Team Division and a top 8 women’s finish at the 2016 USA Swimming Future Championships.

Upon his return to Nova, Coach Nathan originally worked as the Senior Gold 2 Assistant Coach under Coach Adam Crossen and Coach Ken Lamont. Coach Nathan primarily worked with the Soka Senior Gold 2 Group and Coach Adam Crossen. Nathan is excited for the opportunity to lead the Los Cab program. Over the past several seasons at Los Cab, Coach Nathan has had swimmers achieve Junior National, Senior National and Olympic Trials cuts.  In addition to his swimming roles, Coach Nathan has served as the Coaches’ Representative for the Southern California Swimming Board of Directors and is currently Chair of the Orange Committee. Coach Nathan attended California Baptist University where he studied Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. Coach Nathan is proud to be an Irvine Nova Alumni and CBU Alumni.

Rod Hansen Associate Head Age Group Coach

Age-Group Gold

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Rod Hansen, started with Nova as the 8 & under coach in 1994. His current position with our team as Associate Head Age Group Coach, training our 9-14 year old swimmers.

Coach Rod's coaching philosophy is to create a fun environment where every swimmer enjoys their time with NOVA.  Along the way he has been fortunate to coach several SCS and National Age Group record holders.  He is always looking for ways to get kids to swim faster.  

Proud Alumni of SDSU.

Andi Kawamoto-Klatt Associate Head Age Group Coach

Senior Gold, Age Group Gold, Senior Silver, and Age Group Silver

Soka University, Aliso Viejo

Andi has been on the coaching staff of the Irvine Novaquatics since 1990 and is currently the Associate Head Age Group Coach.

Andi’s background stems from the study of psychology, for which she has a Bachelor’s (UC Irvine) and a Master’s (Pepperdine). She has worked as a Child Development Instructor for the Irvine Unified School District (6 years), spent 4 years working with the Neuropsychological Concussion testing team for the Mighty Ducks Hockey team and has been a certified Pilates instructor since 2001 (Body Arts and Science International)
   

Joanna Mykkanen Developmental Coach

Developmental

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Joanna grew up in Northen California where she swam competitively for 10 years. She has 8 years of head coaching experience and 15 years experience as a swim instructor.  Joanna is a current NOVA masters swimmer and the mother of three NOVA age group swimmers. Her family has roots with NOVA back to the team inception in 1979.

Coach Joanna graduated from UC Berkeley in 1988 with a B.A. degree.

Drew Crowell Assistant Coach

Senior Silver and Developmental

Soka University, Aliso Viejo

Drew Crowell was born in southern California.  He grew up in Orange County until high school, when his family moved to Overland Park Kansas.  It was at Blue Valley Northwest High School that Drew started swimming.  After high School, Drew attended Orange Coast College (OCC) to once again enjoy the California lifestyle. 
In his first swim season at OCC, Drew swam for Coach Dave Salo.  Shortly after, Drew joined the Nova family in 2004 by taking a position at Los Cab in the pre competitive program.  In 2005, Drew started coaching at Woollett working with the bronze group.   After swimming two years at OCC, Drew transferred to California State University, Fullerton. Once he transferred, Drew became an assistant coach at OCC and helped the men’s and women’s teams capture the state title in 2006.  In 2008, Drew earned his B.A. in History while coaching the silver groups at Woollett.  Later that year, Drew took an assistant position at Soka University of America under Coach Adam Crossen.       
Currently Drew coaches the Senior 1 and Varsity groups at Soka and is an assistant coach for the Soka University swim team. 
Geza Futo Tendai Assistant Coach

Senior Bronze and Age Group Bronze

Los Cab, Fountain Valley

Currently enrolled at Cal State Fullerton, with a major in Kinesiology.
In his free time Geza is an avid mountain biker.

Kevin Little Assistant Coach

Age Group Silver

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Kevin grew up in Irvine, California and started swimming for NOVA when he was 6 years old. After graduating from Woodbridge High School in 2007 he went on to compete for the University of Southern California all four years, graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Communication in 2011. During his swim career Kevin competed at the Junior Olympics, Western Zones, Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals, and Pac-12 championships. Prior to coaching at NOVA, he coached for 3 years in the Irvine Swim League.

Gavin Moore Assistant Coach

Age Group Bronze

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Gavin grew up in Irvine and swam for Novas as a kid.  He continued to swim as well as play waterpolo for four years at Woodbridge High School in the varsity group.  He began coaching for Novas in the fall of '08 in the 8 and under program, but moved over to the bronze program in the summer of '09.  He is currently a senior at Cal State Fullerton as a Business Marketing major.

Alejandro Nieto Assistant Coach

Senior Silver II & Senior Gold I

Northwood High School, Irvine

Alex Nieto, was born Alejandro Nieto in Nicaragua.  Immigrated here with his parents as a child to California in the 80's and was raised in Orange, California.  He attended El Modena high school in Orange and was both on the cross country and swim teams in high school.  He later enrolled into Santiago Canyon Community College and Cal State, Fullerton where he played club water polo in college and was a large part of student organizations in college.  He graduated in 2007 from CSUF with a degree in economics and a minor in business administration. 
 
Alex currently coaches swimmers from all sorts of organizations.  Other than working with the Irvine NOVA's, Alex is  head coach of the girl's and boy's swim team at Northwood High School.
 
When Alex is not on a pool deck mentoring young minds and helping create athletes, he likes to hike and spend time in the outdoors adventuring.  He has plans to some day travel the world on an extended trip just to see what it is like.  He thinks that traveling with a backpack is the way to go.  He can't wait to renew hsis passport so he can fill it back up with stickers from around the world. 
Alicia Ruiz Assistant Coach
Age-Group Bronze
Soka University, Aliso Viejo
Alicia grew up swimming and competing locally in Laguna Hills, Ca. Her love for swimming helped her greatly in her true athletic ability, Waterpolo. After swimming and playing waterpolo in HS.  She attended University of the Pacific on a waterpolo scholarship. Alicia continued to swim and give back to the community, gaining experience coaching club waterpolo & swim. She studies Political Science & Early Education. Alicia joined Nova in 2011 after working with Nova Swim School & Star Club programs. She coaches all different levels from developmental (8&unders) to Senior Bronze swimmers.
Quincy Kelly Assistant coach

Silver/Bronze Coach

Aliso Viejo, Soka University

Quincy grew up in Northern California and learn to swim before she was 2-years old.   She joined the Dolphins of Marin when she was 8, and competed until she was 17.   Upon graduating from Sir Francis Drake High School, Quincy enlisted in the US Army.   After 6-years of enlisted time, Quincy went to flight school and learned how to fly helicopters (Huey and Blackhawk).   She retired from the Army after 22-years.   In 2007, while living on a military base in Germany, Quincy’s daughter joined the swim team, and Quincy decided to volunteer to help with coaching the younger swimmers.   She continued coaching, even after a move from Germany to Hawaii.   In 2016 Quincy moved to California, and started working at SwimLabs in Lake Forest, but was later hired as a coach at Nova.

Alyssa Schrader Assistant Coach

Senior Silver I

Northwood High School, Irvine

Alyssa is an Orange County native and has over 9 years of competitive swimming experience and 7 years of swim coaching experience. She is currently coaching the 9/10 & 11/12 Bronze 1 groups at the Woollett site for Nova with 5 years of experience in this capacity running comprehensive practices focusing on developing the essential swim fundamentals and fostering a healthy, competitive attitude towards the sport of swim. In her free time she enjoys yoga, hiking, biking, surfing, snowboarding, and hanging out with her dachshund, Achilles. 

Jesse Novak Assistant Coach

Age-Group

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

 

Coach Jesse swam with SVY (now GSCY) in New Jersey for 9 years, graduating in 2017 from BRHS and attending Rowan University. At Rowan, Jesse was a 3 time Division 3 NCAA Champion, 15 time All American, 2 Time Rowan Athlete of the Year and 2017 recipient of the Rowan Legacy Award. Jesse qualified and competed in the 2016 US Olympic Trials in the 50 freestyle, and in the 2020 US Olympic Trials in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. Before joining NOVA, Jesse was a head location coach for the Blast Sharks and was the head age group coach of Alpha Aquatics. 
John Mykkanen Assistant Coach

Senior Gold II

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

John Mykkanen competed at the 1984 Olympics just after graduating from high school, and was the youngest US male swimmer that year. He was a distance freestyler. Mykkanen later attended Cal Berkeley, and then became a chiropractor in Orange County, California. 

John has been a long-time member of the Novaquatics Family, from his early days training under Flip Darr, to present as he spends his extra time away from his chiropractic career, as an assistant coach. John's wife continues to work with our Develpmental Swimmers, while his three children progress through the program.

 
Alyssa Tong Assistant Coach

NOVA Intro

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Amy Visarutanun Assistant Coach

NOVA Intro

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Miranda Krause Assistant Coach

Age-Group Bronze

Los Cab, Fountain Valley

Lauren Nyberg Assistant Coach

Developmental

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

JC Guzman Assistant Coach

Senior Silver

Northwood High School, Irvine

 

JC comes to NOVA with over 12 years of experience as a coach. He was a high school all-American athlete, top 10 CIF in the 100 breaststroke and 100 fly, and a Junior National Qualifier. He also spent a few years in the U.S. Army as an infantryman. JC has former Head Coach and associate head coach experience from clubs in LA and OC. JC has plenty of skills he has learned from his involvement in completely running a learn to swim program, all the way to training jr national level athletes. His coaching accolades include numerous top finishers at Junior Olympics, top 10 finalists at sectionals, Jr. nation

Timothy Townsend Assistant Coach

NOVA Intro

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Alesh Polivka Assistant Coach

Developmental

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Allyson Kusuma Assistant Coach

Developmental

Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine

Michael Collins Masters Coach

Head Masters Coach

Michael Collins has been the Nova Masters Head Head Coach since November
2000. Before that he coached at UCLA for four years and the Davis
Aquatic Masters for 8 years. He has an extensive background in coaching
swimmers and triathletes of all ages and abilities.

Additionally, Collins travels around the country to coach swimming,
triathlon, and running clinics. Although his main background was in
swimming, he has taken many of the concepts used in swimming -
technique, drills, and interval training and applied them to running and
cycling as well.

Collins continues to compete in triathlons, running events, swimming
events (both in the pool and open water), and road & mountain cycling.
In triathlons he race from sprint to half Ironman distance. He often
wins his age group and finishes as one of the top overall amateurs as
well. He was the 2002 World Aquathlon amateur champion in Cancun (2.5K
Run - 1K Swim - 2.5K Run).

In addition to coaching and racing, Collins is a well known author. His
articles have appeared in SWIM magazine, Swimming Technique, TRIATHLETE
magazine, Triathlon Today, American Swimming, and many other national
publications
 

Board of Directors