Coaches

Dave Halushka Head Coach

Coach Halushka grew up in Manhattan Beach, where he attended American Martyrs Catholic School, swam for Surfside Swim Team (in the old Costa pool) and was a Junior Lifeguard. While at Mira Costa, he was a 4-year member of the swim team (specializing in fly) and water polo programs. Upon graduation, he earned a BA in Sociology at Cal State University Long Beach.  Later, he earned a Special Education Teaching Credential and Master of Arts in Special Education at CSU Dominguez Hills. He is currently a full time Special Education Teacher here at Mira Costa High School, and in 2021-22 became the AP Testing Coordinator as well.

He has been the Mira Costa boys’ and girls’ Varsity Waterpolo Assistant Coach since 2005.  In addition to that, he was the Varsity Assistant Swim Coach under Coach Bartlett from 2006- 2009.  Starting in 2010 he coached the JV teams, before taking over a Head Coach position in 2019. Most importantly, he is the proud dad to his son Griffin, who was born in the summer of 2021.  

Ariana Silva Head Coach

Coach Silva is originally from Wheaton, Illinois and moved to Southern CA in 2012.  She swam club for West Chicago Sharks from age 13-18 and High School at Wheaton North.  Coach Silva then swam for her college team, Carthage College, in Kenosha Wisconsin, where she majored in Biology and Chemistry.  After college she spent a year teaching English in Madrid, Spain to 3rd grade Spanish students.  Upon returning to the US she worked in several labs completing quality control testing.  After realizing the lab world wasn’t for her, she completed graduate school at Louis University to get her Master’s in Education.  Shortly thereafter she moved to Santa Monica to take a teaching position at University High School Charter in West LA.  There she taught Biology, Chemistry and Nanotechnology while coaching swimteam and waterpolo.  In 2020 she moved to Manhattan Beach and began her teaching career in 2021 at Mira Costa as a science teacher and swim coach.  In her free time Coach Silva loves to scuba dive, bike, hike and travel.  

Heidi Nelson Varsity Coach

Coach Heidi grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and started swimming competitively at age 4.  At 16 she switched clubs and drove 2 hours a day to swim for Seacoast Swim Association in New Hampshire alongside multi-gold medalist Jenny Thompson and coached by Mike Parratto (who also recently coached Olympian & World Record holder Regan Smith).  With Seacoast Heidi competed at Senior Nationals and Olympic Trials before committing to Div I Northwestern University.  At NU she was part of the All-American 800 Free Relay freshman year.  Following a back injury, Heidi transferred out to UCSB and graduated from the Honors Program with a degree in Environmental Science.  She became a LA County Ocean Lifeguard in 1994 and is still working today, usually teaching Junior Guards.  She competed extensively in Surf Lifesaving around the world, thanks to her swimming background.  She spent years coaching and swimming Masters in the South Bay, but now enjoys tennis (NOT pickleball!).  On her path to becoming a critical care RN, back in 2002 Coach Heidi attended and swam for El Camino College at age 28, swimming a lifetime best in the 100 fly by “swimming smarter, not harder.”  This remains her coaching philosophy today. 

Melissa Krauth Assistant Coach

Coach Melissa has developed a great passion for swimming over the past 22 years. She was a competitive swimmer from elementary school through high school. In 2007-2008 while in college, she was an Assistant Swim Coach for Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA; there she also worked as a special needs private swim instructor.   She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from George Mason University in 2009. After college she worked as a substitute teacher, predominately with special needs children for K-12th Grade. She has taught all levels of American Red Cross classes, including Baby and Me, Toddler and Me, Levels 1 to 6, Stroke Mechanics 1 to 5, and Adults Classes.  One of Coach Melissa's passions is to work with children who have Down Syndrome, Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, ADD, and other multiple disorders or handicaps. She has a great deal of experience with teaching water safety to these swim students and was always the first instructor that her supervisor would send these students to at her former swim instruction job. 

The 2023 season will be Coach Melissa's 5th as an Assistant Swim Coach for the JV team at Mira Costa High School.  At Costa and in her private lessons, Coach Melissa strives on being patient with every athlete she coaches, and adapting to their specific needs. 

Adonis Nahabed Assistant Coach

Coach Adonis (pronounced "Ah-doh-nee") grew up in Manhattan Beach and started swimming at age 7 at Begg Pool.  Soon after, he started playing waterpolo and aquatics became his primary focus. He graduated from Mira Costa in 2015, having been an integral member of both the swimming and waterpolo teams for all 4 years; he was coached by most of the coaches that still here today, including Dave Halushka, Heidi Nelson and Jon Reichardt.  During his senior year, Adonis was part of the CIF team, swimming the 50 free and 200 free relay.  After graduation, he coached and taught swim lessons for the Begg Pool swim team for 4 years.  In college he red-shirted a season of swim team at LAVC.  Since 2017 Adonis has been coaching aquatics at Mira Costa, focusing mostly on both boys and girls waterpolo. Adonis is excited to start coaching the swim team this year, and to continue giving back to the programs that have had such a positive impact on his life.