Mission Statement: The mission of SOCAL Aquatics is to create an environment that will enable every athlete to reach their potential; both in swimming and in life.

Coaches

Coaching Staff
Stephen Pickell

Head Coach of SOCAL Aquatics

Head Coach of Platinum Group

Steve was a two time Olympian (1976 / 1980)  and won a Silver Medal For Canada in the 400 Medley Relay in the 1976 Olympics.  Set two world records in the 100 SCM Backstroke and 100 SCM Butterfly in 1977.  Seven time All-American, NCAA Champion and Team Captain at the University of Southern California.

Started coaching as an assistant to Hall of Fame Coach, Peter Daland, well attending graduate school at the University of Southern California.  From 1999 to 2015 coached swimming and water polo at Foothill HS.  In 2015 he became the Head Swim Coach at Tustin High School.  Will be the Head Swim Coach at Servite and Rosary High School beginning in 2019.  Current coach member of USA Swimming and is an ASCA Level 4 Coach. Selected as a National Junior Team Coach 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

When not coaching Steve is managing the family insurance business, fishing, playing basketball and spending time with his wife, Shelley and his four sons, Blake, Nick, Paul and Cooper and his grandchildren, Kennedy, Robin Mae & Wyatt.  

Kyle Brawley

Assistant to the Head Coach & Head Coach of Silver & Bronze Groups

Kyle started teaching swimming for the Tustin Unified school district in 2003 when he was still in high school. While at Tustin high school, he was part of the 2005 Century league champions and CIF relay teams. After high school, Kyle was an assistant coach under Coach Boyd Philpot for Tustin High School as well as under Coach Pickell with SOCAL Aquatics for a few years.

In 2010 Kyle left the aquatics world for an opportunity to serve in the United States Marine Corps as an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter. He retired at the rank of Sergeant in March 2015. After the military, he went on to finish his BA in Business Administration focusing on Organizational Leadership from Brandman University.

The call of the pool was too much for Coach Kyle so he returned to work with SOCAL in June 2016. He is also the Head Coach of the Boys and Girls Swim team at Tustin High School. When not on the pool deck, you can find him spending time with his wife Christiana and two kids, Emma and Odin.

Ben Dowswell

Head Age Group Coach, Pre-Senior 1, Minnows & Masters

Ben was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Canada.  A graduate of Minnesota State University where he swam varsity and earned a BSc in Exercise Physiology.  Swam competitively for 14 years.  Ben is the current MSU record holder in the 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 butterfly.  Also a ten time NCAA II All-American and a two-time NCAA II medalist in 100 fly and 100 backstroke.  Competed in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle at the 2008 Candian Olympic Trials, placing 23rd in the 100 butterfly.

Began coaching in 2004 and is in his eighth season as the Head Coach of the Pre-Senior 1 group.  Current ASCA Level III coaching certification  Since beginning his tenure with the team in the 2010/2011 season, six of his athletes have combined to break 27 team records.  Owns and operates the In Depth Swim School - a private swim lesson business in Newport Beach, CA, and has taught hundreds of children of all ages water safety and stroke mechanics.

When not coaching, Ben enjoys riding his motorcycle, exploring new places, playing guitar, surfing, mountain biking, and enjoying the Southern California sun!
Frisk Driscoll

Assistant Coach of Platinum & Gold Group

Frisk Driscoll joins SoCal Aquatics all the way from Connecticut after working as the Assistant Coach of the Men's and Women's Swim teams at Fairfield University.

 
While at Fairfield both teams achieved Academic All-American honors every semester, rewrote the school record books and the Women won back-to-back MAAC Conference Championships, firsts in school history.
 
Before and while he was at Fairfield, Frisk was also an assistant coach of the Westport/Weston Family Y Water Rats, working with both senior and national level swimmers. The Water Rats have been a Bronze level club each of the last four years. Additionally, his team finished runner-up at the 2015 Short Course Y Nationals and has produced multiple individual and relay Y National Champions.

Frisk also spent time coaching his high school alma mater, Staples High School. Highlights included multiple High School All-Americans and the 2014 team achieving a 10-1 record, a second place finish at the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Championships and being named FCIAC Coach of the Year.  
 
Competitively, Frisk had success as a student-athlete swimming for the University of Connecticut and receiving a degree in Sports Management after graduating in 2010.  He made it to the finals in the 1650 Freestyle at the Big East Conference Championships three years in a row. 
Bruce Furniss

Assistant Coach of Platinum & Gold Group

A 1975 graduate of Tustin California’s Foothill High School, Bruce is the third of four highly successful aquatic brothers, often referred to as “Orange County California’s First Family of Swimming.”  Older brother, Steve, a two-time swimming Olympian (1972 Olympic Bronze Medallist and 1976 Olympic Team Captain), and Bruce are among a rare group of siblings, in any sport, to make the same Olympic Team.  Unfortunately the heartbreaking IOC decision to remove the 200-meter Individual Medley from the 1976 Olympics robbed Bruce and Steve of the unique opportunity to compete against each other in an Olympic swimming event.  However, Bruce and Steve do share the distinction as the>.  Bruce broke Steve’s 200-meter Individual Medley World Record in August of 1975, while competing against Steve in the U.S. Sr. National Championships in Kansas City, KS.  In that same meet, Bruce and Steve, swimming for Long Beach Swim Club, shared the equally unique accomplishment, (along with teammates Tim Shaw and Rex Favaro), as the last club team to break a swimming relay World Record (4 x 200-meter freestyle relay).  Earlier that same summer at the World Championship Team Trials in Long Beach, CA, Bruce also accomplished the rare feat of breaking the same World Record twice in the same day (June 18, 1975) in the 200-meter freestyle.

In 2016, furthering their exemplary career as a world-class swimming duo, a panel of 20 coaches, swimmers, administrators and media members selected Bruce, and brother, Steve, to the Pacific 12 Conference’s All-Century Men’s Swimming and Diving Team.  Bruce and Steve were two of ten USC Trojans receiving this illustrious honor>

Bruce was twice named World Swimmer of the Year,>Robert J. H. Kiphuth Award as the high point winner at the U.S. National A.A.U. Outdoor Championships.  He was inducted into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in 1984 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1987.  In May of 2001, Bruce was inducted into the University of Southern California Athletic Hall of Fame; the fourth male swimmer in the school’s 125-year history awarded the honor.  Bruce also participated in carrying the Olympic flame as a participant of the 1984, 1996 and 2004 Olympic Torch Relays in the Los Angeles area.

It is also interesting to note that in the midst of these extraordinary athletic accomplishments, and throughout much of his prime swimming career, Bruce became noted for achieving athletic success in spite of waging a quiet and very personal battle against the crippling arthritic disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, an affliction from which he has suffered since the age of 16. 

A licensed California Real Estate Broker for the past 30 years, Bruce has marketed and sold over $1 Billion worth of multi-family and commercial real estate.  He is a Senior Vice President and Broker Associate with Berkadia Apartment Real Estate Advisors,>

Bruce is a founding and current board member of Swim with Mike, a non-profit organization, which provides financial scholarships to physically challenged athletes enabling them to attend college.  Swim with Mike was established in 1981 following a tragic motorcycle accident which left his close friend and USC swim teammate, Mike Nyeholt, paralyzed from the chest down.  Bruce is also an active supporter of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, the YMCA of Orange, the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Villa Park High School Aquatics, and San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church. 

Bruce is a 1979 graduate from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications, where he received his B.A. degree in Journalism.  He resides in Villa Park, California along with his wife Sharon, and their four children, Kyle, Troy, Brooke and Quinn.  His son, Kyle, is a member of the USC Class of 2016 and played water polo for the university.

Alex Farraro

Head Coach of Pre-Senior 2 

Alex was born and raised in Irvine, CA. She began her love of sports with playing softball when she was 5 years old. She was a pitcher, catcher and did left eld all before retiring at age 12.  Alex graduated from Northwood High School in 2006 where she swam and played varsity water polo. After that she played water polo for Coach John Wright & Gabriel Martinez at Santa Ana College where she received her AA degree. During her time at SAC, she was voted All Conference Athlete and her team was ranked in the top 10. After that she kept her studies going with a water polo and swim scholarship at Vanguard University of Southern California where she graduated with a degree in Kinesiology and also studied sports training. Alex aspires to>
 
Her professional background includes lifeguarding at Disneyland, head swim instructor at Waterworks Aquatics from 2008-2010, coach of the 12u girls SOCAL water polo team since 2011 where she was able to help capture 2 national titles for the team, and last but not least she is also the assistant Varsity coach for THS girls water polo team from 2014-present. She has been coaching the Barracuda (9-10y/0) group since 2010. 
 
Some of Alex’s hobbies include WINNING, surfing, and volunteering at the animal shelter.

 

Pristine Moran

Head Coach of Black 1

Pristine started swimming for SOCAL in 2003 until graduating from Beckman High School in 2010 She  also swam on  Beckman 's Varsity swim team for four years (2006- 2010 ) and was the team captain  during   her  senior year. Her coaching began at a young age of 15 when she helped coach the pre-competitive group during the summer of 2008She has taught swim lessons at Beckman through the Tustin Unified School District beginning her sophomore year of high school and was promoted as the program's head lifeguard in 2012. After graduating high school, she coached the Open Girls swim team at Beckman High School (2011-2012), then later moved on and helped the Foothill Frosh/Soph Girls swim team win league champions for two years in a row (2014 and 2015). 
 
Pristine graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Psychology in 2014. On top of being a full-time swim coachshe is also a kindergarten teacher at St. Jeanne de Lestonnac in Tustin and runs her own private swim lesson business around Tustin and Irvine. When out of the classroom or off the pool deck, she loves to go hiking, running, baking, and exploring new places.
Jennifer Valderrama

Head Coach of Black 2 

Jennifer was born and raised in Santa Ana California. She has always had a love for sports like volleyball and basketball, but most importantly swimming. Her love for swimming began when she was 8 years old and continued all throughout high school. She swam for Foothill High School’s swim team for 4 years. She currently attends Cal State Fullerton where she is majoring in Criminal Justice. 

 
Ashlyn Fiorilli

Head Coach of Minnows

Ashlyn was born in San Ramon, California but grew up in McKinney, Texas. She is currently taking a gap year from the University of California Berkeley where she competes in the pool for the Bears. She is training with SOCAL during her gap year and intends to major in Legal Studies once returning to school.

 

She began swimming in Texas at the age of six and has been competing ever since. A three time scholastic All-American, Ashlyn competed at the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley and has qualified for the 2021 Trials. She was a member of the United States National Junior Team. She also qualified and competed at the 2017 Junior World Championships.

 

Outside of the pool Ashlyn enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, going to the beach, and lots of outdoor activities.

Mykaela Garcia
Head Coach of Sea Turtles, Assistant Coach of Bronze Groups 
 
Mykaela was born and raised in Tustin, CA. Her love of all things aquatic started with swimming and surfing at the beach. At the young age of 5, she joined her neighborhood swim team, The Tustin Dolphins. She competed with them until she was 12.
 
She currently attends Santiago Canyon College and plans to transfer to CSULB where she will major in nursing and sociology.  In her free time, she likes to eat (nom nom), hang out with friends and her beloved dog Piper, go to the movies, clothes shopping, always up for a concert or music festival, and she still loves the beach!
Molly Andrews

Assistant Coach

Molly has been a member of the Tustin community for over 20 years. Having competed in both water polo and swim at Tustin High School, she found herself coaching at her alma mater shortly after completing her undergraduate degree. Coaching at Tustin High merged her path with Coach Steve Pickell, allowing her to grow her passion for the sport. Her relationship with Coach Pickell has afforded her the opportunity to grow her passion at SOCAL Aquatics. Before coaching, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. After moving back to Tustin in 2012, she continued her education at Whittier College and California State University Fullerton earning Masters of Arts degrees in Education and History. Outside of the pool, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially her two nieces Peyton and Delaney. 

Chloe Norris

Assistant Coach

Chloe has lived in Orange her whole life and has been a competitive swimmer for 10+ years. She started swimming when she was 5 at Mission Viejo Nadadores, after 2 years she then moved to Irvine Novaquatics. She just recently started swimming for SoCal and is now in the Silver group. She is a senior at Villa Park High School and has swam varsity for all of her high school years, being one of the top swimmers, especially in backstroke!

Chloe began coaching in August and loves working with kids as she has done it every sunday at church for the past two years. She is a hard worker, has a positive attitude, and will strive to help her team grow in speed and love for swimming.

Off of the pool deck Chloe loves cooking and baking, eating, and going to the beach and relaxing, surfing or swimming. She has a small cosmetics company, is extremely involved in her church, and hangs out with her Husky, Luna, and her family and friends. 

Craig Harriman
Volunteer Coach
 
Craig Harriman was born in 1950 in Las Cruces, NM, is the oldest of five children and grew up on cattle ranches in California and Nevada.  He moved to Pasadena in ninth grade where he swam and played water polo at Pasadena High School.  Following graduation, he attended the University of California, Davis where he played water polo, later transferring to the University of Nevada, Reno where he graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science in 1972.
 
Having been active with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) as a student-athlete, Craig and his late wife Vicky joined their full-time staff with the Athletes In Action ministry in 1973 where he has served ever since.  In 1979, Craig launched the AIA Swim Team, which included Coach Pickell's USC teammate, 1980 Olympian Mike Bottom. and coach Steve "Garbo" Garberson.
 
As director of Athletes In Action Swimming, Craig has led four AIA Swim Teams to Europe (including Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Poland); launched and directed the AIA Swim Camps of Champions for age-group swimmers for over 10 years; and coached the AIA Swim Team of collegiate swimmers to multiple appearances at the USA Swimming Senior National Championships.
 
During the 1990's, Craig had the privilege of being a part-time coach for Josh Davis who represented Athletes In Action for 6 years, including making the 1996 Olympic Team where he garnered 3 gold medals, and helped the AIA Swim Team finish in 3rd place as a men's team at Summer Senior Nationals -- with only 4 swimmers!
 
While living in Colorado Springs, Craig was an assistant swim coach at Rampart HS prior to serving as the Head Swim Coach at Liberty HS for 10 years.  He moved to Seattle in 2007 where he was the Head Age Group Coach for the WAVE Swim Team as well as the Head Girls' Swim Coach at Woodinville HS.
 
He met his current wife Barbie on eHarmony while in Seattle and they were married in April 2008, whereupon he moved to Tustin and helped her run the Tustin Dance Center for several years.  Craig has three grown children and nine grandchildren, and Barbie has two grown children and two grandchildren -- one of whom is a senior at Crean Lutheran HS and the other a freshman at Tustin HS.
 
Craig is extremely excited to be back on deck as a volunteer coach for SoCal and looks forward to assisting Coach Steve and Coach Frisk accelerate the growth and success of SoCal Aquatics!