Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Mohammad Khadembashi Executive Director/ Head Coach

Coach Mohammad started his coaching career at the Santa Monica YMCA in 2007, and was promoted to Head Coach of the YMCA Team in 2011. Similarly, he joined Team Santa Monica as Assistant Coach in 2015, and was promoted to Head Coach four years later, in 2019. He is an ASCA (Level 5), USMS, and a certified USA Swimming coach. 

Since joining TSM, Mohammad has been leading swimmers to competitive rankings in Southern California, USA Swimming, and internationally. He was Named Head Coach of Southern California Swimming for the Western Zone Age Group Championships in 2017 and 2018, where team SoCal won its first Zone Championships in a decade. He has coached TSM swimmers at the 2016 Olympic Trials, Senior and Junior National, World Juniors, and World Championships. He was named to the USA National Team Coaches list for 2019-2020, was appointed Team USA Coach for the Fina World Cup in Hungary 2019, and Coach to the Venezuelan National Junior Team for the 2019 Fina World Junior Championships. 

Coach Mohammad believes that anyone, at any age, can learn to swim and be a great swimmer. He aims to impart his unparalleled joy for swimming to athletes during every practice. Mohammad also believes that every athlete can reach their potential through  hard work  and  goal setting , and he challenges his swimmers to do exactly this – in the pool as well as in their personal lives. 

 “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard

Dave Kelsheimer National Group Coach

Prior to joining Team Santa Monica, Coach Dave enjoyed nearly 10 years as the Stingray Swim Club Head Coach and Cayman Islands National Coach, and later as the Head Coach and General Manager for Surrey Park Swim Club in Melbourne, Australia for 4+ years. 
Coach Dave has coached swimmers at World Championships, Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games, and Pan Pacific Games. He has held appointments as a USA World Championship Open Water team coach, and a U.S. Olympic Swimming Coach for Open Water.
 
Dave has been recognized as "Coach of the Year" 7 times, nominated 3 additional times, and has earned 6 American Swimming Coach Association Certificates of Excellence. In 2015 Coach Dave won the Glen Hummer award for his contributions to open water swimming. 
Coach Dave is married and has three children.

 
 

Iman Khadembashi Head Age Group Coach

Coach Iman hails from Iran and came to the US in 2003. Iman coached at the Santa Monica YMCA 2009-2014 ultimately as Head Coach, leading the team to the Southern California YMCA League Championship, and also serving as Aquatics Coordinator and heading the swim lessons program of over 300 swimmers. In 2014 Coach Iman joined Westside Aquatics and assisted in starting a new program in Santa Monica. Soon after Coach Iman became the Head Age Group Coach at Westside. In 2014 Coach Iman also became the Head Coach of a Master’s Program.

Coach Iman is currently in his 8 th year of coaching. He has coached swimmers ranging from novice to Sectional qualifiers. He has also had his swimmers recognized by USA Swimming as the top 20 swimmers in the nation in their age group. Coach Iman is a fan and a student of the sport of swimming and he is passionate about coaching. He would like to help all his swimmers to realize their potential in and out of the pool, set goals, and create a plan to achieve those goals. In 2016 and 2017 Coach Iman was selected to coach at the Southern California All Star Festival Meet. Coach Iman believes that anything is possible through hard work and dedication.           

“If you really want something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.”

David Dawson Board member- President

We have watched with pride as our son Jack has grown as a swimmer with TSM, first joining at the introductory level of the TSM Pre-Competitive Program in 2012 and now training with the Junior Olympic group. Jack’s accomplishments and enthusiasm for competitive swimming is a testament to our coaching staff and the greater TSM community. As a Board Member, I look forward to supporting and furthering the efforts of our coaches, swimmers and their families.

My wife Nicole and I are faculty members in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Associate Director for the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program, and member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center where my clinical and research interests are centered on pancreatic cancer. I earned my B.S. from Duke University and M.D., Ph.D. from Northwestern University, after which I completed my residency and post-doctoral fellowship training at UCLA.

David Newberg Board Member - Treasurer

Having grown up in Santa Monica, I was excited to move our swimmer to TSM in early 2012. Audrey Daniels Marcus joined the Otters and set her sights on moving up the ranks.  My goal is to build and improve the financial foundation of TSM and to increase the city's support to achieve our goal of local, national and international recognition for the swimmers and coaches as one of the premier competitive swim programs in the country.

I have a B.S. in Finance and Accounting and a M.S. in Finance from the California State University – Long Beach, along with graduate work in International Business at the University of Copenhagen. I look forward to being on the TSM board.

Jeremy Alcock Board Member Secretary

Raised on the coast of Southern California, water safety has always been important in my life. Growing up in the waves and living on a boat as young man have given me great respect for our ocean. My partner Jeanne LeBlanc was also swimmer growing up in New Orleans so we have it in our blood. We discovered Team Santa Monica from a family who had kids a couple years ahead of ours. We watched the healthy progression in to young adults and TSM played a major role in that growth. This gave us confidence in the team and when given the chance to be a part of this swim community, we joined without hesitation.

 

Our son Sebastian is at the National Development level and has had the opportunity to work under Dave Kelsheimer along with Jimmy Dabney amongst others. He started with the Sharks program at SMC and quickly progressed with these coaches. Forming lifelong bonds with his fellow teammates, he has had the chance to train alongside Olympians and international swimmers from around the world. It has truly been an amazing experience that we cherish daily.

 

I am co-owner with Jeanne LeBlanc of JxTwo, Inc. We are creative consultants providing marketing and design solutions for film and entertainment studios as well as major corporations. I am blessed to work alongside my best friend and the mother of my children. I know it’s trippy, we are a rare breed.

 

I have an associate’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Moorpark College as well as a BFA in Graphic Design from SDSU. Jeanne has a BFA in communication design from Parsons/New School of Social Research, New York City.

 

Alex Tower Board Member - At Large
Rufus Williams Board Member - Vice President
Peter Mullins Board Member - At Large
Walid Sammoud Age Group Coach

Coach Walid is a swim coach, personal trainer and a physical education teacher. He grew up in Tunisia, and was part of the National Swim Team. He spent most of his life as a high level athlete before transitioning to a coach. 

Coach Walid started his career in 2008 and has experience coaching schools and clubs in different countries including Tunisia, Switzerland, Zambia and the United States. 

Coach Walid joined Team Santa Monica in May 2018. He’s patient with swimming and he enjoys spending his time working with children, regardless of their ages and levels, to help them improve and develop their skills.

Coach Walid is a member of USA Swimming and American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA). His dream of attending the Olympics is gradually becoming a reality. He believes that anything can be possible as long as the hard work is consistent.

 

“Great things come from hard work and perseverance. NO EXCUSES” --Kobe Bryant

Board of Directors
David Dawson Board Member- President
Rufus Williams Board Member - Vice President
Nancy Wu Board Member - Treasurer
Alex Tower Board Member - Secretary
Jeremy Alcock Board Member- At Large
Peter Mullins Board Member - At Large