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We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches listed below.

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COACHING STAFF

Stephen J Pickell

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Head Coach of SOCAL Aquatics

Coach of Senior 1 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.   Current coach member of USA Swimming and is a 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.

Bruce Furniss

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Assistant Coach of Senior 1 & 2 Group

Bruce has been an assistant senior coach for SOCAL Aquatics since 2011.  He swam for SOCAL as a youth.  As a part-time coach Bruce provides instruction in the refinement of stroke technique, developing race and training strategies, improving mental preparation, and for those seeking to swim in college, he mentors and guides SOCAL swimmers in the identification of, and the introduction and matriculation to, colleges and coaches throughout the United States.  Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Bruce was active within USA Swimming as a National Administrative Vice President, Athletes Committee Chairman, Board of Director and Executive Committee Member.  He has represented USA Swimming as a National Team Manager five times.  Bruce is also a life member of USA Swimming.

Bruce’s career as a swimmer spanned seventeen years where he broke ten World and nineteen American Records.  His career culminated with the winning of two Olympic Gold Medals as a member of the 1976 USA Olympic Swimming Team, a team regarded by most sports historians as the most dominating Olympic sports team ever assembled.  Bruce joins Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps as the only Americans ever to win the Olympic 200 Meter Freestyle event.  Bruce’s relay split of 1:49.23 on the USA 4 x 200 Meter Freestyle Relay was the first time a swimmer ever broke the event’s magical 1:50 barrier.  Bruce also won two Gold and two Silver Medals in the 1975 & 1978 World Championships and garnered 11 AAU and 6 NCAA Titles during his career. 

 

A 1975 graduate of Foothill High School, Bruce is the third of four highly successful aquatic brothers, often referred to as “Orange County’s First Family of Swimming.”  Older brother, Steve, a two-time swimming Olympian (1972 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 1976 Olympic Team Captain), and Bruce are among a rare group of siblings, in any sport, to make the same Olympic Team. 

 

In April of 2000 Bruce was selected to “U.S.A. Swimming’s Swim Team of the 20th Century,” an honor bestowed on only 26 U.S. male swimmers deemed to be the best of the best in the twentieth century.  Bruce was awarded the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in 2004, an award given annually to six former collegiate athletes in recognition of their 25 years of post-graduate career achievements, contributions to professional organizations, and charitable and civic activities within their community.  In 2016, Bruce, and his older brother, Steve, were selected to the Pacific 12 Conference’s All-Century Men’s Swimming and Diving Team, a 32-man roster depicting the conference’s best Swimmers and Divers over its 100 year history.

 

Bruce was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1975 and 1976.  In 1974 and 1975, he won the 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, the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1987, and the University of Southern California Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.  He has participated in carrying the Olympic flame as a participant of the 1984, 1996 and 2004 Olympic Torch Relays in the Los Angeles area.

 

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. Bruce also serves as a Trustee to the David X. Marks Foundation, and is an avid supporter of Children’s Hospital of Orange County. 

 

A licensed California Real Estate Broker for the past 31 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, one of the nation’s largest fully-integrated multifamily brokerage and advisory practices. 

 

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, each whom swam for SOCAL Aquatics.

 

Sean Mulville

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Coach of the Senior 3 Group

Sean was born and raised in Laguna Beach, CA. Most would agree he was born with gills instead of lungs. He attended Laguna Beach High School where he was in Varsity Cross Country and Swimming, graduating in 2010. During high school, Sean swam for Nova under Coach Trevor’s directive and worked for the City of Laguna Beach as a lifeguard.
 
After high school, Sean attended Orange Coast College where he studied and swam for 2 years. Currently, he attends Saddleback College where he is pursuing a degree in business. In his free time, Sean enjoys watching or playing basketball and working out.

 

Kyle Brawley

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Coach of the Pre-Senior 2 Group and Assistant Coach for Senior 1 & 2 Group

 

Kyle is a Tustin High alumni and has been part of the aquatics family for over 10 years.  He was a varsity swimmer and water polo player and part of the 2005 Century League championship team for swimming.   He was also went to CIF in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay, and was 2nd team all-league for water polo.

Kyle spent 4 years teaching swim lessons and two years coaching under Boyd Philpot at Tustin High before entering the United States Marine Corps. While serving as an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter, he climbed the ranks and retired as a Sergeant. The call of the pool was too strong to stay away from and Kyle is now the head coach of the boys’ water polo program at Tustin High. He is currently finishing his degree in business at Brandman University.

When not coaching, you can find him at Disneyland with his wife, Christiana, and his daughter, Emma.

Ben Dowswell

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Head Coach of the Masters & Pre-Senior 1 Group 

 

Ben was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Canada.  A recent 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 has coached with the BCSSA  (British Columbia Summer Swimming Association) for 7 seasons.  Current ASCA Level II coaching certifiication.

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

Vickie Oland

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Head Coach Developmental Program & Coach of the Black Group

Coach Vickie was born and raised in Santa Ana, California. She graduated from Santa Ana High School in 1974 after playing varsity tennis and swimming varsity all four years. She then continued her swimming endeavors at Saddleback Junior College for two years earning the job of Team Captain her second year. She placed in finals at the State Championships both years. Vickie earned her AA degree in Psychology in 1977 from Saddleback College. After twenty years of working and raising her three children Vickie returned to college at Cal State Fullerton and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in psychology in 2000.

Most of Vickie’s work experience has revolved around children. She worked at Blue Buoy swim school for four summers during college. She coached age group swimming at SOCAL Aquatics, her club team, from 1975 until 2002. She coached two national record holders and numerous National top 16 swimmers and Junior Olympic champions. She has coach the Foothill Girl’s Varsity swim team for three years. Currently she works at Aqua Wave swim school in Foothill Ranch. Vickie is a coach member of United States Swimming and an ASCA level 3 professional Coach.

All three of Vickie’s children swam for SOCAL and attended Foothill High School participating in the aquatics programs. Bryan is finishing his CPA training, Kevin is a manager of sourcing for PetCo and Amber is an OT for Rehab Alliance. Vickie’s husband Rick is Vice President of Finance at Smith and Noble in Corona, Ca. and is very involved in youth sports in Tustin. Vickie and Rick were recently made Grandparents when Kevin and his wife had a baby boy.

Vickie’s favorite hobby is reading and keeping up with the busy lives of her children.

 

Luis Herbozo

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Assistant Coach of the Black Group

Luis is originally from Peru where his love of swimming began at the early age of 4.  Eventually he made his way to California with his family and graduated from Tustin High School in 2014 where he played varsity water polo (Empire League Champions of 2011) as well as swimming. His specialty was freestyle where he qualified for CIF in his sophomore, junior and senior years. He also had some pretty impressive swims at THS in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly coming within seconds from THS alumni and olympian, Michael Cavic.

 

Luis also brings with him private lifeguarding experience before joining SOCAL.  He currently has a full schedule. Apart from coaching at SOCAL, he attends Orange Coast College where he is also part of the swim team. He plans on transferring to either SFSU or CSULB and majoring in Kinesiology.

 

Some of Luis’ hobbies include long distance road biking, ocean swimming, playing guitar, hiking, collecting vinyl records and music appreciation.

Mykaela Garcia

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Assistant Coach of the Pre-Senior 2 Group
 
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. On the ?rst day of middle school she joined SOCAL Aquatics were she was happy to be on deck everyday! Mykaela attended Foothill High School were she was able to swim under Coach Steve Pickell’s directive (SOCALs Yours Truly) and graduated in 2014. Her favorite events were the 200 IM, 200 Breast and the 100 Breast.
 
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!

Alex Farraro

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Coach of the Barracudas Group

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 one day coach water polo at the collegiate level. 
 
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.

 

Nolan Delmer

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Assistant Coach for the Barracudas Group

Pristine S Moran

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Coach of the Minnows & Sea Turtle Groups and Assistant Coach for the Pre-Senior 1 Group

Laurie Yorba

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Assistant Coach of the Sea Turtles Group

Laurie has been at this aquatic gig for most of her life. She began assisting with the Red Cross- Learn to Swim Program at the age of 12.   She was a competitive age group swimmer from 11-16 yrs old.  Became a life guard and head swim coach of that same team at the age of 18.  They won the City of Phoenix Championship her 2nd year coaching.  She moved to Orange County and began teaching swimming at Blue Buoy Swim School and continued for close to 20 years.  She has also trained swim instructors at the Australia swim school and spent some time at Aqua Wave Swim School.  Her coaching experience:  Irvine Aquatics (before they mirged with Novas), head coach of Tustin Meadows Dolphins, Los Caballeros 8 & under coach, ORCA, La Quinta High, Mater Dei, and Villa Park.
 
She is also a  Special Ed Teacher for an elementary school in Fountain Valley.  She likes to spend her free time SCUBA diving or doing yoga or spending time with her son, Jeremy.
 

 

Megan Poltl

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Assistant Coach of the Sea Turtles