Stephen J Pickell
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.
Assistant Coach of Senior 1 & 2
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.
Head Coach of the Masters & Pre-Senior 1 Group
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 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!
Head Coach Developmental Program & Coach of the Black Group
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.
Co-Head Coach of Pre-Senior 2 and 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>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.
Co-Head Coach of the Pre-Senior 2 Group and Assistant Coach of Senior 3 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.>
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!
Head Coach of the Pre-Senior 3 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>
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 S Moran
Head Coach of the Minnows & Sea Turtle Groups and Assistant Coach for the Pre-Senior 1 Group
Pristine started swimming for SOCAL in 2003 until graduating from Beckman High School in 2010. Her coaching began at a young age of 15 when she helped coach the pre-competitive group during the summer of 2008. She has taught swim lessons at Beckman through the Tustin Unified School District since her sophomore year of high school and was promoted as the program's head lifeguard in 2012. She also swam>
Pristine graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Psychology and>
Assistant Coach of the Sea Turtles, Minnows & Pre-Senior 3 Groups
Nolan was born in Newport Beach and raised in Huntington Beach. He graduated from Huntington Beach High School and is currently attending Chapman University with a major in Health Science and minor in music. Nolan grew up playing t-ball, soccer and swimming. He chose swimming because he lived by the ocean and always enjoyed being around water and going to the pool! Prior to coming to SOCAL, he was a lifeguard and swim coach at the Pacific Sands Cabana Club/Surf City Aquatics for 3 years. Outside of swim, he enjoys playing volleyball, going out with friends, playing video games and going to Mexico with friends & family.