Stephen J Pickell
Head Coach of Socal Aquatics
Head Coach of Senior Group
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 Buttterfly in 1977. Seven time
All-American, NCAA Champion and Team Captain at the University of
Began coaching swimming at USC in 1981 while going to
graduate school. For the last 12 years he has been coaching
swimming and water polo at Foothill High
School. Current coach member of USA Swimming
and is a ASCA Level 2 Coach.
When not coaching Steve is managing the family
insurance business and spending time with his wife,
Shelley and his four sons, Blake, Nick, Paul and Cooper.
Coach of the Senior 2 Group
Meet Coach Simon Harling. Our new Assistance Senior Group Coach.
Simon is an enthusiastic Exercise and Sports
Science graduate from Concordia University Irvine. He is
currently pursuing a Masters in Coaching and Athletic
Administration at Concordia. We are thrilled he has joined our
Socal family. Please give Simon a warm Socal welcome when you see
him on deck!
Coach of the Senior 3
John has coached water polo and swim since 1983. He has
been the Head Coach in swimming at Marina High School (1993 CIF D1
Champs), Golden West Swim Club, Golden West College (4 state
titles), Santa Ana College (5th in state), SOCAL Aquatics, (since
2009), in addition to running the aquatics program for the city of
Seal Beach for several years.
He has been the Head Coach for water polo at Marina High
School (2005 boys runner up, 2005 girls Champs), Golden West Water
Polo Club (3 JO and 1 x 20U Championship), SOCAL WPC, Irvine WPC,
Golden West College (5 State Champs), Santa Ana College (5th in
State). In addition, was a coach with the USA Women’s National Team for 5
years and the Head Coach of the Women’s USA National Jr Team
that won the World Championship in Perth Australia in 2001.
He referees water polo at the collegiate level and occasionally at
the club and high school level. His wife Lisa teaches 5th
grade and have three kids, two swim for SOCAL, Makenna, Jack and
Head Coach Developmental
Program & 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
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 now plays baseball in the minor leagues for the San
Diego Padres. Kevin is a graduate of Redlands University where he
majored in Asian studies and Government. Amber is a graduate of
Stanford University and playing water polo. 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’s favorite hobby is reading and keeping up
with the busy lives of her children.
Assistant Coach of the
Brandon was born in Southern CA and at an early age moved with
his family to the Philippines
where he lived for the next 6 years. He started playing for
Socal water polo in 2001 and fell in love with competitive water
polo and swimming which he continued to do at Foothill. At Foothill
he was coached by Vickie Oland and by Steve Pickell for water. His
conditioning was influential to his success as a swimmer and
winning League Meet Swimmer of the Year later on. Brandon
continued to play water polo and swim throughout his high school
career making it to the CIF finals division 1 championship his
senior year.Brandon graduated with a degree in Anthropology in 2009
from UCSB; after which he
taught English in Thailand for about a year and a half. Brandon
has been involved in teaching kids about swimming and water
polo since 14 when he spent his summers as a swim instructor at
Foothill. He enjoys surfing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and likes to
pretend he can still swim at Masters Polo.
Coach of the Pre-Senior
Group & Head Coach of the Masters
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!
Coach of the Pre-Senior 2
Shayla started off with swimming lesson at foothill high
school from 1996-2000. Then swam for Socal for two years where she went into water
polo for another 3 years. In high school where she
swam Varsity for the first two years at Orange
Luther High School. For the next 6 years she taught swimming
lesson for the Tustin
Unified School District at Beckman High School, which lead her
to Socal Aquatics and a
high school swim coach position. When she's not coaching she likes
to read and go hiking.
Coach of the Barracudas
Pristine S Moran
Coach of the Minnows 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 been teaching 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 on Beckman's Varsity swim team for four years (2006-2010) and was the team captain during her senior year. Pristine graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Psychology and is now pursuing a teaching credential, in hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher. While off the pool deck, she likes to go to the beach and spend time with her friends and family.
Mykaela R Garcia
Assistant Coach of the
Coach of the Sea
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 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.