LA JOLLA UNITED WPC COACHING STAFF
La Jolla United wpc’s dedicated team of coaches are here to advance your athlete to their next level of water polo success. Combining for over 100 years of coaching and playing experience.
All our coaches are SafeSport certified, members of the Positive Coaching Alliance and adhere to the USA Water Polo coaches code of conduct.
CLUB TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, HS BOYS HEAD COACH & HS GIRLS ASSISTANT COACH
University California San Diego – BA Human Development Sciences
Fresno Pacific University- MA Kinesiology: Emphasis in Physical Education
UCSD Men’s Water Polo Team Assistant Coach
UCSD Bio and Media // Watch Coach Arman at work – Highlights // Highlights
Arman Momdzhyan contributes 15 years of national and international water polo experience to La Jolla United wpc. Coach Arman was a four-time college All-American who played collegiate water polo at Los Angeles Valley College & UC San Diego from 2014-2018. Arman’s most recent water polo accomplishments include; 2-time ACWPC Division II Player of the Year – UCSD, 2-time ACWPC All-American – UCSD and a 2-time (CCCAA) All-American – LAVC. Coach Momdzhyan was selected to compete in the 2017 USA National League with team USA University. Arman played his high school water polo at Glendale High School, where he helped his team win three Pacific League titles, as well as the 2013 CIF DIV V Southern Section title. Arman was a 3-time all CIF player, 2-time All-American, 2-time All-Pacific League MVP and compiled 451 goals in his 3 year high school career. Coach Momdzhyan played a key captain role during his two-years under the helm of Jim McMillian & Jason Falitz at Los Angeles Valley College, where he led his Monarchs to back-to-back undefeated Conference championships, and a 3rd place standing in the Southern California region. His leadership role continued under the guidance of Denny Harper & Matt Ustaszewski after being named the 1st sole captain in UCSD history in 2017.
After a year of club and high school coaching at La Jolla in 2018, coach Arman was named the Head Coach of San Diego Miramar College Men’s Program in the Spring of 2019, where he led the Jets to the 1st Conference Championship Game appearance in school history, the 1st winning record in program history (15-11) and earned Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Co-Coach of the Year and 2022 Miramar Athletic Department Coach of the Year. After 3-years with the Miramar Jets, coach Arman will begin as the lead assistant men’s water polo assistant coach with his alma mater, UCSD in the Fall of 2022.
Arman hopes to provide La Jolla United athletes with the opportunity to reach their full potential, providing a training environment that will best facilitate in their personal growth and development. He strives to provide his passion and love for the game that helped mold him throughout his journey from a small water polo club, to community college, and at one of the most competitive levels in the sport.
10U COED & 12U BOYS HEAD COACH, ASSISTANT 14U BOYS COACH
HOMETOWN: FLORENCE, ITALY
Head Coach Age Group Academy- 10U COED & 12U BOYS
Assistant Coach Junior Academy – 14u Boys
Introducing the newest addition to our coaching staff, Stefano Mattesini from Florence, Italy. Stefano grew up playing water polo at the age of 9 for Etruria Nuoto. An athlete from Rari Nantes Florentia Waterpolo, who he competed on 16u/18u travel team. Stefano played semi-professionally for CUS Firenze in B (National Division) and C (Regional divisions) from 1999-2008. He moved to the U.S in 2009 and has pursued a career in aquatic coaching since, playing in successful coaching roles for local clubs Del Mar & Bay Club.
Coach Stefano will be heading our 10u CoEd and 12u Boys programs. He will also be assisting with our 14u boys academy, emphasizing a streamlined approach to the development of all La Jolla United youth athletes.
14u Boys Head Coach & 12u Boys Assistant Coach
Cell Contact: 619-655-1042
Lorenzo Innocenti from Florence, Italy. Lorenzo grew up playing water polo at the age of 8 for Rari Nantes Florentia and he competed on the 10u/12u/14u/16u/18u and for the Junior National Italian Men team. Lorenzo played professionally for Rari Nantes Florentia in A1 (National Division) from 1999-2005 and Fiorentina WaterPolo in A2 and B (National divisions) from 2006-2010. While in Italy he worked as swim instructor from 1999-2003, assistant swim coach 2000-2007 and water polo coach from 2002-2010. Lorenzo moved to the U.S in 2012 to pursue his engineering where he currently works full time as Engineering Manager at Apple.
18u Girls Head Coach & 14u Girls Co-Head Coach
University of Michigan- Chemical Engineering
Cell Contact: 708-925-7256
Coach Kirby Kaptur is a new San Diego resident after predominantly hailing from the Midwest.While she initially fell in love with water polo through her Chicago land club and high school teams, she honed her skills and developed her water polo IQ through the Olympic Development Program. Through the National Team Pipeline, she was played as an alternate for the Cadet and Youth National teams.The exposure that ODP and eight Jr. Olympic tournaments provided, lead to Kirby playing Division I water polo at The University of Michigan where she earned her degrees in Chemical Engineering and Pharmaceutical Engineering.She currently works as a scientist in Research and Development.Kirby initially gained coaching experience through the Ann Arbor club team, Wolverine Water Polo as well as the Ann Arbor Skyline high school program. From there she became involved as a coach for the Great Lakes Zone as part of the ODP program that provided her with the opportunity to play at a higher level. She became the Head Zone Coach for three years as the program grew over 40%.Coach Kirby is excited to join the LJU family and to continue developing her positive coaching mentality focused on driving technical and mental improvement in her athletes. Her main goal is to provide the guidance needed for athletes to achieve their successes both in and out of the pool.
12u Girls Age Group Programs Head Coach & 14u Girls Assistant
Palomar College Women’s Water Polo
Cell Contact: 760-685-2105
Brynna Bryant was born and raised in San Diego where she started playing water polo at the age of 14. She played for Shores Water polo club and went to San Pasqual high school as a 4 year varsity starter, while there she broke many records for the school including most goals in a season(141). After high school she is now continuing her education and water polo career at Palomar college. At the age of 19 she started coaching the 16/18u girls program at Riptides water polo club. Brynna joined the coaching staff with her older brother Jw at Classical Academy high school running there boys program. Brynna went on to take over the girls program at San Marcos high school leading there girls water polo team to there first league championship in school history. Brynna looks forward to spreading her knowledge and love for the game to the youth in San Diego.
12 & 14u Girls Assistant Coach
University of California, San Diego
Current member of UCSD NCAA Women’s Division 1 Program
Cell Contact: 805-766-3210
Coach Annika started playing water polo her freshman year in high school and immediately fell in love with the sport. Her dedication in the water earned her CIF Southern Section swimming and water polo honors and ultimately the opportunity to play water polo at UC San Diego where she is currently in her third year. In her first two years, she has earned All-Big West second team, freshman team, and honorable mention honors. She is excited to be coaching at the club level to impart her water polo passion and knowledge to the younger generation.
16u Boys Head Coach & 12/14u Boys Assistant Age Group Coach
Cell Contact: 858-692-6831
Coach Jacob grew up in San Diego and has an extensive swim and water polo background. Coach Jacob was an All-American attacker during his high school career at Cathedral Catholic under coach Brett Ormsby prior to competing for the Pepperdine Waves from 2011-2014. Jacob played key coaching roles at Cathedral Catholic high school and Del Mar wpc over the last 4-years and is excited about continuing to develop local San Diego athletes.
Senior Academy Teams
San Diego State University – BS Excercise Physiology, ATC
Head Coach Senior Academy – 18u Boys Co-Head Coach
Coach Fales founded The Bishops School and San Miguel water polo programs in 1987 and was a core faculty member, coach and aquatics director for 30 years. His leadership earned the team 19 City League titles and graduated over 50 High School All Americans. During his tenure, The Bishops School won San Diego Section CIF titles in; 1992, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010. Coach Fales was voted CIF coach of the year 9 times.
John William Bryant
16u Girls Senior Teams Head Coach & 16u Boys Assistant Coach
San Pasqual HS & Palomar College
Rancho Bernardo High School Women’s Water Polo Head Coach
Classical Academy High School Men’s Water Polo Head Coach
Coach JW began his aquatics career as a club swimmer at the age of 7. He started playing water polo at the age of 13. He immediately feel in love with the game and continued to become more involved as he grew older. At San Pasqual High school Jw was a four year varsity starter. His senior year he broke the school record for goals in a season with 130+ goals while leading his team to a top 8 finish in division 1 CIFSD. After high school he continued his playing career at Palomar community college.At the age of 16 Jw started his coaching career at the 10 & under age group with Riptides WPC. He continued to coach 10u & 14u for a couple years and then at the age of 19 he was given the chance to become to head coach/administrator for Riptides while becoming the main coach for the 16u/18u boys program. From 2014-2018 Jw took an 18u boys team to Junior Olympics three times and in 2017 his 18u team won the gold medal in the Bronze division of JO’s.After a successful stint at Riptides, JW was offered a chance to continue his coaching career at Del Mar WPC, where he stayed for two seasons. Jw is currently the head coach for Classical Academy high school in Escondido. In his first season as head coach in 2018 they went on to become division 3 CIF champions.He uses his wealth of playing and coaching experience to teach his players the right way to play the game. Teaching young players how to train and understand the game is a passion of Jw‘s and he is looking forward to bringing that energy to the La Jolla United program.
Noah Keoni Tiu
14u Boys Gold & 16u Boys Gold Head Coach
CSU San Marcos- Psychology
University of the Pacific & Long Beach City College
Noah Tiu is a local retired water polo player who started his athletic career at the age of 11, playing for a handful of local club teams. Noah was a Junior Olympic champion for the 14u division and was named to the first ever Developmental National Team. Noah also played at Cathedral Catholic where he was a 4-year varsity player. During his high school career he helped his team win 4 CIF championships and was an All-County player his junior and senior years. Noah redshirted at the University of Pacific his freshman year of college but left and played a season at Long Beach Community College, where he helped his team get third in the State tournament. Noah returned home to San Diego to begin to pursue a career in coaching and education.
For the last two years Noah has been apart of the Canyon Crest Academy coaching staff which made its first Open Division appearance last year, where he also played various coaching roles at the club level. Besides water polo, Noah is currently attending CSU San Marcos where he is majoring in Psychology and is hoping to become a High School Counselor.
18u Boys Co-Head Coach
Cell Contact: 619-244-4734
Coach Olson grew up in the swimming and water polo world in Orange County, California, starting at six years old. As an age group player, he played with North Orange County Water Polo and Trojan Water Polo club teams at multiple Junior Olympics. He represented the United States in junior national competitions at home, in Europe and Cuba. He then moved to Palo Alto, California to attend Stanford University where he played for four years and competed in the NCAA tournament each year.After graduating from Stanford, Coach Olson eventually settled in San Diego and he has continued to compete with Sunset Water Polo, representing the team at numerous Master’s Nationals tournaments and championships. Coach Olson has coached 12u, 14u, 18u boys and 14u, 16u and 18u girl’s teams in La Jolla, including Junior Olympic tournaments. Coach Olson enjoys helping athletes improve and reach their highest potential both as individuals and teammates, and he is looking forward to continued success with La Jolla United.
14u Boys Academy
UC San Diego- BS Psychology
Vedran Latkovic is a water polo player hailing from Kotor, Montenegro. He has had the privilege of playing for esteemed teams such as VK Primorac (Former European Champion), Golden West City College, Long Beach City College, and UC San Diego, as well as the National team of Montenegro. Throughout his career, Vedran has competed in various national and international championships, including the 2016 Fina World Youth Championship where he earned a second-place finish. At Golden West City College, Vedran won a State Championship with an undefeated season, while at Long Beach City College, he made it to the State Championship Finals. During his time at UC San Diego he received several accolades, including an All-American award, an All-WWPA first team selection, four UC San Diego Player of the week awards, and two WWPA player of the week awards. Vedran‘s notable performances include scoring eight goals against UCI and eight points against UCSB, as well as a buzzer-beating spin lob against LMU.
12U BOYS ACADEMY
San Diego State University (SDSU): Sports Medicine/ Kinesiology BS
A.T. Still University (ATSU): Physician Assistant PA-C
Jonathan “JJ” Jaseniuk grew up in San Diego where he played water polo for Scripps Ranch High School and competed in swimming and surfing throughout college and beyond.
JJ started his professional career as an athletic trainer and then moved on to become a physician assistant specializing in sports medicine. He previously worked at Oasis Medical Group as a member of the team medical staff for the San Diego Chargers, X Games, WWE, and various local high schools and colleges, gaining years of experience to prevent, treat, and rehabilitate professional and youth sports-related injuries. Since 2008, he has worked at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla.
When JJ’s sons began playing competitive water polo, he brought his passion for the sport and his medical background together at the pool to enhance younger athletes’ proper biomechanics and fundamental skills. JJ loves to be on the deck to support all members of the team and to help mold La Jolla United’s water polo athletes into future stars in a healthy and safe environment.
12U BOYS ACADEMY
Elliot is a former water polo player and coach from the Bay Area. He began playing water polo in high school and quickly fell in love with the sport. After high school, Elliot was fortunate enough to participate in four years of Division I water polo at UCLA, where he was part of two national championship-winning teams in 2014 and 2015. After college, Elliot returned to the Bay Area to start his career, and continued coaching for his former club team, Sleepy Hollow Aquatics. During that time, he coached multiple 16u and 18u teams, helping many young athletes develop their skills as they sought opportunities to play at the D1 level. Elliot‘s coaching style is reflection of his own experiences as a player. Emphasizing discipline, consistency, and selflessness towards the team, he aims to instill those same values in his players to help them grow on their own water polo journey and beyond.
10U COED & 12U BOYS ACADEMY
UCSD- Aerospace Engineering
AS A SOPHOMORE IN 2022
All-WWPA Second Team … CSC Academic All-District … ACWPC All-Academic (Outstanding) … WWPA All-Academic … Earned first career WWPA Player of the Week Award (9/28) after totaling 11 points on nine goals and two assists over four matches at the MPSF Invitational … Named the University Credit Union Athlete of the Week (9/5) after totaling 14 points on 10 goals and four assists over four games during the Triton Invitational … Serves as a Triton Athletes’ Council team representative.
AS A FRESHMAN IN 2021
ACWPC All-Academic … Saw time in 20 of 24 games … Finished with eight goals and four assists for 12 points … Totaled a season-high four points with three goals and an assist against Fresno Pacific (10/29) … Had three points on a goal and a pair of assists vs. Concordia at the WWPA Championship … Triton Athletes’ Council team representative.
Was a member of the La Jolla United Water Polo Club from 2017-21.
A 2021 graduate of La Jolla High School … Two-time All-CIF First Team honoree … Helped guide the Vikings to a second-place finish at CIF Open Division in 2017 … Also participated in swimming all four years.
Coach Mikey grew up in San Diego, swimming and playing water polo. He was the team captain for his high school swim and water polo teams. He continued his aquatic sports at UC San Diego where again he competed in swimming and water polo for four seasons. He was team captain of the UCSD Men’s Intercollegiate Water Polo Team during his senior year. Coach Mikey was an ocean lifeguard for many summers, and enjoys open water swimming as well. He has competed in the Trans Tahoe Relay Swim for over 20 years, several Gatormans, and a couple of 5-mile swims.
Coach Mikey works with our youngest 10u CoEd athletes and helps our age group kiddos club wide in all aspects in sport and life. He has two kids, John and Catherine Schatz who both compete for LJU.
10u CoEd & 12u Boys Assistant Age Group Coach
Canyon Crest Academy High School
Cell Contact: 858-280-4179
USA Water Polo Academic All-American (2019-2021)2021 Canyon Crest Academy Water Polo Team CaptainLifeguard at the Bay Club Carmel Valley
JUNIOR ACADEMY TEAMS
University of California San Diego- Human Development Sciences
At 21 years old, Nathan Ellinthorpe has been involved with the water polo community for the vast majority of his life. He spent his formative years playing in Long Beach for the prestigious United Club, garnering numerous Junior Olympics Medals along the way.
At 13, Coach Nathan moved to Northern California. During his years playing for the varsity team at Granite Bay High School he collected the following accolades: 2nd Team All-SFL 2015, 1st Team All-SFL 2016/2017, 2nd Team All-CIF 2016/2017. In his senior year, Nathan led his highschool team to the SJS CIF Section Championship. Nathan also spent his summers playing for Alumni Water Polo Club, playing with/against some of the best players in the world.
Coach Nate is currently over seas playing professional water polo in New Zealand. We look forward to welcoming Nate back to our coaching staff soon!