Coaching Staff

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.

ARMAN MOMDZHYAN

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

Contact: coacharman@lajollaunited.com

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.

DANA OCHSNER

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS ACADEMY CO-HEAD COACH

HOMETOWN: OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA

Head Coach Senior Academy- HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS

SDSU Women’s Water Polo Team Assistant Coach

Contact: dochsner@sdsu.edu

Coach Dana Ochsner is a San Diego native, born in Oceanside, Ca. She has 18 years of national and international water polo experience including 10 years of coaching. 
 

She competed collegiately for four years at UC Berkeley (2010-13).  In that time, her team won the 2011 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) championship. They finished third in the NCAA Tournament in her freshman season (2010) and second in her sophomore year (2011).  In her time at Cal she was named a 3 time All-American, as well as making the All-MPSF and All-NCAA teams, In her final year she was named the team captain and MVP.

Ochsner was selected and competed as a member of the USA Water Polo’s Women’s Cadet National Team from 2005-08 and the US Junior National Team from 2009-12.  As a member of the US Junior National Team she competed and won a gold medal in the 2010 Global Championships and participated in the 2011 Junior World Championships. Professionally, Ochsner played in Seville, Spain for Club Water Polo Dos Hermanas in 2013 and 2014 and followed that up in 2015 with a season with UTS Balmain Water Polo Club in Sydney, Australia.

During her playing career and after its conclusion, she has coached at the high school, club, junior college and now Division 1 collegiate level in the San Diego area. She was the head girl’s coach at El Camino in 2016 and led that squad to CIF-San Diego Section Open and Division 1 playoff appearances which included a championship in 2019. She was named the girl’s head coach for the North San Diego Stars Water Polo Club and from 2015-17 she was an assistant coach for the men’s team at Miramar College.  

Currently, Ochsner is heading into her 3rd year as the San Diego State women’s assistant coach. Last season Ochsner helped coach the team to an in-season conference title as well as an appearance in the conference tournament championship.
Ochsner earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley in 2013 and a master’s degree in education from Grand Canyon University.

STEFANO MATTESINI

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

Contact: stefano.mattesini@hotmail.com

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. 

Lorenzo Innocenti

14u Boys Head Coach & 12u Boys Assistant Coach

Florence, Italy

Contact: lorexnzino@gmail.com

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.

Kirby Kaptur

14u Girls Age Group Programs Head Coach

University of Michigan- Chemical Engineering

Contact: kkaptur@usawaterpolo.org

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.

Brynna Bryant

12u Girls Age Group Programs Head Coach & 14u Girls Assistant

Palomar College Women’s Water Polo

Contact: brynnabryant@yahoo.com

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.

Annika Arroyo

12 & 14u Girls Assistant Coach

University of California, San Diego

Current member of UCSD NCAA Women’s Division 1 Program

Contact: annimarie20@yahoo.com

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.

Jacob Schrimpf

16u Boys Co-Head Coach & 12/14u Boys Assistant Age Group Coach

Pepperdine University

Contact: jschrimpf09@gmail.com

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.

James Fales

Senior Academy Teams

San Diego State University – BS Excercise Physiology, ATC

Head Coach Senior Academy – 18u Boys Co-Head Coach

Contact: falesjim@gmail.com

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.

Noah Keoni Tiu

12u & 14u Boys Age Group Coach

CSU San Marcos- Psychology

University of the Pacific & Long Beach City College

Contact: ntiu1997@gmail.com

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.

John William Bryant

16u Girls Senior Teams Head 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

Contact: jw@lajollaunited.com

   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. 

Greg Olson

18u Boys Co-Head Coach

Stanford University

Contact: greg@olsonesq.com

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.

Joey Kienle

Assistant Head Coach HS Girls Academy

Whittier College, B.A Philosophy & French

National University, M.A Special Education
Contact: clairemontwaterpolo@gmail.com
Whittier College Bio & Statistics

Coaching Highlights
Head Coach of Clairemont High Boys and Girls 2012 – present
CIF Champion 2017- Girls and Boys
2013 and 2017 League Champion- Boys
2014, 2015, 2019, 2020 League Champion- Girls
 
Playing Highlights
4 year varsity starter at Mission Bay
2 year varsity athlete at Grossmont College (2008-2009)
2 year varsity athlete at Whittier College (2010-2011)
 
Joey was born in Philadelphia and is currently a Special Education teacher at Lincoln High School. He was recently engaged to Cal alum and SDSU women’s assistant coach Dana Ochsner. Joey currently competes with Sunset’s Master’s 30+ and is entering his 8th year coaching at Clairemont High School. 

Alessandro Ipson

10u CoEd & 12u Boys Assistant Age Group Coach

Canyon Crest Academy High School

Contact: aoillama@icloud.com

Cell Contact: 858-280-4179

USA Water Polo Academic All-American (2019-2021)

2021 Canyon Crest Academy Water Polo Team Captain
Lifeguard at the Bay Club Carmel Valley

NATE ELLINTHORPE

JUNIOR ACADEMY TEAMS

 

University of California San Diego- Human Development Sciences

Contact: Ellinthorpenathan@gmail.com

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!