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Coaching Staff

Grant Miller

Head Coach, U18 & U16 Coach

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Mission Statement

I believe in educating and creating men. It is my goal, in the classroom and on the pool deck, to 

be successful. Success is not measured by class rank or wins and losses, but rather by the growth 

of an individual’s character and achievement of personal goals.

Education

Pepperdine University (Malibu, Ca.)

B.A. (’09) in History

 

Teaching Experience

2007-2008: Patrick Henry Middle School (Granada Hills, Ca) 

Taught lessons in History and English in 6th grade classroom 

Completed daily bookkeeping tasks, lesson planning, and grading

2011-Present: Damien High School (La Verne, Ca)

Courses taught: US History, World History, Biology, Honors Biology, and AP 

Environmental Science. 

 

Coaching Experience

2004-2009: Camp Counselor, Terry Schroeder Malibu Water Polo Camps (Malibu, Ca.) 

Responsibilities: Instruction of athletes from ages 11-18, organizing daily schedules 

Travelled to Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut to run individual and team camps

2005-2006: Head Coach, Pepperdine University Women’s Club Water Polo Team 

Responsibilities: Running practices and games, organizing tournaments and travel trips

2009-2015: Coach, Foothill Club Water Polo (Claremont, Ca) 

Assistant Coach: 16U Men’s Water Polo Team (Summer 2009) 

Assistant Coach: 18U Men’s Water Polo Team (Summer 2010) 

Head Coach: 16U Men’s Water Polo Team (Nov. 2010-Aug. 2011) 

Head Coach: 12U Men’s Water Polo Team (Aug. 2011-Aug. 2013) 

Head Coach: 18U Men’s Water Polo Team (Nov. 2013-Aug. 2014) 

Head Coach: 16U Men’s Water Polo Team (Nov. 2014-Present)

2009-2010: Assistant Water Polo Coach, Damien High School (La Verne, Ca.)

Responsibilities: Coaching the Freshmen and Junior Varsity levels, running practices for 

the Varsity level and assisting the Varsity team.

2010: Assistant Swim Coach, Damien High School (La Verne, Ca.) 

Responsibilities: Helping run swim practices and creating meet line-ups

2011-2015: Head Water Polo Coach, Damien High School (La Verne, Ca.) 

2011: CIF-SS Division 3 Runner-up 

2012: CIF-SS Division 2 Semi-finalist

Responsibilities: Running practices and games, organizing tournaments and schedules, 

and organizing overnight travel trips

 

Additional Information

CPR/First Aid Certified

Finishing up California Teaching Credential (Secondary School Social Science)

3 Time NCAA All-American in Water Polo for Pepperdine University

2009-2010: Professional Water Polo Player: Dauphins de Sete Water Polo Team (Sete, France)

Petra Pardi

U14, U12 Coach, U18 Assistant Coach

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EDUCATION

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, TEMPE ARIZONA 

Sociology, May 2015

• Also completed an undergraduate certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages 

• Was recognized as a First Team Winner of the 2014 Academic Momentum Award by The National 

Consortium for Academics & Sports for exceling both on the field and in the classroom. 

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL) INTERNSHIP TEMPE ARIZONA

English as a Second Language Instructor January 2015- May 2015

• Spent over 10 hours a week preparing ESL lesson plans for refugees 

ENGLISH TEACHER BUDAPEST HUNGARY

• Taught private English lessons to adolescent throughout the summers since 2010 until 2014

ZAMARDI KALANDPARK ZAMARDI HUNGARY

Front Office Manager May 2013 - August 2013 

• ticket sales, public relations, management of reservations for groups, administrative affairs

• Works well under pressure, great communication skills, good leadership skills, good organization 

and planning skills

 

UJPESTI VIZILABDA UTANPOTLAS EGYESULET BUDAPEST HUNGARY

Water Polo Coach May 2011 – August 2011 and May 2012 - August 2012 and May 2014 – August 2014

Coaching U12, U14 and U16 Men’s Water Polo teams throughout their summer camps, to prepare them for 

their seasons.

• Oversee the club's logistics, data entry and accounts receivable

 ADDITIONAL SKILLS

• Speaks Hungarian (native language), English (fluently), Italian, Portuguese (beginner)  

• Computer skills (PC, Mac, Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point)

 

ATHLETIC EXPERIENCE

COLLEGIATE ATHLETICS

Women’s Water Polo Team, Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ 

• Received athletic scholarship for all years of academic study

• Two time All-American

• Devote 30 hours per week to practice, conditioning and competition while carrying a full course load. 

• Communicating player questions and concerns to coaching stuff in order to maintain cohesive team. 

• Awarded MPSF player of the week twice in the 2013 and 2015 seasons 

• Named team captain by coaching staff honoring her outstanding hard work

• Member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) 

• Was named Sports Performance Lifter of the year in 2014-2015 seasons

INTERNATIONAL ATHLETIC EXPERIANCE

Member of the Hungarian National Team 

• 2008 Junior European Championship

• 2009 Junior World Championship 

• 2011 Junior World Championship

• Attended weekend training camps and 7 week intensive preparation trainings in the summer.  

CLUB ATHLETIC EXPERIENCE

• Voted team captain by teammates for two consecutive years

• Newcomer  of the year in 2008

Paul L Smith

Director of Coaching-CEO

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Paul and his wife Laura are the owners of Sol Mates, LLC which owns and operates Mesa Water Polo, Mesa Aquatics, Mesa Aquatics-Masters. Both are graduates of UC Santa Barbara, Paul played water polo for and competed in two NCAA Championships, as a swimmer he was an NCAA Swimming All-American in 1980 and 1981 and a University Games Gold medalist/Record holder. Recently, Paul has continued as a masters water polo player and also has been a two time USMS Master Swimmer of the Year recipient; is a multiple USMS World and National Record Holder;  has been a USMS All Star 5 times and is a 10 time USMS All American. He has acquired 174 Age Group Top Tens in USMS to date.   Laura swam 4 years and was team captain for the womems swim team, competed in triathlon after college and is presently the strength and conditioning coach for the Mesa Aquatics Club national Training Group, as well as coaching the 10&U swim team and masters swimming.

Paul has a B.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Coaching Minor from the University of California, Santa Barbara and went on to obtain his Masters Degree in the same field from Antioch University. Paul is a USA Certified Water Polo & Swimming Coach and an ASCA Certified Coach who has been a team assistant to clubs participating in both the 1988 & 1992 Olympic Swimming Trials

Jessica Rudd

Team Manager

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Hi, my name is Jessica Rudd. I started swimming when I was six and continued, swimming on the high school team for four years, my senior year becoming a captain of the team. I got into playing water polo when I was 14. I played first at the city rec level for two years and then joined the Mesa club team. I played with them for two years and then moved to ASU's club team where I played until I graduated high school. My last year with them, we won the state tournament.  Through this time I traveled to California, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado to play in various tournaments with different teams. Two summers in a row I went to the Junior Olympics with a team from Houston, Texas. I have coached the rec team at Kino for three years and have been with our Mesa Water Polo Club since we started a year ago. The last year I spent working in a medical office as a medical assistant. 

 

Nolan Ruane

Assistant Coach

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Nolan Ruane was born and raised in Mesa.  He swam at Dobson High School, and excelled in the 100, 200 and 500 Freestyle.  He earned multiple State Championships and All American Awards for individual and relay events. He also played club water polo, where he competed in many Nationals and International ompetitions.  Nolan then went on to swim for the Arizona State Sun Devils from 2007 – 2011, where he became a Pac 10 Semi-Finalist in the 50, 100 and 200 Freestyle. Nolan is an excells at coaching the Senior Group, the Strength and Conditioning Program, and Water Polo.   He is currently in the process of earning his Bachelors in Kinesiology and Sociology.

 
Nolan is new to Mesa Aquatics and is also working at Lifetime Fitness hoping to one day become a Personal Trainer.  Having grown up  in Arizona, he has family from Pittsburgh and is a huge Steelers and Penguins fan.  
 

Don Cook

Assistant Coach

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Don Cook was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. His first swim meet was at the age of 6 and continued through college. He held multiple school and state records, and achieved recognition in "Coach & Athlete High School Athletics Yearbook 1976-1977". His specialties were butterfly backstroke and I.M.  At 10 years old he started playing water polo which continued along with swimming into college.

After honorably serving in the U.S. Air Force, He went to work for Boeing where he has now started his 28th year with them in the engineering department.

Don is also a Certified Flight Instructor, which he has been doing for the last 18 years. 

Coach Don married his wife Mary 29 years ago which he credits to his continued efforts to succeed.

In 2010 Don return to the water, swimming with MAC and enjoying the torment from head coach Paul. While swimming Paul approached him about playing water polo and starting up a team, to which Don readily agreed.

Don's coaching and training goes back to when he was a still in high school, teaching swim lessons and coaching age group teams, and continues to this day.

It has been said that Don is in his element when he is coaching or training others whether it's water polo, swimming, flying or anything other projects he does.