Paul L Smith
Director of Coaching-CEO
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
Head Coach, Senior Coach
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.
Pepperdine University (Malibu, Ca.)
B.A. (’09) in History
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
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
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)
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
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.
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.
Jessica started swimming at the age of six for the summer recreation programs and continued to do so each summer through high school. She swam on the varsity team at Westwood High School in Mesa all four years of high school. At age 13 she joined the summer recreational water polo team and never stopped playing. She has played on several club teams, including the early Mesa Water Polo and the youth Sun Devil Polo team at ASU. She traveled to Colorado, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Texas to play for different teams in various tournaments. At age 16 she was selected for the zone team for the Olympic Development Program run by USA Water Polo. Jessica joined a girls team from Texas to play in two consecutive Junior Olympic tournaments and her senior year of high school, her team won the State Championship.
Jessica began coaching age group water polo with the city recreation league for three summers in a row. She moved on to coach for Mesa Water Polo when the club first began in 2012 and has been with them ever since. She is now team manager for both Mesa Water Polo and Mesa Aquatics Club and hopes to continue to provide opportunities for kids to fall in love with the water, just as she has!