Coaches & Directors

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, tournaments, events, goal setting, and other aquatics related needs, please contact one of the coaches.

Check out our Facebook page: Mesa-Arizona Water Polo 

Also be sure to check out our age group swim program at and our masters team at

Coaching Staff

Paul L Smith

Director of Coaching-CEO


Since assuming the "helm" of MAC in April of 2009 Paul and his wife Laura have lead a top to bottom transformation of the club. The process has involved reorganizing the training groups, adding dry land training as a component for all age groups, adding "family" that includes coaches, a team manager and a volunteer corps that all together have taken the club from a little over 100 to 495 USA Swimming athletes (and over 200 masters registered in 2012)I The past year also saw   60 new team records, USA Swimming Level 2 Club Recognition achieved, a final ranking of #223 in the USA Club Excellence program (6th best in Arizona) and a VCC score of 67,446 ranking us at #510 of the close to 3000 year around swim programs in the country! In addition, with arguably two of the finest outdoor pools in the country MAC has become one of the top meet hosts in the state with events that have included Age Group, Senior and 8 and Under Championships, USA Swimming IMX Championships a USMS Masters Nationals and co-host of the annual Memorial Day Arizona Invitational.

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.  He was a World University Games Gold Medalist and Record Holder in 1981 and  is a  two time Olympic Swimming Trials Qualifier.  Paul was  an NCAA Swimming All-American in 1980 and 1981 for UC Santa Barbara where he was recruited by and played for their Division l Water Polo Team as well.  Recently, Paul 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.  

Paul is a USA Certified Coach and an ASCA Certified Coach who has been a team assistant to clubs participating in both the 1988 & 1992 Olympic Trials, has hosted two National Team training camps while residing in Colorado and in addition to directing the clubs operations also who oversees the post-grad training group and coaches several masters workouts each week. Paul and his wife are Co-Directors of Mesa Aquatics Club which also encompasses Mesa Masters, MAC Swim Shop and Mesa Water Polo.

Don Cook

Novice Coach/Asst. Coach


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.   


Samantha Biggs

Splashball Coach (5-9 yrs)


 Hello MWP family and friends! My name is Sam and I am the Head water polo coach at Kino this summer! I have been playing water polo for 7 years and have participated on numerous Junior Olympic and National teams over the years. I am currently in school to become a licensed aesthetician and will be graduating this July. This is my 4th year with the City and my 2nd year coaching and I couldn’t be more excited!  

Jessica Rudd

12 & Under Coach/Team Manager



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

14 & Under Coach


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.  

Chuck Samp

18 & Under Coach