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 50 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. 


 James Fales: Senior Academy Teams

 San Diego State University - BS Excercise Physiology, ATC

 Head Coach Senior Academy - 18U Boys 

   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. 


 Arman Momdzhyan: Club Technical Director, Academy Teams Head Coach

 University California San Diego - BA Human Development Sciences 

 Head Coach Senior Academy, Assistant Junior Coach - 14U, 16U, 18U Boys

   Contact: coacharman@lajollaunited.com
   UCSD Bio and Media

 Watch Coach Arman at work - Highlights  // Highlights

Arman Momdzhyan contributes 13 years of national and international water polo experience to La Jolla United wpc. A four-time college All-American and recent UCSD graduate was named the Head Coach of San Diego Miramar College Men's Program in the Spring of 2019. Arman's most recent water polo accomplishments include; 2-time ACWPC Division II Player of the Year at UCSD, 2-time ACWPC All-American and a 2-time (CCCAA) All-American.

Arman competed at Glendale High School where he helped his team win three Pacific League titles, as well as the 2013 CIF title.  Arman was a 3-time all CIF player and 2-time All-Pacific League MVP.  Arman compiled 451 goals in his 3 year high school career. He strives to provide his energy and give back the experiences that helped mold him throughout his water polo journey. Arman's style and approach are aligned with La Jolla United wpc culture and goals.


 

 Toni Costa: Age Group Academy Teams

 MBA Sports Management

 Head Coach Age Group Academy - 12U Boys 

 Contact: coachtoni@lajollaunited.com

 

Toni was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. He started playing water polo at the age of 10 for his  local club, SHT.  At age 16 he was recruited by Club Athletico Paulistano one of the major water polo forces in Brazil. As the top goal scorer and MVP in the country, Toni became a 3 time consecutive national champion and was invited to represent Brazil's national water polo team.Toni competed in 3 Pan-American games, winning 1 silver medal and 2 bronze medals.

Toni went onto play professionally for the prestigious, Racing Club in France. After retiring, Toni became a successful coach and club manager of his own club in Sao Paulo, Aquatica Natacão e Polo Aquatico. Toni now lives in La Jolla, where he came to complete a degree in higher education. Prior to joining the La Jolla United wpc staff, Toni assisted at Del Mar wpc and Carlsbad water polo.
 


Jay Hagan: Age Group Academy Teams

10U Mixed and 12U Boys Assistant Coach

B.S. Physiology and Neuroscience- University of California, San Diego
MBA
Contact: jayhagan@gmail.com

Jay Hagan starting playing waterpolo in 1983, when he was 14 years old.  After 4 years of playing at Palos Verdes High School, Jay chose UC San Diego for his college experience.  Playing all four years, the UCSD Tritons made the NCAA championships twice during his tenure at the school. A two-time co-captain, Jay has always enjoyed being a student of the game. 

After graduating in 1992, Jay went on to become the Assistant Coach at Harvard University in Boston for four years, while continuing to play for the local Masters club team at MIT.  Moving with his wife back to the west coast, Jay continued his playing days with the Harvard Water Polo Foundation in the LA area, enjoying several significant tournament victories with multiple teammates from the National ranks. Relocating again, Jay moved his family back to San Diego in 2004, rejoining many former UCSD teammates with the Sunset Water polo club, which dates back to 1976.  Over the last 15 years in San Diego, the Sunset Waterpolo club has won five Masters national championships in a row among the 30s and 40s age divisions which Jay played on.  That core team went on to compete in the World Masters Nationals championships losing a tough match up to the eventual gold medal winning Croatian team by a close margin. 

Jay picked up the coaching reins again as his son Liam turned 10 and expressed an interest in playing the game that he has enjoyed watching his father play over the years, which led to the creation of the 10Us age group for La Jolla United.  While not coaching, parenting his two children with his wife Tracy or working in the biotech community, Jay continues to play with Sunset whenever his schedule permits.


John William Bryant: Junior & Senior Academy Teams

Head Coach Junior Academy- 14U Boys
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. Currently in year two his team is off to a 16-2 start and is currently the #1 ranked team heading into Division 2 CIF.

Jw is a players coach that focuses on development and putting all players in a position to be successful. 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. 


Rachel Lobato: Age Group Academy Teams

Harvard University - Human Evolutionary Biology

Head Coach Age Group Academy - 14U Girls  

Contact: coachrachel@lajollaunited.com
 

Rachel Lobato was born and raised in San Diego, and learned how to play water polo at La Jolla when she was 11 years old! She played at the Windansea water polo club through high school, and was a 4-time varsity letter winner at Mission Bay High School. At Mission Bay, Rachel lead her team to 4 consecutive league wins and CIF appearances.

Rachel competed as a Div 1 athlete all four years at Harvard while earning a degree in Human Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Spanish Language. Rachel taught English in Spain for one year, while playing on the club water polo team C.N. Reales in Tenerife. In addtion, Rachel continues to coach Miramar College and is returning for her second women's varsity season at La Jolla High School. Rachel is currently a graduate student at UCSD working towards an M.Ed. and teaching credential. 


Amy Jennings: Senior Girls Academy Teams

San Diego State University- BA Kinesiology
Azusza Pacific University- MA Physical Education
Head Coach Senior Academy Teams- 16/18U Girls
Contact: ajenningspolo@gmail.com

Amy Jennings is a local San Diegan graduating from San Pasqual High School in 1998. She played volleyball, softball and participated in the first CIF sanctioned girls water polo season in 1996. Amy played two years of water polo, two years of swim, and one year of softball at Palomar College. She was awarded All Conference and All American honors for Water Polo in 1998 & 2000. The 2000 Women’s Water Polo team was awarded Conference Champions and placed 4th in State.

Amy started coaching water polo in 1998 as the Novice coach for Vista High School. She continued coaching there as JV, and Assistant Varsity Coach for 8 years. In 2003 Amy returned home to Palomar College as Women's Assistant Water Polo coach for 4 years.

Amy became the Girl’s Head Water Polo Coach at Westview H.S in 2006. Her team has made CIF appearances every year since 2007. In 2013 her team finished 3rd in CIF, 2nd in 2014. When CIF water polo changed to a ranking system Amy’s team was ranked 5th in all of San Diego for 2015 and 2016. Amy was also Assistant Swim coach for Westview in 2007. In 2013 Amy was awarded Westview Coach of the Year and inducted into the Westview Coaching Hall of Fame in 2016. Amy has also been selected as Coach of the Year on several Senior All-Star Games in the last 10 years.

In 2007, Amy accepted the Head Coaching position for Women’s Water Polo at Miramar College. In her first year heading up the Jets, she was honored with ‘Pacific Coast Conference Coach of the Year. Amy was also awarded with Miramar Women’s Coach of the Year in 2016.

Summer of 2016, Amy started coaching with the La Jolla Water Polo Club as the girls 18/16 and under head coach. She accepted the girls water polo head coach position at La Jolla High School in 2016-2017 season and has taken her team to top 5 for the last three years.

In 2019, Amy completed her Masters in Education with a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physical Education and Adapted Physical Education Added Authorization from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Today, Amy continues to compete on the Darkside (formerly OMBAC) Women’s Water Polo Masters team where they have repeatedly gold medaled in the 20+ and 30+ divisions. In her free time, she plays with her children, surfs, plays pickleball, and does escape rooms. Amy currently resides in Clairemont with her husband Billy and three children Coral (10), Shelby (8) and William (5).


 Bennett Bugelli: Goalie Coach

 University California San Diego - Psychology 

 Goalie Coach

  Watch Coach Bennett at work - Highlights  // Bennett Bugelli - UCSD Athletic Bio

 Bennett Bugelli is a former member of La Jolla wpc and a 2017 graduate of La Jolla High school. Named All-CIF First Team as a senior ... Was an All-CIF Second Team selection as a junior ... Selected as the AFC Tournament Most Valuable Goalie as a senior ... Named the LJHS girl's water polo MVP as a senior ... Recorded 264 saves, 29 assists and 16 steals while only allowing 94 goals her senior year. 

As a freshman in 2018 ... ACWPC All-Academic Superior list ... WWPA Tournament MVP ... UCSDtritons.com Athlete of the Week (5/2) ... Collected 22 saves and surrendered just two goals over 56 minutes in three WWPA Championship games (two starts), lifting Tritons to sixth straight title ... Bennett adds her wealth of specialized knowledge and goalie training to all La Jolla United wpc goalies.  


Tori Rainone: Age Group and Junior Academy Assistant Coach 

University of California San Diego

Assistant Coach Age Group & Junior Academy Team-12u & 14u Girls

Contact: vrainone@ucsd.edu

UCSD Bio & Statistics


Tori is a 2016 graduate of El Toro High School in Lake Forest where she was Second Team All-CIF, All-Sunset Coast League and Third Team All-County honoree in 2016. After earning All-South Coast League honoree in 2015, Tori helped her team to a CIF runner-up performance and two South Coast League Championships.

She was a member of the 2014 Junior Olympic Championship Team, representing Set water polo club. She will be assisting our junior and age group girls teams as both a field and goalie coach.


Hannah Lobato: 12u Girls Head Coach & Assistant Age Group Coach

University of California Santa Barbara 

Head Coach 12u Girls Academy

Contact: hlobato@gmail.com


 

Hannah Lobato was born and raised in San Diego, California and first learned how to play water polo at the Windnsea water polo club when she was 8 years old. She continued to play for the Windnsea club for 6 years until she started high school at Mission Bay. There, she was a four time varsity letter winner and led her team to four CIF appearances. 

As the younger sister of La Jolla United's current 14U Girls coach, Rachel Lobato, Hannah has helped her sister lead practices with various teams at La Jolla United, La Jolla High School, and Miramar College. 


Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt: Age Group and Junior Academy Assistant Coach

University of California San Diego

Assistant Coach High School Academy

Contact: coachconnor@lajollaunited.com

UCSD Bio & Statistics
 

Connor, a Huntington Beach native is entering his Junior year at UCSD where he will be looking to help the Tritons repeat a WWPA conference championship. Connor led the team in scoring as a sophomore with 78 goals, highlighted by a 7-goal performance vs. CSULB to boost the Tritons into the NCAA Final-Four semi's vs. national powerhouse Stanford. Connor's most recent accomplishments include: 2-time ACWPC All-American, WWPA First-Team, WWPA Freshman of the Year, NCAA All-tournament second team, and multiple weekly accolades.

Connor is a 2017 graduate from Newport High School, where he earned multiple 1st-team All-League and All-CIF honorees. He has succeeded on the club side as well, helping his 2011 Junior Olympic team to a gold medal and earning All-American honors in 2015. He will be assisting with our high school programs.