Laguna Beach Water Polo Coaches
Robert Grayeli began his water polo career at Costa Mesa High School, where he won the 1995 CIF Championship was named CIF player of the year. In that same year, Robert was also named the Costa Mesa High School Athlete of the Year. After high school, Robert went to play at Golden West College, where he won two State Championships in 1996 & 1997. In 1997, Robert was named Most Valuable Player. Robert was then recruited by Pepperdine University under Terry Schroeder, where he played from 1998-2001. After his collegiate career, Robert spent a year overseas playing in Australia and New Zealand. Robert continues to support the Pepperdine Water Polo under Terry Schroeder and Merrill Moses (Robert’s teammate while at Pepperdine). During college, Robert began his coaching career at Capistrano Valley High, as an assistant coach under Jason Lynch during the summer programs. From 2001-2003 Robert was an assistant coach at Newport Harbor High School and served as the Director and Head Coach of the Newport Water Polo Foundation (Age Group Program). In 2004, Robert coached with Rich Corso at Los Angeles Water Polo Club for the 18U boys team. In 2005, Robert returned to his Alma Mater and became the Head Coach for the Costa Mesa High School boys team. In 2007, Robert was given the opportunity to coach at the college level and was named head coach of the Golden West College Women’s Water Polo team. Robert has been involved coaching at all levels with Laguna Beach Water Polo since 2011. In 2017, Robert founded Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation and is currently the General Manager. Most recently, in January, 2018, Robert was named the head coach of the Laguna Beach High School Boys team. Robert is confident and excited in the new direction and future success of the Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation.
Robert resides in Costa Mesa, where he enjoys keeping an active lifestyle. Outside of the pool, Robert enjoys spending time with his nine-year-old daughter, Sienna. Robert is the President of Commercial Fund Advisors, Inc., specializing in commercial real estate financing throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Robert also enjoys keeping up the sibling water polo rivalry with his brother Sam, who played for UCLA while Robert was at Pepperdine.
Administrator / 10U Coach
Chad Beeler began coaching at Laguna Beach Water Polo Club in 1997 under Rick Scott and took over the age group programs in 2003, but he has been an integral part of the Laguna Beach community for many years. Chad worked as a Laguna Beach Lifeguard from 1991 - 2006, where he also ran the Junior Lifeguard Program from 1995 - 2005. In 1995, he began coaching swimming for the City of Laguna Beach. Chad then began coaching at Laguna Beach High School as the Frosh/Soph coach, and then he took over as Head Coach of the Varsity Team from 2006 until 2009.
While coaching the LBHS boys and girls team, Chad established the Laguna Beach Youth Club Water Polo team in January of 2000, when there were only 14 boys on the team who were all 8th graders getting ready for high school. In the fall of 2001, Chad decided to expand the club to include girls and boys from ages 8 to 15. Chad continues to run the same club that now trains over 90 boys and girls. Chad will now act as the administrator for the Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation and continue coaching. The Laguna Beach Club has seen many successes since its founding including championships in many national tournaments such as the Junior Olympics, Speedo Cup, US Club Championships, San Diego Cup, and Cal Cup. The development of the young athletes that have trained under Chad Beeler has contributed to the legacy of Laguna Beach High School’s boys and girls programs, who have won multiple C.I.F. Championships.
Chad also owns his corporation Beeler Aquatics, which provides swim team preparation course, summer beach camps, and beginning water polo for the City of Laguna Beach. Chad also enjoys spending time with his three children Jessie, Chad Jr., and Maddie while volunteering in their classes and relaxing at the beach.
12U Boys Coach
Forest Holbrook grew up in Southern California playing for SET Water Polo Club in Lake Forest and playing for El Toro High School. Forest first made his mark in Laguna Beach as an Ocean Lifeguard where he worked from 2002 to 2004. During his time lifeguarding, Forest worked with the Junior Guard Program where he found his passion working with students. Forest went on to teach high school History and served as the Aquatics Director of Glendale High School (CA) from 2009 to 2013. At Glendale High School, he coached both the boys and girls varsity water polo and swim teams placing 2nd in CIF Finals in 2012 and winning a CIF Championship in 2013. Forest currently lives in North Laguna and is the Assistant Principal of Sowers Middle School in Huntington Beach, CA. During his summer break, Forest acts as the Director of Ocean Adventure Program, based out of Newport Beach. This is Forest's second year with Laguna Beach Water Polo and he couldn't be more excited to be working with our 10U teams.
12U Boys / Goalie Coach
Gordon Pike’s water polo career started during his 8th grade year, but he was at first hesitant about the sport. After being introduced to the goalie position, he grew to love the sport and it was from that point forward that he knew water polo was going to be a significant part of this life. Gordon played in age group for Laguna Beach Water Polo, and then moved on to play at Laguna Beach High School. At Laguna Beach High School, his performance as a goalie soared, and started on varsity all four years. Gordon was also named best defensive player his freshman, junior, and senior year. During his sophomore year, Gordon was named team MVP. During his senior year at Laguna Beach High School, Gordon made 174 saves, making him the top 5 ranked goalie in Orange County, with an average of 11 saves per game, making him an All-CIF Selection. Gordon is currently playing water polo at Golden West College, which is the top ranked City College for water polo. Gordon plans to transfer to play at a four year University. Gordon is excited to be back in the pool with Laguna Beach Water Polo to help instill the love for the game that he got while playing here, and to specifically train goalies one on one.
12U Girls Coach
Rob Carver has been playing and coaching water polo for 36 years. He started in the sport at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton in 1981 and was coached by Hall of Fame coach, Jim Sprague. Sprague was producing CIF Championship contending teams, year in and year out – and Rob jumped into the Sunny Hills pipeline and improved quickly under Sprague. There was a constant emphasis on fundamentals at SHHS, and Rob became a scoring 2-meter player – that earned him a Co-CIF Player of the Year award in 1983 (along with Laguna coach Matt Tingler) and an opportunity to play at USC in college.
At USC he got playing time and scored goals in each of his 4 seasons, totaling 150 for his USC career. He played two seasons, then red-shirted due to a severe shoulder injury and surgery, and then played his final two seasons. During these years, USC finished 3rd twice (1984, 1988) and 2nd (1987) in the NCAA tournament. 1988 was his most prolific year, scoring 62 goals, being named an All American 2nd team, and NCAA All Tournament 1st team.
After college, Rob travelled to play water polo in Brisbane, Australia for a season. When he started his finance career in Chicago, he played for the Chicago Apostles masters team for a decade. These Apostles teams competed in a couple World Masters Championships in Europe, as well as trips throughout the USA, as dedicated weekend warriors.
Rob has been coaching his 3 daughters' teams in Laguna Beach for the past 5 years, the last 3 being head coach at the U12 and U14 levels. In 2016, he and daughter Hannah's team won the U12 JO bronze medal, and in 2017, he and daughter Rachael's team won the U14 JO gold medal. Youngest daughter Kara also won a gold medal in 2017 in the U10 girl’s division.
The sport has been a blessing in creating athletic achievements, hard fought competitions, lifetime relationships and the opportunity now to impact the next generation of Laguna girls playing water polo.
14U Boys Coach
Nolan McConnell began his water polo career at Laguna Beach High School, where he helped the team win back to back CIF champions in 2011 and 2012 while also being recognized as the Player of the Year twice. After high school, Nolan went to play for Long Beach State from 2012-2016, where he was recognized as a 3x All American and Conference Player of the Year. From a young age Nolan was a part of the USA ODP system and has competed with Team USA since he was 12 years old. Throughout his career for team USA he contributed at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament, helping the squad to silver in 2017… Helped the team compete to a fourth-place finish at 2014 FINA World Cup... fifth place finish at the 2014 FINA World League Super Final... gold at the 2014 FINA Intercontinental Tournament... first place at the FINA World Cup qualifier in 2013. After his collegiate career Nolan played for the Cronulla Sharks in Sydney, Australia in 2017. Nolan’s coaching career began in Australia where he helped develop the Cronulla boys and girls pipeline teams. Throughout Nolan’s playing career for Team USA he helped put on development camps across the country for all ages. Nolan continues to be involved at his Alma Mater, Laguna Beach High School, where he can be seen helping with the high school programs. On top of that, Nolan continues to compete with the New York Athletic Club.
Nolan resides in his hometown of Laguna Beach where he can be seen swimming, surfing, and playing polo. Nolan enjoys spending time with his family and friends at home and the beach. Continuing on, Nolan is a Campus Supervisor at our local middle school, Thurston. Along with Rob, Nolan also enjoys keeping up the sibling water polo rivalry with his brother Nathan, who also played at Long Beach State.
14U Girls Coach
Kelcie Ferreira was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago where she began her water polo career at 11 years old at Marlins Water Polo Club, she made the Trinidad and Tobago under 18 National Team at 13 years old. She remained on the National team competing all around the world from 13-19 years old, receiving many awards, such as:
A.S.A.T.T- ( Amateur swimming association of Trinidad and Tobago)
A.S.A.T.T-Women’s Water Polo most outstanding under 15 FEMALE 2005,2006
A.S.A.T.T Women’s Water Polo most outstanding under 18 FEMALE 2007
A.S.A.T.T Women’s Water Polo player of the year 2006, 2007, 2008
Carifta Games (Caribbean Free Trade Association Tournament) -2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 (Captain) 2010 (Captain, BEST DEFENDER AWARD)
C.I.S.C. (Caribbean Island Swimming Championships) 2008- (Captain, TOP FEMALE SCORER AWARD)
C.C.C.A.N. - (Central American and Caribbean Championships) 2007
Pan American Games 2010
14U Girls Coach
Bridgette Alvarez began her water polo career at Laguna Beach Water Polo Club. After competing in age group water polo, she then played at Laguna Hills High School along with SET Water Polo club. While at Laguna Hills High School, Bridgette was named first team all league two years in a row. At SET Water Polo Club, Bridgette played under coaches Ethan Damato and Brad Schumacher. While in high school she was also involved with the Olympic Development Program. Bridgette was then recruited by Head Coach, Kyle Witt, at Loyola Marymount University as a Two-Meter Player. At LMU, Bridgette helped her team to win the Golden Coast Conference Championship two years in a row. Bridgette was also named Women’s Water Polo Athlete of the Year Nominee her senior year. After graduating from LMU, Bridgette continued her water polo career in Rapallo, Italy. She played professionally with Rapallo Pallanuoto in the A1 division. Bridgette now plays with the Master’s Team Riptide Water Polo club.
Bridgette resides in Laguna Hills, where she enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She also enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and cheering her younger brother on at his water polo games.
Bryan Buhagiar grew up in Newport Beach, California and started playing water polo at age 8. He attended Corona del Mar High School and went on to play at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, where he was a 2-Time First Team-All American, 2007 Western State Conference Player of the Year, Team MVP and a First-Team All-State member. He went on to play at Concordia University in Irvine, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. Bryan has played professional water polo in Malta for 4 summers, where he has won 4 National Championships. Through the years, Bryan has coached almost every age group of water polo. He also assisted in coaching at Laguna Beach High School for the Boy’s and Girl's Water Polo Team, where he was part of the 2011 Boy’s CIF Championship team.
Outside of the pool, Bryan enjoys surfing, relaxing at the beach and spending time with his fiancé Kelly and his family and friends. Bryan was a Laguna Beach Ocean Lifeguard for 5 years and now works for PrescribeWellness in Irvine.
Yoshi Andersen has been a lifelong resident of Laguna Beach, and a member of the Laguna Beach Water Polo community since 2001 when she started 10 and under polo with Coach Chad Beeler. She attended Anneliese School Manzanita, Top of the World, Thurston, and Laguna Beach High School, and after completing her Laguna Beach education, she graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Engineering in 2016.
Yoshi began her club water polo career at Laguna Beach from 2001 until 2009. During that time she earned championships in the San Diego Cup and the Speedo Cup, and she was awarded the Maurine O’Toole Award for her performance in the Speedo Cup in 2009. After completing her final 14 and under team year with Laguna Beach Water Polo, she played one year with Beach Water Polo Club. She then became a member of the Huntington Beach Water Polo Club from 2010-2012, and in 2011, HBWPC won the Gold Medal at the Junior Olympics. In high school, Yoshi was a 4-year varsity starter and captain her senior year. In 2009 LBHS won a CIF championship. From 2008-2013 Yoshi was also an active participant in the USA Olympic Development Program. During that time she traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2008, Miami, Florida in 2010, and Montreal, Canada in 2012 to participate in the Pan-American UNANA Cup Games. In 2012, she helped the USA win Gold and was named MVP. At Harvard University, Yoshi continued her water polo career again as a 4-year starter and as the elected captain her senior year. She was also the first Harvard Women’s Water Polo player to be named All-American 3 years in a row. After graduating in 2016, Yoshi traveled to play water polo in Pamplona, Spain for the year and plans to continue to play abroad for 2017-2018.
Outside of the pool, Yoshi enjoys exploring the arts of all media such as painting, drawing, and sculpting. She particularly enjoys ceramics and prefers throwing on the pottery wheel when there is one available. She also enjoys any and all ocean based activities, but equally, enjoys reading or listening to music on the sand under the sun.