Meet our Coaches
We're passionate about swimming and empower people to become stronger swimmers.
Coach Naji Ali
Naji Ali has been coaching and teaching swimming for over 14 years. He is a certified Total Immersion Swim instructor and an accomplished open water marathon swimmer.
His passion for swimming centers around his desire to teach Black and Brown children and adults how to swim regardless of ability to pay.
He is the proud head coach of the Oakland Tech high school swim team and actively teaches and coaches in the Oakland Parks and Rec summer league. Naji's inspiration for swimming is a result of his long-term relationship with his swimming mentor - Malachi Cunningham - one of the first African Americans to coach at the NCAA level.
Coach Monica Haddad
Monica brings over 20 years of swimming experience to Temescal in addition to teaching psychical education to Bay Area students.
She loves being on deck and is happy for having the opportunity to work with the swimmers of Temescal Aquatic Masters.
Always upbeat, Monica inspires her swimmers with her humor and strong work ethic.
Coach Dirk Dino
Dirk is life-long swimmer, swimming competitively from the age of 10 through his first year of college, and then several years of triathlons after college.
He now swims with Teme, as well as coaching part-time at Teme and at a local fitness club.
Dirk also dedicates several months a year to coaching Special Olympics swimming in Oakland.
Coach Dave Hussein
Dave has been swimming his entire life. Starting at seven years old, he was a competitive swimmer until graduating from high school.
He has developed a multi-faceted career in aquatics that ranges from coaching high school physical education swimming to managing and supervising pools and even lakes. An avid open water swimmer, Dave often can be found swimming in the Bay.
On deck, he engages swimmers with his positive attitude and desire to share pointers about efficient stroke technique.
Coach Niki Kates
Niki swam competitively for 16 years and has coached for 10. She brings a passion for stroke technique, perfect bubble rings, and helping swimmers reach their goals. If you're trying to improve your stroke, hit your goal pace, or strategize for your next race, Niki is always excited to help.
When she's not coaching, Niki enjoys swimming, surfing, and basically anything water-related. She also dabbles in triathlons (and has been known to ask TEMEians for running advice from time to time). Niki is excited to share her passion for all things swimming on deck and in the pool!
Coach Nkosazana Nkulueko
Nkosazana Nkululeko is an Oakland native whose love for swimming began at Defremery pool where she took her first strokes. Her passion for swimming continued to grow as she swam competitively from the age of 8 through college.
In addition to being a part-time coach at Temescal, she is also a coach for the Oakland Undercurrents, the swim team that she swam for from 8 through high school. Sharing the sport of swimming with others truly brings Nkosazana joy.
Not only is swimming a life skill but it is a sport that we can continue to enjoy for the rest of our lives.
Coach Katherine Suyeyasu
Second only to being in the water, watching swimmers from the deck is a favorite for Katherine at the TEME pool. Okay, maybe third if you add eating snacks on deck with teammates after a good workout. Katherine enjoys learning from what she sees from the deck, sharing those observations with the swimmers she is coaching and, once she's back in the water, playing around with how she might help a TEME swimmer improve or use what she has observed to improve her own stroke.
Being a part of TEME brings Katherine great joy. She's grateful to all of her teammates who, from her earliest years as a Tortuga, have inspired her and continue to support her growth as a swimmer.
Coach Liam Chavez
Liam began swimming competitively at age 8 up through high school. He joined the Temescal Master's team after graduating from UC Berkeley and recovering from a major surgery. Since joining the team he has rediscovered the fun of competition, particularly in open water swimming races.
As a queer disabled Latino man, Liam is deeply passionate about coaching swimmers of all backgrounds and abilities. Informed by his background in education, mental health outreach, and disability advocacy, Liam's coaching style is warm and encouraging, topped with a hefty dose of humor!
When he isn't in the water or coaching, you can find Liam knitting or crocheting (he almost certainly made that sweater he is wearing on deck), watching classic films, and doting on his pet tortoise.
Coach Tanyoung Kim
Tanyoung has been swimming with various master teams since 2012 as a graduate student back in Atlanta. For her, Masters swim teams aren’t just a venue for workout but a wonderful place to get to know people out of her small world and to build the community together.
As a way of giving back to her swimming community, Tanyoung is now serving as an assistant coach and trying to bring challenging and fun workouts to swimmers. Her workout goal is to make swimmers’ heart rate go up and make them smile at the same time.
She also loves to swim at public swimming pools when she travels; so far she has checked in more than sixty pools in five continents!
Coach Jane Woywood
Jane has been immersed in aquatics for most of her life. She swam competitively from age 7 through senior year of high school, and has many years of experience in teaching swim lessons and stroke refinement for all ages and skill levels in private and group settings.
She is excited to coach her fellow teammates and contribute to TEME’s super supportive and welcoming environment.