Athletics Administration
Brad Jones

Director of Athletics

Brad Jones began as Academy of Art University director of athletics in September 2017.

Previously the director of athletics at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Jones began in the Seasiders' lead role in May 2016 after serving as the assistant athletics director and compliance officer for four months. He would remain with BYUH through the conclusion of their athletic program in May 2017.

The Seasiders' 2016-17 final season saw 17 All-PacWest Team selections highlighted by six from the women's tennis team including PacWest Player (Dallas Zhang), Freshman (Leah Heimuli), and Coach of the Year (Dave Porter). Additionally, after capturing the PacWest Academic Achievement Award (3.44 GPA) in 2015-16, the program finished second toward the 2016-17 honor (3.39 GPA) while collecting 119 Academic All-PacWest selections most notably with Zhang who was PacWest Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, and the ITA Senior Player of the Year.

For over 10 seasons prior to BYU-Hawaii, Jones spent time in conference administration and on campus including a stint with the University of Hawaii as the director of football administration, overseeing all administrative aspects of its football team.

Jones started his career at the National Association of Basketball Coaches before moving to conference administration. He served as the director of championships for the Western Athletic Conference and the Atlantic 10 Conference directing championships and regular season administration, as well as sponsorship and scheduling duties.

Jones earned a degree in political science from Brigham Young University in 2004.


Rob Garcia

Assistant Athletic Director - Media Relations

Rob is responsible for everything involving information, media relations, game oversight, and statistics at Academy of Art University. Creating pre and post-game releases and other publications, films and edits video content, and assisting with the production of media guides, Rob also maintains the department's web site Prior to joining the Academy of Art, Rob was a member of the game-day staff with San Jose State University football. A graduate of U.C. Santa Barbara with an undergraduate degree in Communications and a minor in Sports Management, he also worked as sports director and sports broadcaster for the campus radio station.

Phone: 1-415-618-6495


Stephen Ellis

Sports Information Director

Stephen Ellis began as Academy of Art University's Sports Information Director in October 2015.

Ellis serves as the primary sports information contact for ART U men's and women's soccer, men's basketball, baseball, men's and women's golf, and women's tennis.

A 2015 graduate of the University of San Francisco Sports Management Master's Degree Program, Ellis joined the Urban Knights after working as the director of social media for the San Francisco Football Club and social media manager for the NorCal Premier Soccer League in 2015.

No stranger to the field of sports information, Ellis served as the lone media relations intern for the San Francisco Giants during their most recent World Series title run in 2014. Prior to that, Ellis was a media relations game day intern for Stanford University's athletics department in 2013.

Ellis received his bachelor's degree in Communication and French & Francophone Studies from Humboldt State University in 2013. He was on the President's List for seven consecutive semesters en route to earning a 4.0 cumulative GPA.

Ellis currently resides in Pittsburg, California.

Phone: 1-415-618-8219


Cole Wilson

Assistant Athletics Director of Academics & Admissions Liaison

Cole previously served as the program's Athletics Operations Manager when joining the Urban Knights in January 2013, and was the Defensive Coordinator for Dixie State Football for the previous three years. Prior to Dixie, Wilson spent seven years at Southern Utah University, beginning as the Secondary Coach and eventually becoming Defensive Coordinator for the football team. Cole received an Associate’s Degree from Ricks Junior College (now BYU-Idaho) and his Bachelor Degree from the University of Idaho, and played football all four years while attending both schools.

Phone: 1-415-618-6397


Cameron De Lay

Assistant Athletics Director of Business Operations & External Relations

De Lay joined the Urban Knights and began his role as Director of Marketing on Aug. 5, 2015.

De Lay’s primary responsibilities include student engagement, management of recreation sports, game day environment, community outreach, fan development and sponsorships. De Lay is also be responsible for building a sense of school pride while bridging the gap between student-athletes and the general student body while working closely with campus life and residence life.

Before Academy of Art, De Lay worked as a Sports Marketing Data Analyst with BAM Software and Services, a wagering company in San Francisco. There, he helped negotiate and manage sports affiliates and media buys. He also assisted in the development and delivery of sports creative requests and created a new loyalty system while analyzing historical player data.

Before working with BAM Software and Services, De Lay worked both as the director of operations for the women’s volleyball team and as a resident advisor while he attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif. In both roles he planned community service and outreach events. As a resident advisor he assisted in large-scale university housing events. As director of operations for the Mustangs’ volleyball program, he established, managed and promoted the program through social media channels.

De Lay earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business with a marketing concentration and minor in statistics from Cal Poly in 2013. He is currently a Master of Arts in sport management candidate at the University of San Francisco.

Phone: 1-415-618-8249


Darrell Hayden

Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR)

Darrell is a full-time Instructor of Identity Design as well as Presentation Skills at the Academy of Art. In addition, as the school's Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), he is the liaison between the school and the NCAA, and also helps ensure a balance of life for student athletes on campus.

His previous roles span over 25 years in broad-based branding, including Managing Director, Interbrand; Co-Owner, CF Napa; Vice President, marchFIRST; Worldwide Creative Director, Frankfurt Balkind; Executive Director, Landor Associates; Design Director, 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee; and Designer, Bass/Yager Associates.

A native New Yorker, Darrell grew up in southern California. He studied at Art Center College of Design after earning his Bachelor's degree in English from Brandeis University. In addition to his work at the Academy of Art, he also coaches working creative folks to become more effective presenters through his consultancy “Speaking of Creative.” He has two grown children and has recently decided to learn the mandolin – no easy feat.

Phone: 1-415-618-3851



Men's Coaches

Dan McDermott

Head Coach

Dan McDermott begins his first season as head coach for Academy of Art University Baseball.

Most recently the head coach at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, McDermott has much to contribute to the Urban Knights after serving as a collegiate coach for the past 30 years.

McDermott is coming off a very successful run at Regis as the head coach of the Rangers, finishing a 14-year tenure as the winningest coach in program history (335-298, .529) after 2013. He coached Regis to a NCAA Top 20 ranking in both 2004 and 2006, and sent them to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) playoffs nine separate times, including each of the past seven years. Under McDermott, the 2003 RMAC Coach of the Year, the Rangers enjoyed 11 NCAA All-Americans, 12 Major League Baseball Draft selections and reached NCAA Regionals as recently as 2012. It was more than simply on the field success for McDermott's squad, however, as they earned the Inaugural Brechler Award for Highest Team GPA in the RMAC in 2013.

Prior to his extensive stay at Regis (1998-2013), McDermott served for nine years as baseball head coach at Briar Cliff University, a NAIA institution in Sioux City, Iowa. There he was the winningest coach in program history as well, collectively going 345-181 (.656). The Chargers achieved a national Top 20 ranking for six consecutive years from 1992-1997 and were District Champions on four occasions. McDermott was a five-time District Coach of the Year, guiding 12 NAIA All-Americans, five MLB Draft selections, and 23 All-Region honorees.

Accepting the position at Academy of Art, McDermott returned to California where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Saint Mary's College in Moraga. He also spent three seasons there as an assistant baseball coach from 1985-1988.

Phone: 1-415-618-3629


Men's Basketball

Men's Coaches

Julius Barnes

Head Coach

Under Julius, the Urban Knights produced All-PacWest Second Team honoree Ameer Shamsud-din and the PacWest Freshman of the Year Alex Carmon. After working as a coach at the Stanford Men’s Basketball and Curtis Borchardt Camps, he became the Assistant Coach for both the Girls Varsity and Junior Varsity teams at Mira Costa High School. As a player, Barnes garnered numerous honors at Stanford University where he would be named to the All-Pacific 10 Conference Team as well as Stanford University Conference Male Athlete of the Year. Raised in Rowland Heights, CA , Julius earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Stanford University in 2003.

Phone: 1-415-618-3656


Women's Basketball

Women's Coaches

LaNay Larson

Head Coach

In her first year at the helm, Larson took Academy of Art University women's basketball to new heights with a nine-game win streak, contention for the PacWest Conference title, and a huge upset victory over PacWest's only ranked team Grand Canyon. LaNay previously served as the Head Assistant Women's Basketball Coach and Head Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach for Dixie State College. In addition to managing the program’s transition from NJCAA to NCAA DII, Larson helped lead Dixie State Women's Basketball to five straight winning seasons. She began her playing career at Kirkwood Community College as a member of a regional championship team that finished fourth in the NJCAA tournament, and played one year at NCAA Division II Pittsburg State before suffering a career-ending injury.

Phone: 1-415-618-6404


Cross Country

Men's & Women's Coaches

Torrey Olson

Director of Track & Field/Cross Country

Coming to us from after serving as an Assistant Coach with University of San Francisco Track & Field/Cross Country, Torrey brings a strong intercollegiate coaching background to the Urban Knights staff as he will be responsible for the distance and mid-distance runners. He helped guide a USF team qualify six athletes to NCAA Preliminaries and three to NCAA Championships. A graduate of Pomona College, Olson also holds an MFA from St. Mary’s College and is a USATF Level I certified coach.

Phone: 1-925-330-6470


Men's Golf

Men's Coaches

Andy Moren

Head Coach

As a Cal State Stanislaus Warriors men's golfer, Moren won four tournaments including the Stanislaus Buzzini Invitational, the Dennis Rose Invitational, and the Drake Invitational. He was named to the GCAA All-Region Team, the All-CCAA First Team, earned the Phil Mickelson NCAA Division II Freshman of the Year Award, and was named to the GCAA All-American Team for Division II. Most recently, Andy was part of a coaching staff that sent Cal State Stanislaus to the NCAA Division II West Regionals in Dupont, WA. He graduated from Stanislaus with a degree in Political Science, and recently earned a Master of Arts in Kinesiology from St. Mary's College with a concentration in Sports Management.

Phone: 1-415-618-3743


Women's Golf

Women's Coaches

Elaine Harris

Head Coach

Elaine helped start the women's golf program at St. Ignatius High School in 2001 and led the team to a CIF State Championship. She also was a four-time letter-winner at Indiana University, earning a spot on the National Golf Coaches Association All-Central Region team and leading her team to the NCAA Division I National Championship. After earning her bachelors degree in Communications with a minor in Spanish, she was a coach and mentor at First Tee of San Francisco and worked with the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, a San Francisco based non-profit that mobilizes golfers across the Bay Area to keep the Sharp Park Golf Course open to the public.

Phone: 1-415-618-8303


Men's Soccer

Men's Coaches

Matt Martin

Head Coach

Matt Martin began as an assistant coach with Academy of Art University men's soccer in September 2018. He carries over 10 years of experience working as a scout for various Major League Soccer teams and is the director of scouting and co-founder of The Soccer Syndicate.

With The Soccer Syndicate, the country’s innovative Nationwide Scouting Network created in August, Martin oversees all levels of scouting and recruitment, leveraging a trained team of dispersed scouts and the latest technologies to support team-building from the amateur ranks to the first division. For the past 10 years, Martin has been a Major League Soccer scout with one of three teams in turn: New York Red Bulls, Sporting KC, and the Portland Timbers. Real Salt Lake is also client of The Soccer Syndicate with whom Martin manages an even larger nationally dispersed group of scouts for the MLS’ premier residency and academy development setup.

For three years (2015-18), Martin could be found as the director of domestic scouting for the Portland Timbers. He developed a scouting network under John Pascarella at Sporting KC from 2011 to 2015. Martin would train and manage the network which had also been made possible from his time as a regional scout (2008-2011) in MLS’ first scouting network developed by Jeff Agoos, technical director and head scout for the New York Red Bulls. Martin also worked for The Scouting Network (TSN of London, ENG) under Derek Bragg from 2007 to 2009.

Phone: 415-618-6222


Women's Soccer

Women's Coaches

Chris King

Head Coach

King joins the Urban Knights with experience coaching in many different capacities. For six years (2009-2015), he coached multiple travel teams for the San Francisco Vikings Soccer Club and served as their Technical Director from 2013-2014. Starting in 2010, the San Francisco native served in multiple coaching roles including assistant coach at City College of San Francisco (2011-2014) and SF State (2015), head coach at College of Marin (2014-2015), and women’s varsity coach at Sacred Heart Cathedral (2010-present).

King also serves as head coach of the 02 Girls California State team for the Olympic Development Program (ODP). There, he selects the top 40 players from California clubs of which 18 travel and compete across the country. From his team, the top performers are selected to the regional and then youth national team.

King graduated from Cal State East Bay in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Recreation.

Phone: 1-415-618-6587



Women's Coaches

Sonja Garnett

Head Coach

Sonja Garnett begins her second season as Academy of Art University Softball head coach in 2015-16.

Garnett's first year at the helm of Academy of Art in 2015 saw the Urban Knights finish with their best record (28-26) since 2011 with a host of records broken. Among the various team milestones were the most doubles, total bases, and highest fielding percentage in program history. ART U also tied its record for athletes receiving All-PacWest honors including senior Haily MacDonald on the All-PacWest First Team (along with Capital One Academic All-District Team and Daktronics All-West Region honors), Samantha Klune (Second Team), Brenna Mitchell (Third Team), and Nirana Singh (Third Team).

One of the top pitchers in the history of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), Garnett spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for Cal State Monterey Bay, helping the program win the CCAA Championship (third to date) and then go on to reach NCAA Super Regionals for the first time ever last year. CSUMB produced the most wins in program history (48) and carried three Daktronics All-Americans. When all was said and done, the Otters were ranked #11 nationally on the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association NCAA DII Top 25 poll.

Garnett got her start as an assistant at her alma mater, San Francisco State, for the 2007 season. Garnett led the Gators to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. SFSU won the 2005 West Regional and went on to a fifth place finish at the NCAA Division II World Series that season. She also served as an assistant coach at Whittier College in 2011.

Owner of a stellar playing career as a SF State Gator herself, Garnett earned both NFCA All-America honors and was CCAA Pitcher of the Year on three occasions. Garnett ended her collegiate career holding the seven major pitching marks in the SFSU record books: Wins (103), Saves (11), ERA (0.96), Strikeouts (609), appearances (188), complete games (127) and innings pitched (1,068.2). She still ranks among the NCAA leaders in appearances (5th), innings pitched (6th), saves (16th), starts (18th) and wins (22nd).

In the classroom, Garnet twice earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All–District VIII honors while earning her bachelor's in liberal studies at San Francisco State. She went on to earn her master's in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports management from Long Beach State, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average and taking the Outstanding Capstone Award for her final project.

After finishing her collegiate career, she played six seasons of professional softball in Australia, Germany and Italy, serving as both a coach and pitcher in each of her stops. While playing in Western Australia, she led the Moreley Eagles to their first state title. She also played three seasons in Germany, leading the Mannheim Tornados to a pair of national titles.

Phone: 1-415-618-6311


Sports Medicine
Laz Cardenas, MS, ATC, CSCS, PES

Head Athletic Trainer

Laz assists in all aspects of healthcare for our sports teams. Prior to joining Academy of Art University, he was the Head Athletic Trainer at Notre Dame High School in Belmont, CA and was responsible for the healthcare and developing both the sports medicine and AED programs. Laz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University–Hayward and Master of Science degree in Software engineering from National University. He is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Phone: 1-415-618-8234


Kevin Williams

Assistant Athletic Trainer (XC/MBB/WBB)

Kevin Williams entered his first year as Academy of Art University's assistant athletic trainer year in August 2016 after serving two years as the Urban Knights' graduate assistant athletic trainer.

Currently part of the San Jose State University Graduate Athletic Training Program, Williams is a 2014 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training from Point Loma Nazarene University. He served as an athletic training student for the Sea Lions from 2011-2014, responsible for the men's and women's soccer programs. Among his variety of responsibilities were conducting injury evaluation, providing therapeutic treatments, and creating/progressing rehabilitation programs.

Additionally, Williams spent time working at Valletta Orthopedics, Rehab United Physical Therapy, Helix High School, and Point Loma High School in San Diego. In the high school realm, he provided on-field game coverage for the varsity football, lacrosse, basketball, softball, track & field, and field hockey teams.

Williams is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association and American Heart Association CPR/AED certified.

Phone: 415-618-8234


Katie Straughn

Assistant Athletic Trainer (WSOC/BASE)

Katie Straughn entered her first year as Academy of Art University's assistant athletic trainer year in August 2016 after serving one year as the Urban Knights' graduate assistant athletic trainer.

Currently part of the San Jose State University Graduate Athletic Training Program, Straughn is a 2015 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Oregon State University. She served as an athletic training student for the Beavers from 2014-15, responsible for the softball program and assisting with baseball, basketball, and track & field. Among her variety of responsibilities were conducting injury evaluation, providing therapeutic treatments, and creating/progressing rehabilitation programs.

Additionally as part of her clinical rotation at OSU, Straughn worked with volleyball, baseball, soccer, and football at Western Oregon University. She also spent time working with men's and women's soccer, volleyball, and cross country at Crescent Valley High School.

Straughn is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association and American Heart Association First Aid and CPR certified.

Phone: 415-618-8234


Strength Training
Jessica Balzano

Head Strength & Conditioning Coach

Jessica Balzano enters her fifth year with Academy of Art University Athletics and her first as head strength & conditioning coach. She previously spent four seasons as assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Urban Knights.

Balzano is a certified strength and conditioning coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Associaiton and is Functional Movement Screen certified. She is also a certified Olympic lifting coach through USA Weightlifting.

She earned her bachelor's degree in health education from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She has also been a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and has been training in the personal sector since 2002.

Phone: 1-415-618-8446



Women's Coaches - TBA

Track & Field

Men's & Women's Coaches

Torrey Olson

Director of Track & Field/Cross Country

Coming to us from after serving as an Assistant Coach with University of San Francisco Track & Field/Cross Country, Torrey brings a strong intercollegiate coaching background to the Urban Knights staff as he will be responsible for the distance and mid-distance runners. He helped guide a USF team qualify six athletes to NCAA Preliminaries and three to NCAA Championships. A graduate of Pomona College, Olson also holds an MFA from St. Mary’s College and is a USATF Level I certified coach.

Phone: 1-925-330-6470


Kevin LaSure

Head Coach

Kevin LaSure joined Academy of Art University as track & field head coach in August 2015 following his eighth year with the University of New Haven's cross country and track & field teams.

At UNH, LaSure served his first four seasons as the head coach for both the men and women's programs. As a head coach, LaSure mentored 52 NCAA National qualifiers, 45 NCAA All-Americans, and five Individual National Champions. Additionally, the Chargers set more than 50 school records in the sprints, jumps, hurdles, mid-distance, and relays under LaSure's tenure.

In just his second season at UNH, LaSure coached arguably the most successful student-athlete in the history of Charger athletics. Shannon Gagne won five NCAA Division II Individual National Championships during the year, three during the indoor season and two at the outdoor championships. She was the first student-athlete in NCAA track and field history to win three national championships at one meet across both track and field events when she won the 200m dash, 400m dash and long jump at the 2011 Indoor National Championships. Gagne was named the Division II National Track Athlete of the Year after the indoor and outdoor season, while being named Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for the College Division, an award which encompassed all NCAA sports.

During his UNH tenure, LaSure also mentored 2012 graduate David Thomas to All-America honors in the long jump in both the indoor and outdoor track seasons. Thomas was the USTFCCCA East Region Track Athlete of the Year in the indoor season and claimed NE-10 Championship Most Valuable Athlete honors during both seasons. Overall throughout the 2012-13 year, Thomas was a five-time conference champion, five-time All-New England performer, and eight-time USTFCCCA All-East Region recipient.

A 2004 graduate of University of New Haven with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice - Investigative Services, LaSure also completed a Master's degree in Labor Relations at UNH in 2006. As an undergraduate, Kevin was a wide receiver on UNH's football team from 2000-2003 and ran on the Charger track & field team from 2001-2005. He won the track team's Sportsmanship Award in both 2004 and 2005, and was an All-New England performer in the 200m and 400m dashes as well as on the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams.

Phone: 1-415-618-8642



Women's Coaches

Dylan Hamilton

Assistant Coach

Dylan Hamilton joined Academy of Art University volleyball as an assistant coach in August 2016.

After serving as the University of Washington volleyball's head manager for two years (2012-14), Hamilton became an assistant coach for UW Beach Volleyball in February of 2015 then a volunteer assistant coach for on the indoor side that May. He was responsible for day-to-day skill development of all individual players, leading the execution of drills in practices. Hamilton also handled extensive opponent scouting, video exchange, and match strategy including team floor defense and serving.

Around success throughout his time with the University of Washington, Hamilton helped the Huskies earn two Pac-12 Championships (2013, 2015), one Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Beach Championship Final Four, one trip to the NCAA Elite 8 (2015), and one trip to the Final Four (2013).

Hamilton previously worked for three years at Keegan Cook Summer Volleyball Camps as well as the Sudden Impact Volleyball Club. He is a 2016 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Post University.

Phone: 415-618-6128



Cheer / Dance
Email Campus Life to learn more about Cheer/Dance at Academy of Art University
ART U Drumline
Email to learn more about ART U Drumline at Academy of Art University