MEET OUR COACHING STAFF
When we started the Dragons we wanted it to be the best lacrosse (and sports) learning environment we could create. From the very start it was clear that excellent coaching was what would make the difference. We developed a system that brought in young, experienced, positive coaches that could effectively teach young players how to become better lacrosse players. We now have what we believe to be the best coaching staff in Southern California. All of our coaches must go through an in person interview, submit outstanding lacrosse resumes, and undergo a trial practice period where their coaching ability is assessed in practice and game situations. Please take the time to meet our coaches and read their impressive bios below! Go Dragons!
Born and raised in Denver Colorado, Erik moved to Manhattan Beach, CA in 2004 and graduated from Mira Costa High School where he was 2x All-American (2006 & 2007). Erik's next stop was Salisbury University from 2007-2012, where he won 3 national championships. As a senior, Erik was a First Team All-American, as well as the regular season highest goal scorer. In 2014 & 2015 Erik played for the Ohio Machine in the MLL. Since 2013 Krum has been athletic director for the Santa Monica Dragons. As such, Erik determines the annual curriculum, content of all programs and sets the tone for the behavior, attitude and work ethic on the field. Krum is one of the best motivators in the sport on the West Coast and is extremely close with his players. He is also lacrosse program head and head varsity coach at Harvard Westlake.
“Growing up I quickly realized how much the great coaches and role models impacted my life in a positive way. My passion and goal is to give our young athletes someone to relate to and trust in. My duties as a coach not only consist of teach them the sport of lacrosse but to ultimately teach them lessons they can use the rest of their lives. Plane and simple… I love Coach kids!”
Hannah Newhall - Program Director
Hannah hails from Cape Elizabeth, ME. She attended Colby College, where in 2017 she was part of the team that won the NESCAC Championship. Hannah’s specialty is midfield and draw and she has a background in outdoor education. She joined Dragons in 2022 and has brought her entire skill set to the field to help players leap forward in their development.
“I coach because I love the sport of women’s lacrosse, the opportunities it has afforded me, and the invaluable lessons that I’ve learned while playing, including leadership, teamwork, resilience, and self worth.”
Eli grew up in Ithaca NY where he graduated from Ithaca High School in 2013. He was team captain his senior year and took his school to the Upstate Championship twice. Eli went on to University of Albany where he graduated with a double major in English and History in 2017. While at Albany he scored 26 goals and had 13 assists, and was also named to the American East All Academic Team. Lasda pursued a masters in Public Policy at the University of Nottingham in England, where he also became the team's leading scorer, as well as team MVP. Eli currently plays on the Latvian National Team and was a starter at both the 2014 and 2018 World Games. Since moving to LA, Lasda has taken up a position with Dragons a youth and high school coach. He has also joined his brother at Harvard Westlake School where he is the Varsity offensive coordinator.
“I coach because I love this sport, the places it has taken me, and the person it has made me. My education, my most meaningful friendships, the many opportunities I’ve had to travel, and my sense of passion, dedication, and work ethic - I owe to lacrosse. I want to share that with the next generation of athletes.”
“Coaching with Dragons has been extremely satisfying as an extension of my playing career. I couldn’t stay away from the game even if I tried. And above all, working with these kids has been the highlight of my time out here in the LA area.”
Riley grew up in Ithaca New York, where he attended Ithaca High School and lettered all four years in lacrosse and three years in football. Lasda earned all-section honors in 2009, 2010 and 2011, as well as All-America honors in 2011. All this on his way to leading Ithaca to three sectional titles, a pair of regional championships and the 2011 Upstate Championship. Following high school, Riley attended Penn State his freshman and sophomore year, where he played Division 1 lacrosse. His junior year he transferred to the University of Albany where he finished his Division 1 collegiate career. Riley grew up playing Midfield but because of his athleticism, understanding of the game and unique skill set, he was asked to switch to long stick his senior year. In Albany’s unique “4 man scheme”, the starting midfielders are asked to play both ways, which gave Riley a very unique perspective on the defensive skills set. In fact he then fell in love with the position and switched to close defense. He played for the Latvian National Team as a close defenseman in the 2014 World Games in Denver, CO, where they placed 19th out of 42 teams in the world. Riley is still an active member of the Latvian National Team. Riley has coached at all age levels from 6 years old through high school, including 4 years as an assistant at his alma mater, Ithaca High School, and was the defensive coordinator for Gaffer Elite Lacrosse Club in Corning, NY.
“I coach because I love the game and want to help pass it on to the next generation. My coaches made a huge impact on me and I hope to share a similar experience with our players.”
“I coach lacrosse, the medicine game, to pass along my love for this beautiful sport, and to help the future generations grow into better players on and off the field.”
“I coach because I want to be a building block of the lacrosse community. I met my best friends, learned my most valuable life lessons, and made the greatest memories in my 13 years of playing lacrosse. Coaching enables me to give those same things to the future of the sport.”
“I love being able to participate in the great tradition of lacrosse in any way that I can, as well as being able to pass my lacrosse knowledge and experience the next generation of lacrosse.”
Jamie hails from Whitehouse Station, NJ and grew ups playing soccer and lacrosse though high school. She played lacrosse with the Syracuse University club team and went on to coach lacrosse at Southridge High School while attending law school in Portland, OR. Jamie has been a Dragons coach for almost 4 years now and has become a pillar of the program, specializing in working with middle school and high school players.
“I coach as a means to engage with my local community and contribute to the same tradition that had helped raised me. Seeing players improve and gain confidence in their abilities offers a daily reminder of how even the smallest bit of progress can be a huge inspiration.”
“I coach because the sport of lacrosse has ingrained in me some of my most important values, such as grit, teamwork, accountability, and confidence. I love this sport and want to share my passion for it with young athletes who will carry it into the future.”