The Hotshots Coaching staff is comprised of a number of collegiate and high school coaches and players who bring a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the youth in our community. Most of our coaches were two-sport athletes and all are exceptional leaders.
Hotshots 25/26 Head Coach
Varsity Assistant / San Marcos High School
Evan Smith is a Varsity Assistant Coach at San Marcos High School. Previously, Evan was a Varsity Assistant at Santa Barbara High School under then Head Coach, Andrew White. He also served as one of three 7/8th Grade head coaches with the SB Riptide from 2018-2019, which was under the direction of then Riptide Co-Director and Hotshots Founder Andy Chalupa.
Smith brought his lacrosse experience to Santa Barbara from Tr-Cities, WA where he was a Youth and High School Head Coach for the Mid-Columbia Elite Club. Evan is certified as a “Level 3” coach by US Lacrosse.
Smith played Defense for the Three Rivers Club in Tri-Cities, WA from 2009 – 2013 where he served as Captain his senior year and helped lead his team to their first “final four” appearance in the WHSBLA playoffs. He was also named to the All-State defensive team in his senior year.
Baltimore, MD / Gilman School
College: Air Force
Chris Walsch brings his lacrosse experience to Santa Barbara from Baltimore, MD and Colorado Springs, CO where he played attack for the United States Air Force Academy's NCAA Division 1 lacrosse team. He helped the Falcons to 2 Southern Conference championships as well as 2 NCAA tournament appearances. Previously, Chris was a SB Riptide 7/8th Grade Head Coach.
Walsch is a two-time Honorable Mention USILA/Nike All-American (2016, 2017) … two-time SoCon Offensive Player of the Year (2016, 2017)…Two-time All-SoCon first-team…started in every career game in AF Lacrosse career… the Academy’s first-ever Tewaaraton watch list player and led Air Force in goals and points every year…He also holds the Air Force program record for career points (183).
Midfielders / Face-offs
Ashburnham, MA / Cushing Academy
College: University of Denver
Offensive Coordinator Dos Pueblos High
Ben is an experienced and recognized member of the lacrosse community for his performance and leadership skills as a student-athlete and team captain at the University of Denver, and for his high school coaching and individual development accomplishments.
Prior to attending DU, Ben attended Cushing Academy in central Mass to pursue his dream of becoming a college hockey or lacrosse player. He then played a year of Junior Hockey in the EJHL before his ambition was met by being recruited to Hobart College as a two-sport athlete. During his freshman year, Ben recognized his growing intention of pursuing his longer term professional goals and was presented with an opportunity to head back near his hometown of CO and continue his story as a member of the Denver Pioneers. Ben is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience by helping young players reach their potential on and off the field. He is currently the head of Global Communications and Experience at Deckers Brands and a Varsity coach at Dos Pueblos High School.
Varsity Assistant / San Marcos HS
Granite Bay, CA / Granite Bay High
Dos Pueblos HS Head JV Coach
Pleasanton, CA / Foothill High School
Coach Rob Gordon grew up playing lacrosse in Pleasanton, California. He first picked up a lacrosse stick in 5th grade and played middle school with the Pleasanton Lacrosse Club, where he also coached and refereed while in high school. He played goalie and LSM for Foothill High School and his freshman year at UCSB.
Rob is in his 3rd year as the JV Head Coach of the Dos Pueblos boy's team. Before DP he was the Varsity Defensive coach at University High School in San Francisco where they were able to win the BAY Athletics League in 2014.
Rockville, MD / Rockville HS
Frostburg State University '18
Hotshots 29/30 Head Coach
Boston, MA / Beaver Country Day
Beloit College '16 / LSM
Isaac "Ike" Chafkin was previously a Varsity Assistant at Santa Barbara High School under then Head Coach, Andrew White. He also served as one of three 7/8th Grade head coaches with the SB Riptide from 2018-2019, which was under the direction of then Riptide Co-Director and Hotshots Founder Andy Chalupa.
Coach Ike has been playing lacrosse for over 20 years and educating for over 10. He played both field and box lacrosse in high school while living in the greater Boston area where he was an all-league defensemen and LSM and playing for Beaver Country Day School (MA). While at BCDS he played with top club programs like Top Gun, Mass Elite and HomeGrown.
He continued his lacrosse career into college, choosing D3 Beloit College (WI) where he was able to play lacrosse and also football. During his time at Beloit, he earned a degree in creative writing and elementary education. After Beloit, he became a an elementary school teacher, teaching with Robinson Elementary (WI).
Although he chose not to pursue education as a career he continues to work with the youth as a coach for Hotshots Lacrosse as well as the SBYFL. There are very few coaches in Southern California who are more qualified and more passionate about coaching than Coach Ike and we are happy to have him as a coach moving forward.
Carpinteria, CA / Laguna Blanca '09
College: Wheaton College, MA '13
Varsity Assistant / San Marcos High
Coach Nik first started playing lacrosse in 8th Grade at Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara. He went on to play Division 3 Lacrosse for Wheaton College in Massachusetts while representing the Argentine national team in the 2010 and 2014 World games in Manchester, England and Denver, Colorado respectively.
Nik has played as a long stick defenseman, played midfield in college, taken face-offs for Argentina, and for several years has been competing in men's circuits as an attackman.
Coach Nik has been coaching at San Marcos High School as a Varsity Assistant and skills coach for seven successful seasons. A passionate coach and player, Nik has a passion for teaching young athletes how to reach their potential as lacrosse players and as members of their community.
Hotshots 5th Grade Team Head Coach
Naval Academy '05
Austin Brake grew up playing lacrosse in Montgomery County, Maryland. Early in his career, he played for Next Level Lacrosse Club team, Rockville High School Lacrosse team, and more recently played for Frostburg State University Club Lacrosse team. He is now a student at UCSB majoring in Communication Studies.
Austin will train our close defense body positioning, stick skills, sliding routes, and focus highly on communication between other long sticks and goalie.
Austin has vast experience running and assisting successful youth camps in Maryland reinforcing positive actions and creating an exciting and safe environment.
Dos Pueblos Varsity Assistant Coach
Concord, MA / Concord-Carlisle
College: Boston College
Dos Pueblos HS Assistant Coach
Dos Pueblos Assistant Coach
Lucas grew up in Massachusetts and played for one of the oldest high school programs in the country, Concord-Carlisle. He was selected to All Eastern Mass team his senior year and went on to be a four year starter at MCLA Div 1 Boston College where he earned All League honors.
Lucas will help train our close defensemen and LSM's (long stick midfielders).
Coach Martinez currently serves as the defensive coordinator at Dos Pueblos High School.
Joe began playing lacrosse in the 8th grade where he began with the Tribe Lacrosse Team of Monterey. He continued on at Carmel High School where he played midfield and faced-off. Joe completed his undergraduate degree at Humboldt State University where he majored in psychology and played lacrosse.
The Humboldt Lacrosse culture is alive and well, as alumni come back show the newcomers what it means to be a Humboldt Lacrosse player.
After graduation, he moved to Santa Barbara to work with children diagnosed with Autism. While working he also earned his Master's in Clinical Psychology and is now an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. He provided therapy to children and adults of all ages and currently works at Pathpoint as a Case Manager/Therapist providing services for individuals diagnosed with Severe Mental Illnesses.
Joe is extremely excited to be a part of Santa Barbara Hotshots Lacrosse Club and to help the youth grow and learn the valuable lessons lacrosse has to offer all of us!
Midfielders / Face-offs
Birmingham, AL / Spain Park
College: Air Force
Trent Harper, originally from Birmingham, AL/Spain Park, has recently graduated from the Air Force and is currently stationed at Vandenberg.
Another dual sport athlete in high school, Trent lettered all four years in football and lacrosse and was a captain of both teams his senior year.
As a Falcon, he was a major contributor all 4 years of his collegiate career and led the team his senior year in grounds balls (90) and a .667 winning percentage at the face-off "X".
Marshfield, MA / Deerfield Academy
College: Air Force
Joey Redfearn brings his lacrosse experience and leadership ability to Santa Barbara from Marshfield, MA. He was a captain at the prestigious Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and went on to play for the United States Air Force Academy, where he played close defense and LSM.
He helped the Falcons to 2 Southern Conference championships as well as 2 NCAA tournament appearances.
Colorado Springs, CO / Air Academy
College: Air Force
Started the 2020 season at Air Force red hot, recording 7 goals and 2 assists in 7 games. 2019 campaign cut short by injury but had recorded 10 points in only 8 games. Recorded a hat-trick against Richmond.
Four-time letterman in lacross Two-Time First Team All-State
First Team All-Area
First Team All-Conference
2013 Colorado 4A State Runner-Up
2016 Gazette Boys Lacrosse Player of the Yea
Air Academy’s 2016 Male Athlete of the Year
First team All-Academic in lacrosse
National Honor Society.
Clifton, NJ / Seton Hall Prep
Ron grew up playing lacrosse in Clifton, NJ and went on to play for Seton Hall Prep High School in West Orange, NJ. His heart resides on the defensive end, focusing on footwork, spacing and field awareness.
Having experience in coaching youth sports, tutoring elementary school students, and volunteering as a mentor with Big Brother’s Big Sisters, Ron is looking forward to providing a positive influence for our players both on and off the field.
Outside of lacrosse, Ron works as an Account Manager for Yardi Systems in Goleta, CA. Additionally, he is the creator of sports media event Francesacon in New York City, which has raised nearly $30,000 in charity money.
University of Maryland, Attack
San Diego, CA / Del Norte HS
UCSB Class of 2024
4 Year Varsity Letter Winner
Captain Senior Year
2x CIF Champion
2 Sport Athlete: Lacrosse/Rugby
Former SBLA Program Administrator
Santa Cruz, CA / Scotts Valley High
Tanner Gilton, originally from Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley High School, has been playing lacrosse since he was 9. He gravitated to lacrosse because of the speed and physical nature of the game. No stranger to contact, Tanner was a standout middle linebacker and running back for his high school football team.
In the spring, he lead the Falcons to back to back championships in the SCCAL his junior and senior years and racked up an astonishing 75 goals and 60 assists in his senior year, earning All-America honors.
He is currently studying Economics at SBCC and planning to transfer to UCSB next Fall where he will continue playing lacrosse for the Gauchos.
Previously, Tanner coached 5th/6th Graders with the SB Riptide under the direction of then Co-Director and Hotshots Founder Andy Chalupa.
Tanner has been an outstanding role model and mentor to the boys in our community and we look forward to having him on the field again working with the Hotshots!
UCSB Class of 2022