Coaching Staff

Founder, Director of Instruction

Ryan Mariano

Ryan was introduced to volleyball by his 7th grade PE Teacher, Mrs. Lorenze, and he never looked back. Since 7th grade, Ryan has volley-ed across the world. He was the #1 ranked indoor recruit as an Outside Hitter. He went on to play at Cal State Long Beach where he was an NCAA leader in aces and digs. Ryan played professionally overseas as an Outside Hitter and Setter for 6 years - 3 in Austria and 3 in Switzerland. In 2005, Ryan transitioned to the beach. By 2006, Ryan was ranked in the top 20 in the United States overall and top 5 defensively. Ryan maintained a spot in the top 20 through the 2012 season. In 2013, Ryan fell in love with coaching, and decided to pursue coaching full-time. Ryan came out of retirement to compete in the main draw for the 100th time in the 2014 AVP Milwaukee Tournament. Beach Volleyball Database Bio

Ryan has coached players indoors and on the sand for over 20 years. He has coached players of all ages, abilities, and walks of life. Ryan has coached United States Marines and Special Forces, Special Olympic Athletes, Division 1 Recruits, AVP Professional Volleyball Champions, Professional Athletes (non-Volleyball), and every amateur ability level from beginner to elite. He's also coached USAV High Performance Programs, AVP All-Star Clinics with Kerri Walsh, USO Tours, Crocs Corporate Clinics, South of the Boarder Vacations, and many other clinics throughout the United States. Throughout all of this, one thing is held constant: Ryan's love for the game is contagious.

Director of Operations

Lauren Todd-Mariano

Lauren is an Arizona native, a proud graduate of All Saints' and Xaiver College Prep. After high school, Lauren attended Stanford University. While at Stanford, Lauren not only earned her BA in Economics, but she also earned Golfweek All-American Honors, NCGA All-American Honors, and Pac-10 Academic Honors. Lauren competed in all but 1 event during her 4 years on The Farm and captained Women's Golf Team to a 5th place team finish in the 2007 NCAA Championship (9th place individual finish). After graduation, Lauren earned full-status on the Duramed Futures Tour and competed professionally for a year. In 2011, Lauren earned a MBA from Pepperdine University. When not working her full-time job, working for RPM Sand, reading, or competing in amateur golf tournaments, Lauren is always looking for the next mountain to climb. To date she has reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Half Dome, Mt. Humphrey's, The Grand Canyon (the opposite of a summit), and has completed the Inca Trail Trek.


Though Lauren may not be a volleyball-er, she understands what it takes to be successful at the junior, amateur, collegiate, and professional levels. Lauren is responsible for all scheduling, programming, college recruitment guidelines and communications, as well as any other duties needing attention. She's the face behind all RPM Sand email blasts!


Head Coaches

Nick Bowling

Coach Nick has been with RPM Sand from the beginning! Nick has over 15 years of volleyball coaching experience. Nick began coaching in 2005 at Sinagua High School where he helped lead the team to a runner-up finish in the AZ High School State Championship. Since 2005, Nick has coached both club and high school volleyball, bringing a wealth of coaching experience and knowledge to the RPM Sand Programs - not to mention his stellar coaching abilities in numerous National Championships. Nick has also played volleyball for the past 15 years, including a top 4 finish at the USA Volleyball's National Championship in 2006 (in the highest men's division).

When Nick isn't coaching on the beach or enjoying his Nephew Henry, he is teaching Spanish 1 and 2 at Sandra Day O'Connor High School.

Shawn Malkou

Coach Shawn fell in love with the sport of volleyball his freshman year of high school at Brophy College Prep. Once graduated, he wanted to continue to immerse himself in the sport as best he can. Shortly after, he joined the RPM team and has been coaching with us since 2015. He even founded the Club Beach Program up at NAU. Shawn has a coaching national championship under his belt and is USAV Impact, SafeSport, and BCAP certified.

Shawn currently runs all media relations at RPM Sand including social media management, website design, and brand strategy. He's been in the social media business since 2012 on various platforms.

When Shawn isn't coaching with us at RPM Sand, he is involved in the Mortgage Lending World as a Loan Officer!

Marc Townsend

Marc has been around volleyball for quite some time. Some of his career highlights include how he played Mens Volleyball at UofA from 1988-92 winning a Natl Championship in ‘91. Marc also played beach volleyball at a high AA Rating level. He started his coaching career back in the '90's as the Salpointe High School Volleyball head coach where he led the Lancers to 4 State final fours and 2 state High School Championships in '91& 94. He was the 5A South Region Coach of the year in '92 '93 '94 and '95 and was named AZ State coach of the year in '93.

Marc has coached over 85 players that have continued to play Volleyball at NCAA Division 1 schools. On top of all that, Marc own Custom Garage Floors Inc. and is a professional Fisherman!

Danko Iordanov

Danko grew up in Varna, Bulgaria where he started playing volleyball at age 11. He graduated from Rutgers University where he played as an Opposite and Outside Hitter for 4 years on a scholarship. He's been playing Beach Volleyball competitively in California since 2005. Dank achieved first place on the Bulgarian Tour in 1998. Danko has also maintained “AAA” rating on the CBVA tour since 2006, where he won the Cal Cup Tournament in 2009. He finished the AVP 2013 season ranked in the top 50. Danko has over 20 years of volleyball experience at the highest level. As a coach he believes that working hard on the fundamentals in a fun and competitive environment is of the greatest importance for players of all ages. He teaches by both explaining and performing and believes in positive reinforcement. Strategy is a big part of the game and teaching players about it can make them successful at the next level. Learn more about Danko here.

Assistant Coaches

Kristen Rohr

Coach Kristen is the Head Beach Coach at Grand Canyon University. She competed professionally in beach volleyball since May 2007, ranking fifth in the country at one point. She began her career in the AVP and has played on the National Volleyball League Tour. During her career, she has had a 10-tournament win streak and was a member of the top-ranked team in Florida for 5 years.

Kristen graduated from Kentucky in 2005 with a degree in family consumer science. During her collegiate career, she started for the Wildcats and was named All-SEC and team MVP. She also received her master's degree in counselor education from Capella University in 2011!

Kyle Boron

Coach Kyle 

When Kyle isn't coaching with us, he's traveling the world! He works for American Airlines and gets quite the hookup.

Katie Cross

Coach Katie is an RPM sand alumni from Flagstaff, Arizona who's been with us since the beginning! She was apart of the first RPM graduating class.

After playing for RPM, Katie continued her beach volleyball career at Arizona State University. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Law in 2019 and loves being back in the sand coaching.

Cierra Flood

Coach Cierra is an RPM sand alumni from Glendale, Arizona.

She currently plays at Arizona State Univeristy on one of the top teams! Cierra is working towards a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and loves coaching in her spare time.

Plus, Cierra is one of the hardest working players to ever touch the sand which shows in her coaching!

Peter McGloin

Coach Pete grew up playing volleyball in Madison, WI where he won a state championship in 1995. He later went to the Univeristy of Arizona for undergrad and Northern Arizona University for his Master's in Psychology.

Pete's coaching career started at Copper Canyon High School in 2011 where his teams set school records for wins. He then transitioned to Fountain Hills High School in 2015 where his teams won back-to-back indoor and beach state championships. Coach Pete has received numerous coach of the year awards, including the AZCentral Small Schools Coach of the Year in 2017, and the Co-Beach Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2018.

Pete has a daughter named Casey and pet fish. In addition to volleyball, he loves the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, golf, history, and good fruit!


Sports Psychology

Dr. Jim Afremow is a much sought-after mental game coach, licensed professional counselor, and the author of The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive (Rodale, 2014). He is the founder of Good to Gold Medal, PLLC, a leading coaching and consulting practice. Though his practice is located in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Afremow provides individual and team mental training services across the globe to athletes, teams, and coaches in all sports, as well as to parents, business professionals, and all others engaged in highly demanding endeavors. He is passionate about helping others achieve peak performance and personal excellence, and reach their true potential.

For over 15 years, Dr. Afremow has assisted numerous high school, collegiate, recreational, and professional athletes. Major sports represented include MLB, NBA, WNBA, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, NHL, and NFL. In addition, he has mentally trained several U.S. and international Olympic competitors. He served as the staff mental coach for two international Olympic teams, the Greek Olympic softball team and India’s Olympic field hockey team. From 2004 to 2013, he served as a senior staff member with Counseling Services and Sports Medicine at Arizona State University.

 Dr. Afremow is a member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), the American Counseling Association (ACA), and the Arizona Psychoanalytic Society (APS). He has an extensive history of professional activity, including conference presentations, corporate workshops, and publications in top journals and peer reviewed publications, including the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology and Olympic Coach Magazine. He has also served as an expert blogger on the mental side of athletics for Psychology Today.

Dr. Afremow resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Anne and their daughter Maria Paz.

Read more about Dr. Jim here.