Sean Kakumu begins his seventh season as head coach of the College of the Canyons swim & dive program. He is also an adjunct professor for the college’s physical education & kinesiology department.
During his time at the helm, Kakumu has implemented a modern and unique program never before seen at College of the Canyons in the program’s four-decade-long history. This has translated into the program having achieved an unprecedented level of success in the pool, both in team and individual competition.
Over the last six seasons COC swim & dive has set 43 new school records and claimed 11 individual Western State Conference (WSC) championships, 14 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State qualifiers, Junior National level swimmers, four medley conference championships, five CCCAA state finalists, six All-American relay teams, six All-American Individuals, one WSC Men’s Swimmer of the Year, one CCCAA Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and had one swimmer included on the two-year College National Rankings.
During his coaching career Kakumu has coached and provided leadership for every major swimming organization in the City of Santa Clarita over the last decade.
Kakumu first joined the COC swim & dive staff as an assistant under former head coach Jeff Conwell in 2012. Kakumu is also currently the Canyons Aquatics Club Site Director and Swim School Director. In this role he supervises all of the coaches and instructors and ensures that everyone on the staff is giving their very best, while infusing his philosophy that swimmers are people first and every one of them has unlimited potential if they work for it.
With Kakumu’s efforts, the Swim School program has doubled in membership through a new comprehensive program and the hiring of qualified swim instructors. Before he was instructing age group swimmers, Kakumu coached the Senior 1 and Varsity groups, where he produced a multitude of Junior Olympic, Senior Development, and numerous Sectional cut swimmers.
In 2012, Kakumu was selected as the 13-14 Girls coach for the Southern California Swimming Pacific Coast All-Star Team in Santa Rosa. Since 2015, Kakumu has also been on the staff for the North American Challenge cup. In 2017, Kakumu was the 17-18 Girls and Boys Coach at UC San Diego.
For the last two years Kakumu has also served as the Southern California Swimming Coastal Committee Age Group Chair, giving age group swimmers a voice in the Coastal Committee.
As of 2018, Kakumu was appointed to the position of Open Water Chair for Southern California Swimming and was Meet Director for the 2018 Southern California Open Water Junior Olympics and 2018 USA Swimming Western Zones Championship.
Before taking his position with Canyons, Kakumu served as Pool Manager with the City of Santa Clarita. During his 16 years with the City of Santa Clarita, he has overseen and supervised multiple city swim teams, trained and mentored city swim team coaches and meet support staff, initiated the creation of swim meet events for 5-6-year-olds, and currently still trains the staff in and helps run swim meet timing equipment and video scoreboard design. Aside from the swim team, Sean oversaw, directed, and influenced thousands of swim lessons at his facilities. Sean still helps train and educate city swim team coaches, provides technical assistance and administration for city swim teams and the LA84 Foundation.
Personally, Kakumu has been waterlogged his whole life. Starting at Canyons Aquatic Club in 1989, he swam his way to the Senior group at the age of 12 and worked under former head coach Bruce Patmos. During this time, he also swam for Hart High School as a varsity member for four years, finishing his high school career by winning a CIF Championship with his team.
In 2002, he went off to swim for University of Illinois at Chicago, an NCAA Division I program. While there, he studied architecture and earned multiple Dean’s List awards and served as student body President. After graduating in 2006, he went on to the University of Southern California (Fight On!) to earn his Masters in Architecture with a specialty in building systems and materials application.
In his off time, Kakumu is an avid reader and writer, designer of everything, furniture maker, traveler, and attends multiple sporting events including USC football games.
— Bio current as of Jan. 2019