Coby Karl, Head Coach
Coby Karl enters his first season as head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2016-17.
A former player for the D-Fenders organization, Karl appeared in 17 games for the team during the 2007-08 season while on assignment from the Lakers. On February 19, 2008, he became the second player in NBA Development League history to play in an NBADL and NBA game in the same day, following former Lakers guard Jordan Farmar. As a player, Karl saw action with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors of the NBA, as well as with the D-Fenders, Reno Bighorns, and Idaho Stampede of the NBADL.
The former guard most recently served as an assistant coach on the Westchester Knicks staff during the 2015-16 season at the conclusion of his playing career, helping the Knicks to earn their first playoff berth in franchise history as the team improved from 10-40 in 2014-15 to 28-22 just a year later.
Along with his domestic experience, the son of NBA veteran coach George Karl also knows the international game, having played professionally in Spain, Italy, and Germany.
A native of Great Falls, Montana, Karl attended Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin, before graduating from Boise State University with a B.A. in Communications. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard led the Broncos in points (17.2) and assists (4.0) as a junior, and he averaged 14.8 points and 4.0 assists during his senior season en route to First Team All-WAC honors in 2007.
Paul Woolpert, Assistant Coach
Paul Woolpert enters his second year as an assistant coach with Los Angeles, adding 30 years of professional coaching experience to the D-Fenders bench.
In 2015-16, his first season with the team, Woolpert helped to mentor a squad that was full of talent while developing L.A.’s interior post players. Under Woolpert’s leadership, the D-Fenders big men flourished. Forward Ryan Gomes was named as the D-League’s Impact Player of the Year and was a third team all-D-League selection, while forward Justin Harper received a call-up to the Detroit Pistons after earning a selection to the D-League All-Star Game.
Prior to making his way to L.A., Woolpert spent the 2014-15 season as lead assistant coach for the Perth Wildcats in the National Basketball League in Australia and spent the three seasons prior as the head coach of the Townsville Crocodiles. Woolpert served as head coach for the NBA D-League’s Tulsa 66ers (now the Oklahoma City Blue) in 2008-09. Before Tulsa, Woopert spent four seasons at the helm of the Yakima Sun Kings in the Continental Basketball Association. Behind his leadership, Yakima won the CBA Championship in 2006 and 2007, while amassing a 43-5 (.895) record in 2007-08 that set a CBA record for winning percentage. Woolpert spent time as an assistant with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Yakima. He was promoted to his first head coaching role with the Sun Kings prior to the 1998 season, ultimately winning his first CBA Championship in 2000.
Woolpert got his start as a scout and video coordinator for the Seattle SuperSonics in 1986, remaining in the role until 1994. From 1995-2004, Woolpert served as a CBA scout for the Portland Trail Blazers. It was while maintaining these responsibilities that he began to coach in other capacities.
Brian Walsh, Assistant Coach
Brian Walsh begins his second season with the D-Fenders as an assistant coach, bringing an extensive background of coaching with him.
Walsh enjoyed plenty of success in his first year with the D-Fenders in 2015-16, helping to lead a team that came one win away from an NBA D-League Championship. As an integral part of L.A.’s gameplanning, Walsh played a large role in developing one of the league’s most efficient units.
A teacher of the game at virtually every level, Walsh played a role in developing younger players as an assistant at Albuquerque High School in 2014-15. Prior to that, Walsh gained a wealth of experience at the international level, working in a coaching capacity in countries such as Venezuela, Belarus, China and Vietnam.
Walsh got his start at the professional level with the New Mexico Slam as head coach/director of player personnel, before joining the Baylor University staff as an assistant coach and lead scout. Prior to the 2004-05 season, Walsh joined the Dakota Wizards staff as assistant coach under head coach Casey Owens, who would later take over as head coach for the D-Fenders. In 2006, Walsh got his first head coaching experience with Gambusinos De Fresnillo in Mexico, before joining the NBA D-League’s Colorado 14ers staff later that year. With Walsh solely responsible for scouting and player development, the 14ers reached the DLeague Finals. Walsh’s D-League experience continued as he spent the 2007-08 season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in an associate head coaching role, eventually closing out the season as interim head coach. Prior to the 2009-10 season, Walsh took over as head coach of the Al Ahli Professional Sports Club, winning the SBL U19 Championship, while reaching the semi-finals of the Arab Nations Cup. In 2012-13, he once again sat alongside Owens as an assistant for Guaiqueries in Venezuela.
Isaiah Fox, Assistant Coach
Isaiah Fox begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Specializing in player development, Fox has mentored players at various levels and joins the D-Fenders after most recently instructing student-athletes at Monrovia High School in nearby Monrovia, California. He has also been a sports program coordinator at a local YMCA chapter in Monrovia, served as an assistant coach with Victor Valley Junior College and founded PDX Basketball, an organization focusing on the development of young players in the community.
A former McDonald’s All-America nominee, the 6-foot-9 Fox lettered for the University of Arizona basketball team from 2002-06. At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Fox was drafted by the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League in 2008 before gaining international experience in Australia, Mexico and Japan.
Heather Mau, Head Athletic Trainer
Heather Mau (pronounced MOW) enters her first season as head athletic trainer for the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
In her role, Mau will be in charge of monitoring the health of the team and is responsible for injury prevention and treatment of all players. She most recently worked at Cal State Northridge, where she provided services for up to five varsity sports. A graduate of Adelphi University, Mau holds a B.S. in Exercise Science and a Masters in Athletic Training from California Baptist University.
Misha Cavaye, Strength & Conditioning Coach/Massage Therapist/Equipment Manager
Misha Cavaye (pronounced MEE-shuh cuh-VAY) enters his first season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the multi-faceted role of strength and conditioning coach, massage therapist and equipment manager.
A native of London, England, Cavaye has an extensive history with the Los Angeles Lakers organization, having served as an assistant equipment manager with the team since 2011. Since 2014, Cavaye has been a performance coach with Velocity Sport Performance and a posture therapist for Myodetox, specializing at in-home pain treatment, rehabilitation and other manual therapies. He is a graduate of Cal State Northridge and Concordia University.
Nick Lagios, Video Coordinator/Basketball Operations Assistant
Nick Lagios (pronounced LAY-jus) returns to Los Angeles after a brief stint with the team in 2016.
The University of Colorado graduate takes over as video coordinator for the D-Fenders, while once again serving as a basketball operations assistant. In his role, Lagios provides video analysis, statistical breakdowns and other assistance to the GM and coaching staff. Lagios was most recently a team assistant with the Australian National Basketball Team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and he has prior experience in assisting the Stanford men’s basketball team.