Coaches & Staff

Coby Karl, Head Coach

Coby Karl concluded his first season as head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders in April 2017, and he will lead the team’s on-court transition to the South Bay Lakers during the 2017-18 campaign.

Karl’s D-Fenders put together one of the best seasons in franchise history in 2016-17, his first season as a professional head coach. L.A. finished with a 34-16 mark en route to their first regular season Pacific Division crown, spearheaded by NBA D-League MVP Vander Blue and all-stars Justin Harper and Josh Magette. Karl was also integral in producing call-ups for Harper and rookie David Nwaba, and he helped to develop Lakers assignee Ivica Zubac.

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.

Heather Mau, Head Athletic Trainer

Heather Mau (pronounced MOW) concluded her first season as head athletic trainer for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2016-17.

In her role, Mau is 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) concluded his first season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the multi-faceted role of strength and conditioning coach, massage therapist and equipment manager in 2016-17.

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) concluded his second season with Los Angeles in 2016-17.

The University of Colorado graduate took over as video coordinator for the D-Fenders, while returning to his role as a basketball operations assistant for the second consecutive season. In his role, Lagios provides video analysis, statistical breakdowns and other assistance to the GM and coaching staff. Prior to joining the D-Fenders, he was most recently a team assistant with the Australian National Basketball Team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He has also previously assisted the Stanford men’s basketball team.