While it’s true that moms are rock stars in their own right, we think dads are pretty cool too. They drive carpools, whip up dinners, and host play dates. In honor of dad, we found eight of Southern California’s coolest dads who successfully balance their family lives and day jobs, all while making it look effortless. Click through our gallery to meet eight cool SoCal dads.

Michael Cusi

When it comes to a passion for Jiu Jitsu, it’s definitely a family affair for Michael Cusi. This dad runs The Stronghold CrossFit & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Center and teaches Jiu Jitsu to kids throughout San Diego County. He is so passionate about teaching martial arts to young ones that he now travels to three locations to make sure as many kids learn the art. Surprisingly, one of the keys to Michael’s success is not separating his personal and professional lives. He is the father of three kids: Jacob (4), Michaela (2), and Nichola (5 months), whom he loves bringing to the gym and watching them train in the art of Jiu Jitsu. He considers his kids a big part of his business and works to involve them as much as he can. “When I don't have to separate the two, it makes life much easier,” said Michael.

We know there are dozens of cool dads out there. In fact, we bet you know several of them! Who else do you think deserves a spot on our list?

– Leah R. Singer

All photos courtesy of the featured dads