United States Water Polo's CEO Chris Ramsey has named USC men's and women's Jovan Vavic water polo coach to be the interim men's national team coach. Vavic replaces Terry Schroeder who coached the men's team for the past two Olympics, and he is heading back to his head coaching duties at Pepperdine.
Vavic discussed what it means to be part of the national team, and he said he has no plans to leave USC:
"I'm very honored to have been considered for this position, and I'm really looking forward to working hard for both USA Water Polo and USC. I'm used to training more than one team, so it's nothing new to me. It keeps me sharp, because I'm always thinking about water polo," said Vavic, who saw 10 of his Trojan athletes compete for various countries at the 2012 Olympic Games. "USC is my home.
It has taken care of me for years, and I'm not leaving USC. I'm excited for the challenge to qualify the United States for the World Championships. It's during a period of time when I have a break, and I'm going to use my break to expand and enhance my coaching horizons by training with some of the best water polo players in our country."
Here is what Ramsey says of the hire of Vavic:
"Jovan Vavic is a proven winner," said Ramsey. "His work ethic and attention to detail is exceptional, and he will be a tremendous leader for our men's national team. We have also worked to assemble a staff that reflects the strengths of our federation as well as our college and high school systems. We want to work hard together and bring honor to our country, and I am confident that this group will provide exactly that result."
This interim staff will coach the team through the Union Americana de Natacion (UANA) World Championship Qualification Tournament in Calgary, Canada, Jan. 28 through Feb, 2nd. This tournament will be used for the United States to qualify for the 2013 FINA World Championships.
Joining Vavic on staff will be Marko Pintaric, who is the assistant head coach at USC, and also Marc Hunt. Hunt is the head coach at UC Irvine, plus he coached the men's World University Games team to a fourth place finish in 2011.
In a twist in the coaching staff, all Northern California practices will be held by current Stanford head coach, and former men's national team coach, Jon Vargas. He will be assisted by men's junior national team coach James Lathrop.
Not sure how this dual training setup will work, but it should be enough as Team USA should be able to perform just fine at the UANA tournament at the end of January. A permanent coaching staff will be named after this tournament.