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UC Irvine's Mello to replace Bellarmine legend Rogers

Former UC Irvine standout and US National Team member Colin Mello will be named head coach at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, CA on Friday according to people familiar with the program. His hiring would mark the end of Larry Rogers' legendary tenure at the school. Rogers coached the Bells for three decades and led the team to more than 50 section championships in both water polo and swimming, making him among the most successful coaches in California history.

Parents of Bellarmine water polo players have been told they will learn the new coach's identity on Friday. School officials today told TWp they have no official announcement concerning who has been chosen for the position.

Mello has risen quickly through the coaching ranks. After stints with Orange County high schools and clubs through 2010 he joined the staff of Stanford Water Polo Club in mid-2011 and helped the boys of Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton win a CCS title that Fall. A former professional player for teams in Australia and Spain, Mello was also on the USA roster for the 2009 World University Games. Reportedly a favorite of the Stanford coaching staff he was selected over one other finalist for the Bellarmine job.

Larry Rogers leaves the program as one of the greats among American high school water polo coaches for both the team's championships and for the pipeline of talent it developed and steered toward collegiate and international programs. A blemish on his record came in 2007 when the school placed Rogers "on leave" for reasons the school would not disclose. Rogers' first CCS championship came in 1975 as coach of Monta Vista High School in Sunnyvale.