He’s only been at the job for a few years, but Andy Coffman, the head coach of the University High School water polo team, has already made a big splash: The varsity squad is among the top 10 in the county.
But, don’t spend too much time complimenting Coffman.
“They are the ones doing the work,” he says of the players.
Although the success of the team is nice, Coffman’s main goal is to help shape the lives of his players.
“It is a way to teach life lessons,” Coffman said. “The things I acquire as a coach is what you will be held accountable for in life, which is applying your time, taking action and having enthusiasm.”
It isn’t a rough-and-tumble kind of team, either. Coffman takes more satisfaction in helping players grow than in winning every match.
“We find a way to keep everyone,” Coffman said. “We place them according to their levels and help develop their experience so they can compete at higher levels, while having fun and learning the game.”
Coffman also hopes that the players will be able to apply the lessons they learn in the water to life outside of the pool.
“What I am teaching is what my team will hopefully use accordingly the attributes and qualities to take on any challenge, succeed in college, with mental and physical confidence.”
Even though Coffman makes sure there’s a welcoming atmosphere surrounding the team, he also stresses that there aren’t any free passes — especially when it comes to school.
“Handle your studies. University is one of the best academic public schools in California with just as much rigorous deliverance to athleticism.”
The two captains of the team, seniors Eric White and Alex Bennett, are already looking for ways to play water polo in college — a challenge that they will be prepared for in the water and in the classroom.