NOVATO / KENTFIELD, CA—January 2, 2020—College of Marin (COM) Athletic Director Ryan Byrne announced that women’s water polo will be added as an intercollegiate sport in fall 2020.
Steve Carrera, a highly-decorated swimming and water polo coach from Irvine, has accepted the position as head coach for the new team. He will begin work in the spring of 2020, serving as head coach for the Mariners’ Swimming and Diving Team along with his duties as a full-time faculty member in the Kinesiology and Athletics Department.
Most recently, Carrera coached at Orange Lutheran High School in Orange County. Carrera is no stranger to starting water polo programs; this will be his fifth. Previously, Carrera built water polo programs at Northwood High School, Concordia University, Orange Lutheran, as well as with Northwood Water Polo Club. He led the Orange Lutheran’s boys to the Division I state title in 2016 and did the same for the girl’s team in the 2015-2016 season. In 2015, Carrera was the recipient of the National Double Goal Coaching award by the Positive Coaching Alliance and was also named Orange County Register's Coach of the Year for boy’s water polo. He is also the all-time winningest coach in women’s water polo history at Concordia University, competing in NCAA Division I.
Water polo is the seventh women’s intercollegiate sport at COM, bringing the Mariners' overall athletic teams total to 12.
“Not all swimmers play water polo, but there is a lot of crossover, and you have many water polo players who will also compete in swimming,” said Byrne. “Having a water polo team will help with numbers, it will help with recruiting, and it will help with any athlete who plays both sports in high school. It will provide more opportunities for student-athletes to transfer to four-year institutions.”
COM's new water polo team will be the first to compete in the Coast Conference in fall 2020.
At COM’s Indian Valley Campus (IVC) in Novato, construction is currently underway on the Miwok Aquatic and Fitness Center. This new, multi-purpose facility will have flexible workout spaces, a dance studio, locker rooms, classrooms, and offices.
“I am so excited about the future of our aquatics program. We are so fortunate the have the community support to build a new aquatics center at IVC, and water polo has been so strong in Marin County, but there are very few regional opportunities for student-athletes to compete at the college level. This just seems like a perfect opportunity for our college and our community,” said Byrne.
Byrne indicated that the team will practice and play primarily at IVC.
“With the local growth of water polo, the building of a world-class facility, and the hiring of one of the best coaches in the country—the sky is the limit for our program,” says Byrne.
About College of Marin
Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success for all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 115 public community colleges in California and nearly 14,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually.
College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.