(from USA Water Polo) Huntington Beach Calif. – July 23, 2014 — On the heels of restructuring the Olympic Development Program, regional coaching leadership for the program has been selected and a new National ODP Championship tournament scheduled for 2015, USA Water Polo Director of High Performance John Abdou announced earlier today. A total of 24 water polo coaches from around the nation have been named USAWP ODP Zone Head Coaches, deployed among 13 ODP Zones, adding a Great Lakes (MI, OH, Western PA) and Hawaii Zone to the traditional regions. ODP head coaches are responsible for programming and administrative duties in their respective zones. They will also coach the youngest age group teams in the championship tournament, which will include 96 total teams divided into six 16-team divisions—three for men and three for women. The boy’s national championship will be played February 27-March 1, 2015 and the girl’s national championship will be played March 14-16, 2015.
The announcement of an ODP championship and new zone coaching leadership is part of a profound evolution of the Olympic Development Program, which will be more modular and flexible in its fresh iteration. ODP “2.0” will offer two general camps in each USAWP zone in the 2014-2015 season, open to all USAWP Gold athletes. Camps will be led by a member of the USA Water Polo national team staff supported by zone coaches, and will offer a progressive program of skills developed and endorsed by the senior national team head coaches. Attendance at a camp will be required for identification and selection to a zone championship team.
At the conclusion of the Zone Camps, the top 14 athletes in each age group (Youth, Cadet, and Development) will be selected for further training before competing as a team in the ODP National Championships. Larger zones will be granted two teams in each category, commensurate with their membership size. Based on performance at the ODP National Championship, athletes will be selected to attend National Team Selection Camps, where additional training and evaluation will ultimately lead to the selection of America’s youth, cadet and developmental teams, most of which will represent the USA in some form of international competition.
The 2014-15 ODP Zone Head Coaches are:
For Boy’s Teams: Tracy Stapleton (Central), Martin Matthies (Coastal), Nikola Malezanov (Great Lakes), Dave Schiffner (Hawaii), Tim Daniel (Midwest), Robbie Bova (Mountain), Mark Lawrence (Northeast), Djoko Radumovic (Pacific SW), Randy Kalbus (Pacific), Christi Gilmore (Pacific NW), Jeff Colton (SoPac), Michael Goldenberg (Southeast), and Joe Linehan (Southwest).
For Girl’s Teams: Alan Stender (Central), Julie Snodgrass (Coastal), Katie Card (Great Lakes), Gregg Wong (Hawaii), Doug Eichstaedt (Midwest), Robbie Bova (Mountain), Leslie Entwhistle (Northeast), Nicki Davidson (Pacific SW), Ryan Cunnane (Pacific), Christi Gilmore (Pacific NW), Casey Greenawalt (SoPac), Carroll Vaughn (Southeast), and Scott Slay (Southwest).
“We felt that it was important to have direct contacts in each ODP Zone for the benefit of our members in those regions. In collaboration with zone leadership, the zone head coaches were selected to help lead the identification and recruitment of the best athletes for further development in ODP and national team pipelines. I look forward to a collective effort on the zone level to help ensure the development and success of our athletes, coaches and referees,” said Abdou.
“This is an exciting time for the growth and development of high level water polo in the United States. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that opportunities are available for all USA Water Polo members to strive for their Olympic dreams regardless of where they are from in our country.” said USA Women’s National Team Head Coach Adam Krikorian.
“I am happy to see the changes made to the Olympic Development Program. A more streamlined, all-inclusive program will benefit all of our members and will have a positive impact on our National Teams at every level,” said Dejan Udovicic, USA Men’s National Team Head Coach.
The revised Olympic Development Program will begin this September with zone camps. For more information on the program, including dates for camps and competitions in your region, please visit the ODP website by clicking here.
About USA Water Polo
USA Water Polo, Inc. is the national governing body for water polo in America, overseeing our United States Olympic program as well as 20 different championship events annually, such as Junior Olympics and Masters National Championships. With more than 40,000 members, USAWP is also the sanctioning authority for more than 500 Member Clubs and more than 400 tournaments nationwide. USAWP is committed to the development of the sport throughout the US. It fosters grass-roots expansion of the sport, providing a national system of affiliated clubs, certified coaches and officials.
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