Huntington Beach, Calif. – April 13, 2010 – Heather Moody, a two-time Olympic Medalist and former Head and Assistant Coach of the Women’s Senior National Team has been named Head Coach of the USA Water Polo Women’s Junior National Team and an Assistant Coach with the Women’s Senior National Team. Moody returns to the Senior Team coaching ranks, where as an Assistant Coach she helped guide the squad to a Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, after two years at California State University-Long Beach.
"I am thrilled to be able to welcome Heather back to the National Team Staff. It's not too often you get the opportunity to hire someone who has international experience as a Captain, an Assistant Coach, and a Head Coach. I know that everyone will be able to benefit from this experience and all of the knowledge she has to offer. Through her entire career as an athlete and the past 6 years as a coach, Heather has also always been about doing what's best for the 'team'. This selfless attitude is just one of the reasons why she is great leader," said USA Head Coach Adam Krikorian.
Moody, bound for the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame this summer will depart Long Beach State following the year-end Big West conference tournament this spring to return to National Team activities. One of the dominant players for Team USA in the late 90s and early 2000s Moody earned a Silver Medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and a Bronze Medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. In 2005, Moody served as Head Coach of the Women’s Senior National Team piloting the squad to a Silver Medal at the FINA World Championships in Montreal. From there Moody was an Assistant Coach for the Senior National Team collaborating on a World Championship in 2007 in Melbourne and a Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She joins Krikorian on staff for the defending World Champions.
“I realized that I still had the dream of coaching at the International Level when the Winter Olympics were on, I had to watch, I couldn't turn it off. I then met with Adam and I got the chance to come back and it was a great opportunity. As for leaving Long Beach State it was a hard decision to make; the men's and women's teams were a great group of athletes to work with. One of the hardest things I've done was talking to them about my move to USA Water Polo. The university has been a great avenue for me to grow as a coach and working with the team and Coach Gavin Arroyo has given me more than I can say,” added Moody.
The Women’s Senior National Team will begin their summer competition at the FINA World League Prelims in Puerto Rico May 16-23 in preparation for the Women’s World League Super Final in La Jolla, CA, June 28-July 3 and the World Cup in Wellington New Zealand August 17-22. While the Women’s Junior National Team will begin their preparation for the 2011 Junior World Championships with the National Training and Selection Camp June 19-22. The summer of 2010 will feature a 4-Nations Tournament (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA) at the National Training Center in Los Alamitos, CA July 20-25 and the UANA Junior Championships in Miami, Florida August 10-16.
Heather replaces Kyle Utsumi as Head Coach of Junior National Team. Kyle along with Assistant Coach Kim Everist and Manager Alan Cima led Team USA to the gold medal at the 2005 Junior World Championships and a bronze medal at the 2009 Junior World Championships. Kyle, Kim and Alan were an integral part of the Women’s National Team pipeline and their decade of success at the Senior and Junior international levels. They served as the staff of the Youth National Team in 2001-04 and all continue to play a role in the development of National Team athletes; Alan remains as Manager as the Junior National Team, Kyle is the ODP Girls West Region Technical Director and Kim is the ODP Girls National Technical Director.
“I’m excited but a little nervous to follow Kyle Utsumi and his staff as they have set the bar high. Alan remaining as the Manager is invaluable. They were very successful working with this group and it will be big shoes to fill, but I look forward to the challenge,” said Moody.
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 Championships. With more than 30,000 members, USAWP is also the sanctioning authority for more than 400 tournaments nationwide. USAWP is committed to the development of the sport nationwide. It fosters grass-roots expansion of the sport, providing a national system of affiliated clubs, certified coaches and officials.
photos Janos Schmidt