Seven-Time National Collegiate Champion Head Coach Assumes Leadership of World’s Most Successful Women’s Water Polo Program
Huntington Beach, Calif. – – Adam Krikorian, who led the UCLA Bruins women's water polo team to seven national championships and 261 wins during his ten year reign as head coach, has been appointed Head Coach of the USA Women’s National Team. He takes over one the most successful women's program in the world, which includes three Olympic medals and two World Championship titles.
“During the past ten years Adam has compiled an unparalleled NCAA record in women's water polo," said Christopher Ramsey, Chief Executive Officer of USA Water Polo. "We have every confidence that he will continue his winning ways in the international arena while leading a program that has earned a reputation for its consistency and integrity."
Krikorian will assume responsibility for the women's national team when the NCAA women's water polo season. His first test will be the FINA World Championships, which will be held this coming July in Rome, Italy.
“I would like to thank both Chris and Guy for giving me this opportunity and would also like to thank UCLA for allowing me to continue to coach on the collegiate level. With the recent success of both of our National Teams and the new formation of the Olympic Development Program, I believe it is a very exciting time to be associated with USA Water Polo. Personally, I am truly looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to coach and compete with and against the best teams, the best coaches, and the best athletes in the world.” Krikorian said.
Krikorian will step down from his position as head coach of the UCLA women's water polo team at the conclusion of this season, but he will remain on the UCLA men's staff.
At USA Water Polo, Krikorian will join men's national team Head Coach Terry Schroeder and reunite with his predecessor and women's program architect, Guy Baker, who was recently named Director of Olympic Development Department after guiding the team to three consecutive Olympic Medals, a feat unequaled by any other nation. In Beijing, Schroeder coached Team USA's men's water polo team to their first Olympic medal in 20 years.
“I’m very excited that Adam will be joining our staff and I look forward to working with him, supporting him in anyway that I can, and learning from him as well,” said USA Men’s Senior National Team Head Coach Terry Schroeder
Baker and Krikorian have a long history together dating back to Krikorian’s playing days when he was recruited to the Westwood campus by Baker. The duo helped UCLA to their first men’s championship in 23 years in 1995 and continued success together after Krikorian’s playing days when he joined Baker’s staff as an assistant. Krikorian served as co-head coach in the late 90s before taking over full-time in 2001 as Baker transitioned to USA Water Polo.
“What an exciting time for the Women’s Senior National Team, the entire Olympic Development Program and USA Water Polo. I have thoroughly enjoyed the selection process and I have the utmost confidence in Adam’s abilities as he moves into the international arena. We have been fortunate to share many experiences and we have crossed a similar path before. I look forward to working with Adam as the women’s program starts a new era,” Baker said.
Women’s Senior National Team Captain Brenda Villa echoed many of the same sentiments, “After a very thorough and complete selection process I think I speak for our entire team when I say we are very excited to start a new chapter of the women’s program with a very qualified, experienced coach like Adam. In the last decade Adam has won a host of championships and we are confident he will be able to continue the success our team has enjoyed,” said Villa.
A former standout on the UCLA varsity water polo team from 1992-95, Krikorian was captain of the UCLA 1995 Men’s NCAA championship team, UCLA’s first title in 23 years. Krikorian has earned National Women's Water Polo Coach of the Year honors five times-2001, 2005-08 and also received National Men's Coach of the Year honors in 2004 after having led the UCLA men's program to its eighth overall NCAA championship. He has guided the women’s team to seven national championships, six sanctioned by the NCAA including a current string of four consecutive titles. In addition he has piloted the men’s program to three NCAA titles two of the three were as Co-Head Coach with Guy Baker.
Krikorian, 34, graduated from UCLA with a psychology degree and a business administration emphasis in June 1997. Krikorian is married to Anicia Mendez, a four-year Bruin letter-winner in varsity tennis who completed her MBA at UCLA. Adam and Anicia reside in Manhattan Beach, Calif., with their son, Jack (born July 2006).
About USA Water Polo
USA Water Polo, Inc. is the national governing body for water polo in America, overseeing the United States Olympic water polo program as well as 20 different championship events annually, including the S&R Sport Junior Olympics and the Masters National 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, including a national system of affiliated clubs, certified coaches and officials.
photos Janos Schmidt