Hall of Fame Coach Dante Dettamanti Named Men's Water Polo Assistant Coach

Dante Dettamanti is a six-time national Coach of the Year in men's water polo.
Oct. 7, 2014

San Jose, Calif.----- Dante Dettamanti, inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 2002 for his coaching success, is joining the recently reinstated San Jose State University men's water polo program as the assistant coach.

One of the country's legendary figures in the sport of water polo, Dettamanti coached the Stanford men's team to eight NCAA Championships, six runner-up finishes and 20 top-four placings in his 25 seasons (1977-2001) with the Cardinal. Six times, he was named the NCAA Coach of the Year in men's water polo.

"Water polo has been my life. I believe I have the experience to help the program get off on the right foot and develop San Jose State into a top-notch program," says Dettamanti, who is one of two coaches in the sport with more than 600 career wins. At Stanford, the Cardinal was 570-148-6 and had undefeated seasons in 1981 and 1986. He also was the head coach at Occidental College in Southern California for four seasons (1970-73) and spent three seasons as UC Santa Barbara's head coach (1974-76).

"It's exciting to start a program from scratch and help out. I feel I have so much to add to the sport."

Dettamanti also brings international coaching experience with him to San Jose State. He was the USA Men's National Team assistant coach from 1988 through 1991. The United States placed fifth at the 1989 FINA World Cup. In a second stint as an assistant with USA Water Polo, the American men placed seventh at the 2001 FINA World Championships.

"We are delighted Coach Dettamanti is joining us as an assistant coach. He is highly-respected and well-connected in the sport of water polo and his knowledge of the sport at every level will be an asset to our program," says San Jose State University director of athletics Gene Bleymaier.

During his coaching career, his players received more than 100 All-America honors. Twelve players eventually would earn a position on a U.S. Olympic Men's Water Polo team.



Dettamanti comes to San Jose State after serving as a volunteer coach for the UC Davis men's program in 2013.

The 1965 UC Davis graduate majored in engineering and was a conference record-holding freestyle swimmer and an all-league water polo player. He went on to earn his master's degree in exercise physiology from UCLA in 1971.

San Jose State plans to compete again as a NCAA Division I program in men's water polo in 2015 after a 34-year absence in the sport.