Lou Tully
Lou  Tully

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
San Jose State, 1967


2018 SAMMY Awards Honors Best Of San José State University Athletics

The SAMMYS were handed out for academic, athletics and community service excellence.


2018 SAMMY Awards Honors Best Of San José State University Athletics

The SAMMYS were handed out for academic, athletics and community service excellence.


Spartans Open Season Splitting A Pair At Lou Tully Memorial Invitational

Klaudia Paradi and Sheila Jensen each scored five goals in two matches for the Spartans.


#15-San Jose State Opens Season Hosting 4th Annual Lou Tully Memorial Invitational

The Spartans have two matches to start the season.


Women's Water Polo Loses 15-4 Exhibition To National Team From China

A slow start by the Spartans led to a big first-half lead for China.

Lou Tully (1943 - 2013), San Jose State University's first women's water polo head coach, died on December 17, at age 70 in San Jose due to complications from cancer treatment. As the Spartans only head coach the Spartan program since its inception, Mr. Tully built a team from infancy to a consistent national power.

Mr. Tully was named the head coach in October, 1996 and had a 250-245 win-loss coaching record covering 17 seasons. His teams were ranked in the top-10 nationally 12 times. The 2001 and 2011 Spartans finished fifth in the country. The 2011 squad became the second in the last four years and only the third in school history to accumulate at least 20 wins.

Since 1999, Spartan water polo players earned 24 All-America awards and 32 Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-American Academic awards since 2009.

Well-known locally and regionally in water polo circles, Mr. Tully was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and was given a clean bill of health the following summer. He took the San Jose State coaching position after a lengthy career coaching high school, community college and club teams. His first coaching position was at Menlo Junior College in 1966 where he coached water polo and swimming. He also founded the San Jose Splash in the 1990's, a club team for local junior women's players.

The 1967 San Jose State graduate also earned his master's degree from his alma mater in 1972. He played for the Spartan men's water polo teams during the 1962 through 1965 seasons.

As a long-time water polo official, he officiated at every level, including the Junior Olympic Nationals, U.S. Senior Men's and Women's National Championships, community college state championships and NCAA Division I men's and women's matches.

An Army veteran who served his country during the Vietnam War, Mr. Tully held a California Life Teaching Credential. He also was a member of the San Francisco Bay Area band, Big Bop and the Choppers, a band that specialized in 1950's Rock & Roll tribute music. The band's best-known member is Super Bowl winning coach Mike Holmgren.

Mr. Tully is survived by his wife, Susan Tully; daughter, Megan; a son, Ian, and daughter-in-law, Caroline, and their son, Chase.

Year Overall Record MPSF Finish National Ranking
1997 4-17
1998 14-22 9th 14th
1999 19-21 8th 9th
2000 22-18 7th 11th
2001 16-11 5th 5th
2002 19-12 6th 6th
2003 15-16 10th 9th
2004 16-16 9th 10th
2005 11-19 12th 12th
2006 13-14 8th 8th
2007 16-13 6th 6th
2008 16-15 7th 7th
2009 20-14* 5th 6th
2010 17-14 7th 7th
2011 21-13 4th 5th
2012 19-12 7th 9th
2013 12-12 6th 11th
16 seasons 250-245
* - Coaching record does not include 2009 results