Water Polo Promotes Bega To Associate Head Coach

San Jose, Calif. - San Jose State University women’s water polo head coach Lou Tully has announced that he has promoted Johnny Bega to be his associate head coach.

Bega will be in his third year at San Jose State during the 2009 season. Bega joined San Jose State as an assistant coach in 2007, after spending 2006 as the volunteer assistant women’s water polo coach at Santa Clara University. The Spartans finished the 2008 campaign with a 16-15 overall mark and a No. 8 national ranking.

“Johnny has had a dramatic impact on our team,” said Tully, the program’s only leader who heads toward his 13th season in charge. “He has had a tremendous variety of coaching experiences, both in our country and abroad. In fact, he just added to that last month. He was in Hungary with his boy’s club team and talking with some very high-level coaches there, discussing water polo, different strategies, training methods and so on. These are things that all add to his expertise.

“I’ve found Johnny to be a great asset to our team. The players really enjoy having him on the pool deck and are learning a tremendous amount from him. From my perspective, it’s been a great relationship, and I look forward to continuing it for many more years.”

“I’ve had a great experience thus far working with Lou Tully,” remarked Bega. “This new role obviously adds to what I have to do here, and motivates me to do that much more to help this program get to where we would like for it to be. I think this will be very good for everybody involved. I’m excited to continue on right beside Lou, and want to thank him for the opportunity to stay on in this new capacity.”

With both Division I and international coaching stints, Bega has brought veteran coaching experience to the Spartans. He developed a strong background at the international level when he was the USA national Zone 11 junior girl’s and youth boy’s head coach. From 1997 until 2001, Bega coached water polo in Japan, Hungary, Brazil, Greece and Holland.

Bega also has a winning history coaching at the club and high school level. As the head coach of the Long Beach Shore Aquatics club team from 1996 until 2002, his teams won five gold medals, seven silver medals and four bronze medals at the Junior Olympics.

Bega’s success in the prep ranks began at Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. While there, Wilson earned the CIF boy’s Division I title three times. He also claimed the 2001 Sunset League boy’s and girl’s titles as the head coach at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Most recently, Bega led the Menlo-Atherton High School boy’s team to the 2007 CIF Division I championship.

The 1999 Long Beach State graduate majored in vocational education. Bega and his wife, Alexandra, currently reside in San Jose.

In addition to Bega, Tully will be joined on his staff for a 10th season in 2009 by volunteer assistant coach Doug Robinson.