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September 03, 2002 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Polo coach bolts to Berkeley

By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer
In its first two years as a varsity
program, the Michigan water polo
team has steadily climbed the colle-
giate ranks, capped,
by a fourth-place
finish at last spring's
NCAA Champi-
onships. But if that
trend is to continue,
it will have to be
without the only
varsity head coach
the school has ever Drury-Pinto
known.
Friday, coach Amber Drury-Pinto
resigned her post to take over the
head coaching position at the Univer-
sity of California-Berkeley. Her res-
ignation follows the departure of
assistant coach Bernice Orwig earlier
this summer. Erika Orns, previously
the head coach of Michigan State's
club team, was already hired to
replace Orwig.
"Amber is an outstanding coach,
and for us, it's a huge loss," Associ-
ate Athletic Director Megan McCal-
lister said. "We've lost someone
who did a phenomenal job in build-
ing a foundation for a program of

national prominence."
To those familiar with the sport, a
move out west is not surprising for a
coach who has had success on the
national level. Water polo is begin-
ning to gain popularity on the East
Coast, but for the time being, the
traditional powers in the sport
remain concentrated in California.
The last 19 collegiate champions
have all come from the Pacific area.
Drury-Pinto also spent much of her
water polo career in California.
The team was particularly sad-
dened to learn of her departure.
Many players felt they had built a
strong bond with Drury-Pinto over
the past few years.
"People are upset to see her go,"
senior utility player Abbi Rowe said.
"Not only are you losing a coach,
but also a friend."
For Michigan's young program,
the next month could be pivotal. If
the team is to continue to play
catch-up with the West, it needs to
find a coach who can keep the pro-
gram moving in the right direction.
"We will begin a national search
for a new coach immediately,"
McCallister said.
She added that the intent is to find
a replacement by the first week in

October. The Athletic Department
will be looking for an outstanding
person who is very committed to
academics, and a coach who can
bring in students of character.
In the meantime, the team will
begin practice without a head coach.
As a result, Rowe sees Orns as an
important leader in the team's prepa-
ration for the upcoming season.
"Erika can set the pace for us,"
Rowe said. "She's familiar with the
territory."
Drury-Pinto was an assistant
coach and player at Pomona-Pitzer
College in Claremont, Calif. from
1992-1994, where she led the team
to back-to-back NCAA Division III
Championships. She also won two
Division III Player of the Year
Awards. Drury-Pinto went on to
spend time as a head coach at Long
Beach City College and as an assis-
tant with San Diego State.
"I am very excited about having
the opportunity to coach at Cal and
getting the chance to come back to
my home," Drury-Pinto said. "I've
enjoyed my time immensely at
Michigan and the Midwest, but I'm
looking forward to this move. This
is a tremendous opportunity and I
couldn't be happier."

I i

Welcome Students
Food for Thought
Periodically you will see a
Food for Thought ad aimed at
debunking the many
myths of the Vietnam War.
These myths have become so
entrenched that they are
often taught as history. One
example is that nearly
everyone who served
in Vietnam was a draftee,
dragged over there against
their will. Fact: In contrast to
WW 11 when 26% of military
personnel were volunteers,
in Vietnam 69% volunteered.
I seek to do no business with
Michigan Daily readers.
I'm simply a Vietnam
Vet tired of hearing myths
repeated as fact.
Sponsored by
Gary Lillie & Associates
www.garylillie.com

to ticOver Welconvel
+:: su t

Washington at Pearl
YPSILATI 4j3;-.eiyo

..........

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