GREENSBORO, North Carolina, September 22. DURING last week’s United States Aquatic Sports Convention, the USA Water Polo Executive Council agreed on a major change. The committee decided to discontinue the position of High Performance Director, a position held by Guy Baker. It is a goal of USA Water Polo to reestablish the position by 2009.
With the reorganization, Baker decided to move back to the women's team as the national team head coach, effective immediately. The decision was unanimously supported by the Executive Council and was approved by the Women's International Olympic Committee. By returning to the women’s team, Baker gave up his duties as head coach of the men’s national team.
"After working in this staff model for the past eight months we learned this structure will require a significant additional investment in time and resources, and very talented contributors like Guy Baker," said Executive Director Tom Seitz. "Our desire is to be in the position by 2009 to fully fund the organizational resources necessary for this model. We will continue with the Director of National Teams Operations to streamline this approach as we work towards 2009."
Baker felt the position of High Performance Director was necessary to the progress of USA Water Polo for both the men and women.
"I was willing to leave coaching and become solely the High Performance Director," he said. "The work toward a common approach and vision for both programs is a challenge, but can be accomplished if that is the sole responsibility. With respect, I think the (Executive Council) decision may be short sighted in terms of long term success."
While Baker served in his duties as High Performance Director and men’s coach, Heather Moody served as the women’s coach on an interim basis. At the World Championships in July, Moody guided the United States to a silver medal. Moody is a two-time Olympian.
"What Heather and the team accomplished in Montreal was one of my proudest moments in sports," said Baker. "They were all amazing, especially Heather, under extremely difficult circumstances. I look forward to returning to the team and I will try not to get in the way."
The search for a new men's national team director and coach will begin immediately.