Dettamanti Announces Retirement -- March 11, 2001
Stanford, Calif. - Dante Dettamanti is considered one of the all-time great collegiate water polo coaches, winning seven NCAA championships, in addition
to winning more than 600 games.
And now the journey as head coach at Stanford will be coming to an end. Dettamanti and Stanford Athletic Director, Dr. Ted Leland, jointly announced
today that Dettamanti will retire as head coach of the Cardinal water polo after his 25th season (2001 campaign).
"Dante will retire as one of the all-time great coaches in Stanford athletic history," said Leland. "He is a champion in the coaching profession, has continued to keep Stanford water polo on the highest level, and the university has been proud of the team's accomplishments. Dante is retiring
from Stanford, but the memories of championship water polo at Stanford will always remain."
Dettamanti will however continue to be an active participant in water polo. Dettamanti will officially retire from Stanford on Jan. 1, 2002, and has been
appointed an assistant coach for the 2004 United States Olympic team.
Dettamanti will also assume duties as head coach of the United States team at the World University Games in Bejing, China, in August.
Since arriving on the Stanford campus 24 years ago, Dettamanti has built the Cardinal into one of the nation's top water polo programs, producing both
NCAA championship teams, All-Americans and Olympic athletes.
"It's been a wonderful 25 years at Stanford," said the 58-year-old Dettamanti, who has been a part of United States water polo for 45 years as a player and coach. "This year's Stanford team (2001) should be exciting, and we will continue to have the same goals, to win the national championship.
We'll be hosting the NCAA championships at Stanford, and it will also be exciting to coach in our new home, the Avery Aquatics Center. We'll be one of the top four teams in the nation."
Dettamanti's record of success on The Farm is nothing short of spectacular. During his tenure, Dettamanti has led the Cardinal to seven NCAA championships and six second place finishes. His teams have placed among the Top four in the nation in 20 of his 24 seasons at Stanford. Dettamanti has been named the NCAA Coach of the Year five times, and been the league's Coach
of the Year eight times.
His overall record at Stanford is an impressive 548-147-6, a winning percentage of .788. His 31-year coaching record, including stints at Occidental (1971-73) and UC Santa Barbara (1974-76), now stands at 644-208-6.
He is one of only two coaches in NCAA water polo history to reach the 600-victory plateau, and one of only three coaches in NCAA water polo history
to reach the 500-victory barrier. Twelve of his players have played for the United States in the Olympic Games, the most of any college in the United
In his 24 previous seasons at Stanford, Dettamanti can point to six truly outstanding teams, the 1980 (28-2-1) and 1981 (31-0) NCAA championship teams
that featured Jody Campbell, Alan Mouchawar, James Bergeson, and John Gansel in goal. Those two teams produced three Olympians and an astronaut, Steve
Smith. The 1985 and 1986 teams produced two Olympians. Those two teams featured Craig Klass, David Imbernino and Todd Kemp in goal. The 1993 (24-6) and 1994 (27-1) teams also produced NCAA titles, led by Wolf Wigo and Jeremy Laster, two U.S. Olympians.
"Those six teams were great teams," remembers Dettamanti.
Dettamanti says two of the best players he ever coached were Campbell and Wigo. "Great, great players," said Dettamanti. "They both went onto enjoy
outstanding Olympic careers."
Asked to remember any memorable moments in his 701 Cardinal game career, and Dettamanti remembers two in particular, the 1985 NCAA championship game
against UC Irvine when Stanford came back from a four-goal deficit to win the national title in overtime. The Cardinal won the game on a lobshot by Matt
Tingler. The other game, according to Dettamanti, was a game that Stanford lost to California in 1992 in the NCAA title contest. The Cardinal was six goals down but mounted a furious rally in the closing minutes to tie the game, and had a chance to win on a breakway shot as time was running out. But Cal blocked the shot, and the Golden Bears eventually won the game in
"Stanford has been a fantastic experience," said Dettamanti. "I made the decision to come to Stanford 25 years ago and that was a tough decision to
leave UCSB at the time. But I always felt we could be consistent winners at Stanford, and we have been. Stanford has always been in the hunt for the
national championship. But now it's time to move on. It has always been a dream of mine to coach with the U.S. Olympic team, and I'm also excited about my new journey ahead."