It’s Official: Pintaric Named USC Men’s And Women’s Water Polo Head Coach

December 1, 2018; , Palo Alto, CA, USA; Collegiate Men's Water Polo:NCAA Semi Finals: USC vs UCLA; USC Driver Zach D'Sa scores Photo credit: Catharyn Hayne
Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne
In a statement released today by USC Athletics, Marko Pintaric, who starred for USC as a player and then served for 18 season as an assistant to former head coach Jovan Vavic, has been named head coach for both the Trojan men and women.

usc“After conducting a national coaching search, it was evident that Marko Pintaric is the right person to be the head coach of our men’s and women’s water polo teams,” USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann said in a statement. “We have very talented and historically successful water polo programs at USC and we believe Marko will provide the continuity and stability that those programs need to stay at the top of the collegiate water polo world.”

Longtime USC assistant coach Casey Moon, who last spring was the interim head coach for the USC women’s program after Vavic’s abrupt firing, will serve as associate head coach for both teams

In two decades in Troy, Pintaric has been part of an astounding 14 NCAA championships as a coach, and was a key participant as a combatant in USC’s first-ever water polo title. In the 1998 title match, he delivered a missile from seven meters—then worth two points—with a minute left in overtime to reverse a one-goal deficit and give the Trojans a 9-8 win over Stanford.

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Marko Pintaric

His USC coaching career began in 2001 as an assistant to both the Trojan men and women. Pintaric stayed in a dual coaching role until NCAA rules for coaching staff sizes changed in 2015-16, prompting a move to a scouting director role with the women while his assistant coaching role continued with the men for the next four years.

For the past three seasons (2016-18), Pintaric served as co-head coach for the USC men, and was on the deck when the Trojans took the 2018 NCAA men’s title, holding off Stanford by the score of 14-12.

[Fast Start, Tense Finish to 2018 Men’s Water Polo Championship Gives USC 10th NCAA Title]

“This means a lot to me. As a Trojan myself, it’s been a dream to coach at USC, and it’s always been my goal to become a head coach and oversee this program,” Pintaric said. “This is a very special group of men and women who care about each other and the culture here. It is an honor and a pleasure to coach them.”

As interim women’s coach, Moon proved stability for a USC water polo program rocked by the Varsity Blues admissions scandal, leading the Trojans to the 2019 title match, which they dropped 9-8 to the Cardinal.

[Moon, USC Women Overcome Circumstance and Hawai’i to Extend Winning Streak to 36]

“I’m very happy that Casey is staying in our Trojan Family,” Pintaric said of Moon, entering his 12th season at USC. “He brings tremendous expertise and stability to the program, and he’s a key to our men and women remaining successful.”

The USC men, ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s preseason poll, returned from a 2018 campaign that saw them with the program’s 10th NCAA championship. Next weekend in Claremont, California, Pintaric and his squad will open their 2019 title defense against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

With reporting from USC Athletics

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Sharon Robinson

    Congratulations Marko! Well-deserved & I know you’ll continue to do a fantastic job!!!