Stanford men’s water polo head coach John Vargas signed a new multi-year contract extension with the school, Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics Bernard Muir announced Thursday.
Vargas has overseen the Cardinal men since 2002, and, along with women’s water polo head coach John Tanner, had his position endowed by an anonymous donor in March 2012. Since taking charge of the program in 2002, Vargas has posted a record of 219-71, led the Cardinal to an NCAA title (2002) and five appearances in the NCAA championship game (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008), and been named MPSF Coach of the Year in 2004.
Now in his 12th year at the Cardinal helm, Vargas’ previous 11 squads have never finished lower than fourth in the final CWPA Varsity Top 20 Poll.
"I would like to thank Bernard Muir and Earl Koberlein for their guidance and leadership,” Vargas said. “Stanford Athletics continues to be the best athletic department in the country and I am honored to be a part of this outstanding university and community. The student-athletes I have worked with over my time here have accomplished so much in and out of the pool both at Stanford and beyond, and I continue to be very proud of that."
Since 2002 his players have earned 50 All-America nods, 54 All-MPSF selections, four MPSF Player of the Year awards and four MPSF Newcomer of the Year awards. Driver Tony Azevedo also won three straight Peter J. Cutino Awards (2003-05) which, combined with his honor in 2002 (for the 2001 season) made him the only four-time winner in the award’s history.
The men’s water polo student-athletes have performed at the same high level in the classroom, piling up 70 ACWPC national All-Academic nods since 2006, 93 MPSF All-Academic selections since 2005, four NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships since 2002 (Michael Derse, 2003; Sandy Hohener, 2008; Jimmie Sandman, 2009; Jacob Smith, 2011) and two CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-Americans (Derse, 2003; Hohener, 2009).
Stanford has also continued its strong representation on the international level under Vargas, as three players (Azevedo, Peter Hudnut, Peter Varellas) during his tenure have gone on to make a combined seven appearances on the U.S. Olympic Team. Azevedo played for the U.S. at the 2004 Athens Games and was joined by Hudnut and Varellas for both the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games.
Most recently Stanford players dotted the various U.S. National Teams as Alex Bowen and Bret Bonanni each made their Senior National Team debuts in 2013, Adam Abdulhamid played at the FINA World Youth Championship in December 2012, and also saw action during summer 2013 on the U.S. Junior National Team with Bonanni, Bowen, Jackson Kimbell and Connor Stapleton.
“John Vargas and John Tanner have molded their respective programs into models of the excellence we strive for at Stanford,” said Muir. “The positive impacts of their programs in both the athletic and academic forums and the Stanford community, as well as the generous endowment of their positions last year, has us very excited for the future of men’s and women’s water polo here at Stanford.”Vargas currently has Stanford ranked third in the country and off to a 7-1 start in 2013, his 12th season on The Farm. Last weekend he guided the Cardinal to a third-place finish at the NorCal Invitational, capped off with a 12-10 win over host California.