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John Tanner
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Stanford (1982)
Experience: 17 Years

John Tanner enters his 18th season at the helm of the Stanford women's water polo program. An experienced and enthusiastic coach, Tanner took on the developing program in 1998 and has since turned it into a nationally-ranked powerhouse that has produced four NCAA Championships (2002, 2011, 2012, 2014), five MPSF Championships, 18 U.S. Senior National Team members and nine Olympians.

Under Tanner's watch, Stanford is the only women's water polo program in the nation to have competed at all 14 NCAA Championships since its inception in 2001, and has finished in the top-three nationally each season since he came on board. Tanner, who holds a 431-62 (.874) career coaching record at Stanford, has tutored seven ACWPC Players of the Year, six Peter J. Cutino award winners, 87 ACWPC All-America selections and student-athletes that have earned a total of 140 ACWPC All-Academic selections.

Over each of the past five seasons (2010-14) Tanner has led the Cardinal to the NCAA Championship, capturing titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014. During that span Stanford has accumulated a record of 134-10 (.931). In addition to his being named ACWPC Coach of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2014, Tanner has had his players earn 32 All-America honors and each of the past four Peter J. Cutino Awards: Annika Dries (2011 and 2014), Kiley Neushul (2012) and Melissa Seidemann (2013).

From 2004-09, Tanner guided the Cardinal to a combined record of 144-29 (.832), two trips to the National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship game (2005 and 2007) and four third-place finishes. He was also named MPSF Coach of the Year in both 2007 and 2008.

Tanner's Cardinal teams reached the NCAA title game at each of the first three NCAA Tournaments from 2001-03, winning the program's first championship in 2002. Stanford was 71-6 over this span while Tanner again earned consecutive MPSF Coach of the Year nods in 2002 and 2003.

The 2003 team captured the program’s third MPSF Tournament title and featured MPSF Player of the Year Brenda Villa and Goalie of the Year Jackie Frank. Villa and Frank would become Stanford's first recipients of the Peter J. Cutino Award, capturing the honor in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

In his first year as head coach in 1998, Tanner led Stanford to a 29-6 record and a third-place finish at the Collegiate National Championships. That same year, he earned his first MPSF Coach of the Year honor after leading Stanford to what was at the time its most successful season in the history of the program.

A former Stanford water polo All-American himself, Tanner returned to his alma mater with a fortune of knowledge gained from years of coaching, both at the collegiate and international levels. Tanner has been involved with United States Water Polo in various capacities from 1988 to the present. He was the assistant coach of the U.S. Men's National Team that placed sixth at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He garnered the second World Championship of his career in 1997 as the Americans captured the World Cup in Athens, Greece.

Tanner began his international coaching career in 1988 as a scout coach for the U.S. National "A" Team. In December of 1998, he was appointed as head coach of the U.S. National "B" Team, a position he held until early 1991. In March of 1991, he was named the assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic Team. He helped the U.S. squad capture gold at the 1991 World Cup and a fourth-place finish at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

In 1980, while a student-athlete at Stanford, Tanner became involved with coaching when he served as the head coach at Menlo-Atherton High School for one season. He then coached Menlo School for the 1983 season. In 1984, he served as an assistant coach for the Stanford men's water polo team under his former coach Dante Dettamanti, when the team advanced to the NCAA title match and finished the year with a 25-5 mark.

Following the 1984 season, Tanner was hired as the head coach of the men's water polo team at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. In 1988, he was named the school's Director of Aquatics and the head coach of the men's swimming program, holding all three titles until his appointment at Stanford in 1996. His teams finished in the top 15 in the nation all of his 12 years and in the top-10 each of his last 10 years. He captured Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 1991, and in 1993 his squad finished fifth at the NCAA Championships.

As the men's swimming coach at Pacific, he led the Tigers to a top-20 finish at the NCAA Tournament and coached Brad Schumacher, Pacific's first and only Olympic gold medalist in any sport. Tanner served as Schumacher's coach at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where he earned two gold medals as a member of the U.S. 4x100-meter and 4x200-meter free relay teams.

Originally recruited from Menlo-Atherton High School to swim at Stanford, Tanner instead played on the water polo team his freshman year, beginning a career (1978-82) that spanned three national championships and culminated in All-America honors his senior year. Tanner, a left-handed driver, started for the Cardinal in 1981 and helped lead Stanford to a perfect 31-0 record and its fourth national crown. The undefeated season was only the second in NCAA water polo history. Tanner ranked sixth on the team in goals in 1981, with 27, and was named All-America Honorable Mention.

In 1982, he finished his career with a 48-goal performance, tying for second on the squad, and helped lead the Cardinal to a 27-5 record and its third-straight NCAA championship match appearance. Tanner was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team, and, for his efforts throughout the season, earned All-America honors.

He graduated in December 1982 with a bachelor's degree in political science. In addition to coaching, Tanner has been a prominent member of several committees with United States Water Polo. He has served on the men's and women's National Team Head Coach Selection Committees, the Men's International/Olympic Committee and the National Coaches Committee. Tanner is also a member of the American Water Polo Coaches Association and United States Water Polo, Inc.