March 6, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford Athletics announced today that its men's and women's water polo head-coaching positions have been endowed by very generous gift from an anonymous donor.
"We are incredibly appreciative for the generosity of this gift," said Earl Koberlein, Senior Associate Athletic Director. "This gift speaks volumes to the respect for and appreciation of the programs that John Vargas and John Tanner have built here at Stanford. Endowing their positions will contribute to the long term health of these strong programs and ensure that future generations of Stanford Water Polo players will continue to benefit from outstanding coaching and leadership."
Vargas has guided the Stanford men's water polo program since 2002 and completed his 10th season at the helm this past November. Under his guidance, the Cardinal captured the NCAA title in 2002 and reached the NCAA championship game a total of five times. He has accumulated a record of 203-64 while on The Farm.
Since taking over the program, Vargas' players have collected 46 All-America selections, two national player of the year awards, three MPSF player of the year awards and three MPSF newcomer of the year awards. Vargas' players have also gone on to earn four Olympic selections.
"This is truly a generous gift that will help our recruiting, the image of our program and water polo in general," Vargas said. "This gift speaks volumes about Stanford University, and Bob Bowlsby's leadership of the athletic department."
Tanner, a 1982 Stanford graduate who was part of three national championship men's water polo teams from 1978-82, is currently in his 15th season at the helm of the Cardinal women's program. Since taking over in 1998, Tanner has guided the Cardinal to a pair of national titles (2002, 2011) and seven national title games. Since the NCAA first sponsored a women's water polo title in 2001, Tanner's Cardinal program is the only one in the nation to qualify for all 11 National Collegiate Tournaments.
With a career record of 351-56 on The Farm, Tanner has overseen a program that has produced 66 All-Americans and nine Olympic selections.
"It is an honor to be a part of an athletic program where the world-class aspirations of our student-athletes are matched by those of our administration, donors and alumni," Tanner said. "Water polo has been an esteemed part of the Stanford community for almost 100 years. It is humbling and inspiring to be the first of many who will have this title over the next 100 years."