Sept. 11, 2001
Stanford, Ca - John Vargas, who served as head coach of the United States Men's National Team (1997-2000), will be the new head coach for the Stanford men's water polo program, effective Jan. 1, 2002.
The appointment of Vargas as the new head coach at Stanford was announced today by Stanford athletic director Dr. Ted Leland.
"We are very excited about the Stanford Water Polo program," said Leland. "We have a very talented team this season and the NCAA Championship will take place at Stanford in the Avery Aquatic Center. We are looking for great things in Dante Dettamanti's last season after 25 years of success. Now, with the hiring of John Vargas to replace Dante at the end of this season, the future of Stanford Water Polo is in excellent hands. John has a great water polo mind and has the energy and vision to build the Stanford Water Polo program and community to even greater heights."
Vargas will succeed Dante Dettamanti, who is retiring after the 2001 collegiate season. Dettamanti is currently in his 25th season at Stanford and has chalked up 549 wins on The Farm, one of only three coaches in NCAA water polo history to reach the 500 victory barrier.
"I am very excited and honored to be the new head coach of the Stanford men's water polo program," said Vargas, who becomes only the fourth head coach for water polo at Stanford (Jim Gaughran from 1969-73, Art Lambert from 1974-76, Dante Dettamanti from 1977-01) since the NCAA began conducting NCAA championship games in 1969. "Stanford is a university with outstanding students, an excellent athletic program, and a world-wide reputation. I want to maintain the school's rich tradition in water polo, and bring it to the next level."
Vargas served as head coach of the United States National Team from 1997-2000, and during that time the National Team enjoyed great success. Nine times at national and international championships, the United States placed first three times (1999 Pan American Games, 1998 United States Cup, 1997 World FINA Cup), and second place on three occasions (2000 UPS Cup, 1999 United States Cup, 1997 United States Cup). At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the United States finished sixth. Two of Vargas' Olympic players have Stanford connections, four-time All-American Wolf Wigo, and Stanford freshman Tony Azevedo.
Prior to his position as head coach of the U.S. National Team, Vargas served as an assistant coach for the United States National Team from 1993-96.
Vargas is currently the head coach for the boy's water polo and swim program at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach, Ca. During his tenure at Corona Del Mar, Vargas has coached the water polo team to four Southern Section CIF 4A championships (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989) and two Southern Section Division II championships (1999, 2000).
Vargas graduated from UC Irvine in 1987 with a degree in Social Science. As a four-year letterman with the Anteater varsity, Vargas helped lead the team to an undefeated 1982 season and the NCAA title. Vargas was a two-time All-American (1981, 1982).
After graduating from UC Irvine, Vargas played on the United States National Team for ten years, and helped the U.S. finish no lower than fifth place in eight national and international championships, including first place at the 1991 World FINA Cup Team in Barcelona, and second place at the 1983 World University Games in Edmonton, the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow, and the 1991 Pan Am Games in Cuba. As a member of the 1992 United States Olympic Team, Vargas helped lead the Americans to a fourth place finish in Barcelona.
Vargas and his wife, Dawn, currently live in Newport Beach.