Nov. 29, 2001
Moderator: (2:54 PM ET ) Let's welcome Coach Dettamanti to this
chat room. He will be joining us shortly.
Dante Dettamanti: (2:58 PM ET ) Hi Everyone
This is to let you know that I will be answering question about Stanford Water
Polo and anything else that you want to talk about.
Congratulations for your program's success this year! I used to take your water polo class at Stanford. I think you rock! I would hate to see you go before breaking the all time winning record. Have you thought about staying for one more year to accomplish that feat? And what do you think is the proudest achievement in your career? Thanks! Good luck with the wineries.
Dante Dettamanti: (3:04 PM ET )
Hi Nick. The other coach that has over 600 victories is Ted Newland from UC Irvine. I don't think that he plans to retire anytime in the near future, so that means that I would have to stick around as long as he does in order to catch him. He already has 5 more years of coaching on me. The proudest moment in my career is having my teams play in 14 NCAA Championship games in my 24 years at Stanford.
Congratulations, Dante. As a former player of yours, I know that you made playing water polo an amazing part of my Stanford experience.
John Vargas is known as a bit of a task master. What advice would you give him to help his players keep that balance between being a student and an athlete?
Enjoy your retirement! I hope we'll all still get to see you at Doc's tailgaters in the coming years.
Dante Dettamanti: (3:08 PM ET )
John Vargas is an excellent coach who understands that Stanford students are here for an education first and Water Polo second. I will definitely be attending the tailgaters after I get back from my trip around the United States.
Ginger - Woodside:
Will you take me on more walks after you retire?
Dante Dettamanti: (3:11 PM ET )
Not only am I going to take you on more walks but I am going to put you on a diet. You need to lose some weight so I will put you on the Stanford training system.
Your friend Dante
Morgan Diehl, Lodi:
Have you ever thought about switching over to coaching women's water polo now that you are finished with the men?
Dante Dettamanti: (3:14 PM ET )
If I do ever return to coaching it would probably be in the National leagues of Australia or Italy. Anywhere where I don't have to recruit or do all of the paperwork and rules that are required by the NCAA.
Arin (Palo Alto):
It seems like you have good leaders and talented players
in some of the upperclassmen, but what does the future look like for the team
in terms of meeting and replacing the older guys talent and leadership in the
next few years? Who do you think will fill their roles in the next few years after
they graduate? Congratulations on an amazing career and good luck this weekend,
go out with a bang!
(3:19 PM ET )
We do have some great senior leadership on the team now
that Coach Vargas will have a tough time replacing. We also have some great players
returning in Azevedo, Hudnut, Nesmith, Ellis, and Darrow. I also expect some of
our younger players like Guyman and Derse to step up. The year after that will
be especially tough when everyone graduates except for Azevedo and Derse.
In order to be on Stanford's polo teams do you have to be an all-american and your school win section titles?
Dante Dettamanti: (3:22 PM ET )
It is more important that do well on your area and zone and national youth and Junior teams than to be an All-American. You also have to be a good student and have good speed and leg strength in the water.
First of all, congratulations on making it to NCAA Championships this year. I wish you the best of luck. My question is: who has been the best foreign player you've had at Stanford? I heard you had a pretty good Mexican some years ago.
Dante Dettamanti: (3:27 PM ET )
You are absolutely the best player from Mexico that I have had on my teams. Come to think of it you are the only player from Mexico that I have ever coached.
You were good though, especially in the MPSF championship game against Pepperdine when you scored that 2 point shot in overtime to give us a victory. Stay in touch Arturo. Adios
Karin (Los Altos):
I understand that you competed in the Hawaii Ironman a number of years ago and finished about 5th overall. Do you have any plans for another Ironman after you retire?
Dante Dettamanti: (3:31 PM ET )
That was 20 years ago when I was in a lot better shape than I am now. I thought about it briefly . It would be nice to win my age group when I turn 60, but why torture myself. But thanks for bringing it up.
What do you think about the Loyola/UCLA matchup, any possibility
of a Loyola upset? They have some quality players with Lipinski and Witt. You
also coached the other Lipinski!
Dante Dettamanti: (3:32 PM ET )
Anything can happen in the NCAA's as we saw last year when UCSD upset USC. LMU
is a very good team but I think that UCLA has too much talent and depth to let
LMU beat them, especially after what happened last year.
It seems like the outcome of a game of water polo is so dependent on how the referees are calling the game. Is it frustrating to coach a sport where the consistency of the referees varies so much?
Dante Dettamanti: (3:41 PM ET )
You are right, it is one of the most frustrating parts of the game and one of the many reasons why I am retiring. But you also have to understand that it probably the most difficult game in the world to referee because all of the fouling goes on under water where the referee cannot see the foul. The players are also very good about faking fouls. I wouldn't want to be a referee!
Jerry from San Jose:
Congrats on a great career. I played against your team back in the 80's ,and
they were always very competitive.
My question is
Why did Cal not get the at large bid after such a strong finish, including beating UCLA. Do you feel Cal should have got the at large bid for the NCAAs?
Dante Dettamanti: (3:46 PM ET )
Cal played very well at the end of the season but the at large bid is based on
many criteria, the most important being your overall record. Games at the beginning
of the year count just as much as the ones at the end of the year. UCLA simply
had a better overall record even though they placed one spot lower than Cal in
our league tourney. Stanford has been in this position a few times and it is very
frustrating. We will always have this problem as long as the NCAA only has a 4
team National Championship.
Brent (San Diego):
Hi Dante. As a former player of yours at Occidental College, I know one of your proudest achievements must have been your bringing our polo program from worst to first in a few short years at that small college scene - your first coaching experience. I sure have good memories of those years (early 70's). Congratulations on a great season and career. And I'll see you this weekend.
Dante Dettamanti: (3:50 PM ET )
I have fond memories of my first coaching job at Occidental College, especially of the players and swimmers that I coached. I learned a lot at OXY and was able to carry those experiences on with me to UCSB and Stanford. Come by and say hi this weekend
Joe, Palo Alto:
How would Tony Azevedo
rate compared to other athletes that you have coached?
Dante Dettamanti: (3:57 PM ET )
I have coached some great athletes in the last 32 years. People like Jody Campbell, Wolf Wigo, Terry Schroeder, Greg Boyer, Craig Klass, Erich Fischer, just to name a few. But Tony is best water polo that we have ever produced in this country and the best that I have ever coached. Give his father Ricardo a lot of credit for Tony's skills and his mother Libby credit for the fine young man that he has turned out to be.
What do you think of the new Avery Aquatic Center? I hear it is the best polo stadium in the country! Also the most professional! Tell me if it has helped you as a coach...and recruiter.
(4:01 PM ET )
The Avery Aquatic Center is probably the finest facility
in the country and one of the best in the world. So far it hasn't helped in recruiting
but it has helped in coaching in that all of our aquatic teams can train year
around without having to share space.
If a recruit is trying to decide between UCLA and Stanford, how would you sell them on coming to Stanford?
Dante Dettamanti: (4:10 PM ET )
If you want to get a great education, compete for one of the best athletic programs in the nation, and play in the finest aquatic facility in the country, then come to Stanford. Plus you get to play with Tony Azevedo
for 3 more years.
Why is the NCAA so resistant to an 8 team format? SC, CAL,
LB, & PEP, would have been great to include in this tournament, and it would have
been a lot more exciting!
(4:15 PM ET )
We used to have an 8 team format but the NCAA went on
a cost cutting spree about 8 years ago and came up with a formula based on the
number of Universities that sponsor varsity water polo programs. Since we have
less than 50 schools sponsoring water polo we only get 10% or 4 schools in the
Championships, Men's Volleyball is in the same boat as well. Because of Title
9 schools are still cutting men's sports, so I don't see us growing on the men's
side . The women will soon have more teams than the men if they don't already.
Joy (Palo Alto):
I know Tony played in Sydney, but are there any other players on the team right now that have the ability to be on the National Team and play in the next Olympics?
Dante Dettamanti: (4:23 PM ET )
Wolf Wigo and Layne Beaubien are Stanford graduates who are also on the National team at this time. On the current Stanford team I think that Peter Hudnut
has the ability to be on the Olympic team, but not as a hole man, perhaps as a 2 meter defender or driver.
Jesse (LA): Nick Ellis
has done such an amazing job in goal the past few years, what does the depth of the goalie position look like for the next few years?
Dante Dettamanti: (4:28 PM ET )
Nick is an outstanding goalie and one of the big reasons for our great defense this year. He has one more year left to play and then we will have to find a replacement for him. Chad Taylor
is a redshirt this year and will compete for a starting job along with several new players that we are recruiting from High School.
Dante, after you retire, what would be the first thing you would do? Will be be involved in Stanford Athletics at all after that?
Dante Dettamanti: (4:32 PM ET )
I am going to buy an RV and spend a year touring the United States of America with my girlfriend. I will probably not be involved with Stanford unless Coach Vargas wants to hire me as an assistant coach.
how did you meet Ben quittner?
Dante Dettamanti: (4:35 PM ET )
Ben has been my assistant coach for the past 12 years and has been one of the reasons for our success during that period. We know each other so well that we are almost like a husband and wife. But I am going to miss him as well as all of the players on the team.
Josh (Redwood City):
Dante, are you sure you want to retire? Think about
how amazing the team will be in the next few years. Don't you want to at least
stick around until Tony is done? Is there anything we can do to get you to stay
for a few more years?
Dante Dettamanti: (4:38 PM ET )
I would love to stay and coach Tony for 3 more years but I made the decision to retire for other reasons, mainly my desire to do other things with my life and to be young enough to enjoy my retirement, both physically and mentally.
Hi Dante. Before the season began, I heard Tony Azevedo
ranked as one of the top 10 polo players in the world. Is that true, and if so,
what exact number was he ranked?
Dante Dettamanti: (4:44 PM ET )
After the Olympics Tony was chosen for the "All World" team by the journalists
who covered the Olympics. I don't know where he was ranked. At the World championships
in Fukuoka last year Tony was the leading scorer on the US team. Also he was picked
by a World Water Polo magazine several years ago as the top junior player in the
Dante Dettamanti: (4:44 PM ET )
Would you really come back if John Vargas wants to hire you as an assistant coach? By the way, do you have any children? If so, do they play water polo? And lastly, how would you suggest a young water polo to work on if he wants to become a great player one day?
Dante Dettamanti: (4:48 PM ET )
No, I was only kidding. No I do not have any children.
A young player should work on his/her swimming, leg strength, and shooting and get the best grades in school.
(4:50 PM ET )
Bye to you all. It was fun answering your questions although
I am a terrible typist.