Dante Dettamanti

/Dante Dettamanti

About Dante Dettamanti

Dante Dettamanti: Coach Dettamanti has produced winning and championship water polo teams at all levels. He was a engineering graduate and MVP and all-league swimmer and water polo player at UC Davis. After a stint as a 1st Lieutenant and US Army Airborne-Ranger, he returned to UCLA for a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology. While at UCLA he became a graduate assistant coach under the legendary coach Bob Horn; and the school won the first ever NCAA Championship ever held in 1969. From there he went on to Occidental College, where he transformed a water polo program that had been the league doormat, into league champions in both swimming and water polo. After coaching at Oxy for 4 years, he went on to UC Santa Barbara and turned the water polo program around; again producing a league champion team and a NCAA top-four finish in just three years time. It was at Stanford University though, that Dettamanti came into his own as a winning coach. In 25 years at Stanford, his teams played in the NCAA Championship final game a total of 14 times, producing eight NCAA Championships and six second-place finishes. He became only the second collegiate coach in NCAA history to record over 600 career wins, and the only collegiate coach to win NCAA Championships in four different decades, the 70’s, 80’s 90’s, and 2000’s. His eight National championships ties the NCAA record for the most in NCAA history, along with the legendary Pete Cutino of Cal-Berkeley. NCAA records include a .800 winning percentage at Stanford, a 52 game undefeated streak over a three year period in the 80’s, and two undefeated seasons (28-0 in 1981 and 36-0 in 1985). He has been named League “Coach of the Year” ten times and NCAA “Coach of the Year” six different times. Dettamanti has also had great success at the International level. He coached the USA World University Games teams to Gold and Silver medals in 1979 and 1981; the highest finish ever for a USA National team. Dettamanti gained valuable International coaching experience as the Assistant National Team Coach at the 1990 FINA Cup and at the 1991 FINA World Championships under Olympic Coach Bill Barnett; and as an USA assistant at the 2001 World Championships, under the top International coach in the world, Ratko Rudic. Dettamanti has not only produced winning teams, but also top international players. Fourteen of his players have gone on to play for the USA Olympic Team, including Olympic team standouts Jody Campbell (1980, 84, 88), Wolf Wigo (1996, 2000, 2004) and Tony Azevedo (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). Several of his players have gone on to become successful coaches at the high school and college levels; and several have gone on to become nationally ranked referees as well. Dettamanti is an excellent athlete in his own right. He was one of the original pioneers in the sport of triathlon, placing 6th overall in the prestigious Hawaii Ironman in 1981, along with competing in many other marathons and triathlons during the early 80’s when the sport was just getting off the ground.
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