William Rodriguez steps down as water polo coach

William Rodriguez steps down as water polo coach

LA VERNE, Calif. — La Verne head water polo coach William "Willo" Rodriguez has resigned from his post, athletics director Julie Kline announced on Friday. Rodriguez has accepted a position as Director of Aquatics at West Valley College in Saratoga, California, where he started his collegiate playing career.

"I'd like to thank everyone at the University of La Verne for making my experience here a great one," Rodriguez said. "The La Verne water polo programs have a great future in front of them and I'm proud of what we were able to accomplish."

In two years at La Verne, Rodriguez oversaw a massive turnaround for the women's program and took the team to unprecedented heights in 2016.  The Leopards went 18-6 in 2016 for their best season in program history and reached the SCIAC Postseason Tournament final game for the first time, finishing second in the league.  He was named the 2016 SCIAC Women's Water Polo Coach of the Year and mentored Guarina Garcia and Stephanie Rosero to All-America status.

The building blocks were laid in Rodriguez's first year in 2015 when the Leopards went 7-14 overall and 5-6 in the SCIAC for their best season in memory up until that point.

The men's team went 18-38 in Rodriguez's two seasons and placed three players on All-SCIAC Teams and one on ACWPC All-America Teams.

"Willo, without a doubt, is one of the best water polo coaches in the country. His efforts in a very short time made a positive impact, not only with both of his programs, but with his student-athletes, our department and our University as well," Kline said. "We wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Mason Cox and Erika Vargas, who have served as Rodriguez's assistants, will lead the teams on an interim basis in 2016-17.