Huntington Beach, Calif. - Dr. Marcelo Leonardi, who has coached the CSUN women's water polo program to national prominence during his four-year tenure, has assumed additional duties as the United States Olympic Development Program (ODP) Girls National Technical Director.
In this important position, Dr. Leonardi will oversee the implementation of training for all females in the Olympic Development Program nationwide in addition to competition at the National Training and Selection Camps.
Earlier this year, Dr. Leonardi was named head coach of the United States Women's Youth National Team and prior to that had served as an assistant coach for the USA Women 's Junior National team.
"It is an honor and a privilege to represent our country not only as the Women's Olympic Development Program (National Technical Director), but also as the Women's Youth National Team head coach," said Dr. Leonardi. "USA Water Polo continues to have a rich tradition of excellence in all age groups. This past year, the senior national team won the gold medal at the London Olympics. In doing so, they set a benchmark of success for the entire (national team) pipeline."
Marty Samuels, the USA Water Polo Chief Operating Officer, said Dr. Leonardi brings valuable national and international coaching strength to USA Water Polo.
"We are lucky to have someone with Marcelo's ability and experience in such an essential position for our Olympic Development Program (ODP), according to Samuels. "I think his enthusiasm and love for the game along with a clear desire to make our athletes better at every level is a huge plus. I look forward to the impact he can have in this pivotal pole."
Dr. Leonardi will be traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina, later this month as a member of the coaching staff with the U.S. Women's Youth Team that will compete at the UANA (Union Americana de Natacion) Pan American Water Polo Championships. This tournament serves as a qualifier for the 2014 Women's Youth World Championships (18-and-under) in Spain.
"This coaching opportunity (ODP Girls National Technical Director) will also provide me with the highest level of professional development in our sport," according to Dr. Leonardi. "I will have the opportunity to work with accomplished and well respected coaches throughout our national team pipeline and around the country. This position will also serve as a way of identifying and further developing athletes that could one day participate in a Youth or Junior World Championship, and ultimately, the Olympic Games."
In 2014, Dr. Leonardi will begin his fifth season as head coach of the CSUN water polo program. His coaching record is 91-56. In three of his four seasons at CSUN, the Matadors have won 20 or more games.