Water Polo tabs new head coach

Water Polo tabs new head coach

Ivy Reynolds | Reporter
From Print [September 16, 2015] | Legacy

Student Life Sports Director Mike Elam announced earlier this month that Dave Miller has been named the head coach for Lindenwood men’s and women’s water polo teams.

The school had conducted a vast, nation-wide search for a leader after the resignation of former coach Gregg Emde, who received Coach of the Year honors by the Missouri Valley last season.

“We really wanted someone with lots of experience and background in the sport,” Elam said.  “We honestly had a large field of applicants, but [Miller’s] connection to the St. Louis area and multiple levels of experience helped him standout.”

Dave Miller
Photo courtesy of LU SLS Sports
Dave Miller was named coach of the men’s and women’s water polo teams earlier this month

The announcement came late in the school year, considering the men’s water polo team is currently in season.  Miller officially accepted the position just days before the team’s first competition. Senior Alex Beltrol said the team handled the adversity well.

“It was a tough moment when we were told that Coach Emde wouldn’t be here this season,” said Beltrol. “But the upperclassmen met and kept the team together. The first two weeks we coached ourselves and we did great with it.”

Elam said he does not feel the adjustment in staff will have any effect on the team’s potential this fall.

“You see it all the time, a change in coaching, but we know our athletes will get out there and perform no matter what. As far as the season goes, we expect a similar result to the ones we have had in the past,” he said.

And the similar result Elam is referring to?  Another winning record.  Last season, the Lions brought home the 2014 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Men’s Division I National Club Championship.

When asked about the team’s goals for this year, Beltrol confidently responded, “That’s an easy one, as we have the exact same goal in mind: we want to win nationals again this year.”

Even under new management, the team believes they can make this goal a reality.  Beltrol said that Miller is a great addition to the team.

“We are doing well with the new coach because we are very driven. Coach Miller has a lot of experience and he is working really hard for us,” Beltrol said.

Elam also has faith in the program, despite the untimely change in leadership.

“A new coach will bring a different style, but with the talent in the athletes here, we know they will continue to compete at a high level and that’s what is most important,” he said.

The Lions are scheduled to take on Salem International and Mercyhurst University at the Monmouth Tournament in Illinois on Oct. 3.