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Water Polo

Dos Pueblos Names Connor Levoff to Coach Water Polo Programs

Connor Levoff knows first hand all about the high expectations of the Dos Pueblos water polo programs.

He was part of one of the greatest CIF runs by any team from this area, serving as the assistant coach on the DP girls water polo teams that won four straight Southern Section titles (2008-2011), including three in Division 1.

Levoff is returning to the pool deck at DP. He’s been hired to take over the boys and girls water polo programs, replacing Chris Parish, who stepped down after the girls water polo season this past winter to enter private business.

Connor Levoff takes over the water polo programs at Dos Pueblos.
Connor Levoff takes over the water polo programs at Dos Pueblos.

“I’m really excited to be back at DP,” Levoff, 28, told Noozhawk. “My time there for my first round of coaching was really, really special.  We got to do some things that were really unique to high school water polo in this town.”

Levoff was an assistant at DP from 2006 through 2011, winning three titles in five years with Danielle Little and a title in his one season assisting Parish. He also served as an assistant for then-head coach Cathy Neushul with the UCSB women’s water polo program from 2011-2013.

In his first time at DP, Levoff had the pleasure to coach several outstanding players, including Kiley Neushul and Sami Hill, who recently were named to the U.S. Women’s Water Polo Team for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Besides being part of a great legacy at DP, Levoff made a name for himself as a highly successful club coach with Santa Barbara 805 Water Polo Club. Working alongside Cathy Neushul (Kiley’s mom), he’s coached several age-group national championship teams and numerous players who excelled in high school and moved on to play in college. He was named the head coach of the club in March of 2015.

“Working with Cathy has been really, really beneficial,” he said. “I come from a pretty extensive background, where some of the people who coached me are some of the finest coaches in the country. I had pretty good tactical experience before I got here, but Cathy really taught me how to coach and teach people.

“The strong suit of the club the last seven years has been teaching the basic fundamentals skills,” he continued. “We take brand-new people, somewhat athletic, and turn them into experienced water polo players who go on. With the success we’ve had, nationally and internationally and on the college scene, it kind of speaks for itself. You don’t have to really say much when you take a look at the Olympic roster, all the youth pipeline national teams and see it’s just peppered with Santa Barbara players.”

Water polo is a big part of Levoff’s life. In addition to coaching, he also officiates the sport at the high school, collegiate and national levels. He said he’ll be doing less of that now.

Originally from San Diego, Connor graduated from UCSB in fall 2011. He is currently enrolled in a teaching credential program through USC and anticipates completing his secondary teaching credential in the Spring of 2017.

“We look forward to what Connor will bring to our water polo program,” DP Athletic Director Dan Feldhaus said. “We have a great group of student-athletes and I am very confident that with the experience, expertise and energy that Connor brings, our boys and girls water polo programs will continue to improve and compete for a Channel League title.”

Said Levoff: "Looking at my teams, we have a really exciting boys group that has a lot of potential, some experienced leaders and some really young players who are going to come in and make an impact. The girls side is very, very strong as well."

Levoff knows the competition is tough in the Channel League. In the CIF’s new competitive equity system, San Marcos and Santa Barbara were grouped in Division 1 and Dos Pueblos in Division 2 for the boys season this fall.

“Every game is going to be a real battle in Channel League," he said. "There are some really experienced and really, really good boys teams. I don’t know if high school boys water polo has been as strong in Santa Barbara as it is today.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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