NHHS aquatics meeting set for Monday

Newport Harbor High will be holding an informational meeting Monday to address the transition of the boys' and girls' aquatics programs, the administration announced Monday in an email to aquatics families.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Monday in the Robins/Loats Theater on campus. Students, parents and community members are welcome to attend.

Newport Harbor Principal Sean Boulton will outline the direction of the boys' and girls' swim and water polo programs and answer questions, according to the email. Boulton did not return voice mails or text messages Tuesday night, but told the Orange County Register on Tuesday that the school also plans to announce who will follow Bill Barnett as girls' water polo coach.

Barnett, who has been coaching at Newport Harbor since 1966, has said that he plans to retire at the end of the upcoming 2014-15 girls' water polo season. He has coached the Sailors girls since girls' water polo became a CIF sport in the 1990s, winning five CIF Southern Section Division 1 titles along the way. Newport Harbor has made the Division 1 title match three straight years, falling to top-ranked Laguna Beach in the most recent one last March.

The Newport Harbor boys' water polo coaching job was vacated when Robert Lynn resigned on Aug. 1. Lynn, who coached the Sailors for three years, stopped coaching for Newport Beach Water Polo Club last month before resigning from the high school job. Boulton has declined to comment on the reason for Lynn's resignation, calling it a personnel issue, and Lynn also has not commented.

Lynn, a walk-on coach, had been the head coach and technical director of NBWPC since its formation in 2011, the year that he started coaching at Newport Harbor. Lynn, an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic men's water polo team, took over at Newport Harbor for Jason Lynch, who was fired. No reason was ever given by the Newport Harbor administration, then headed by former Principal Michael Vossen, for Lynch's firing.

Pavle Filipovic, who has assisted Lynn with Newport Harbor's varsity team, is currently listed as the director of operations for the 16-and-under and 18-and-under NBWPC club teams on the club's website. Marco Palazzo is listed as the director of operations for the younger age group program.

Palazzo, who like Lynn was an assistant coach on the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's water polo team, has been the Sailors' high school frosh/soph coach the past two years. He most recently coached the NBWPC 12-and-under boys to a bronze medal in the platinum division at the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics.

Lynn was also the Sailors' boys swim coach, although the program also did hire a dedicated boys' swim coach — Trevor Basil — this past spring. Basil is the head coach of the Newport Beach Swimming Club.

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