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Robert Grayeli steps down as Laguna Beach boys’ water polo coach

Laguna Beach High coach Robert Grayeli instructs his players during the first half against Murrieta
Robert Grayeli, left, shown coaching against Murrieta Valley High on Sept. 29, has resigned as Laguna Beach High boys’ water polo coach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Robert Grayeli has resigned as Laguna Beach High boys’ water polo coach after one season, Breakers athletic director Lance Neal said in a text message on Thursday.

Neal said that Grayeli resigned for personal reasons, and did not elaborate. Grayeli did not return calls and messages Thursday seeking comment.

Neal announced that Grayeli had resigned in an email to Laguna Beach aquatics families on Dec. 19.

“He explained that he had multiple things in his personal life that he needed to attend to and that he would not be able to put in the necessary time as our coach,” Neal wrote in the email.


Neal added that Laguna Beach girls’ water polo coach Ethan Damato would handle offseason training for the boys’ team on an interim basis until a new coach is named.

Grayeli, 41, was a walk-on coach. The former Costa Mesa High player and coach, who took over after Trevor Lyle resigned, went 19-12 overall in his only season in charge of Laguna Beach.

Grayeli helped the Breakers transition from the Orange Coast League to the more challenging Surf League, where they finished second at 3-3 behind Newport Harbor. The Breakers, led by senior Colton Gregory, freshman Logan McCarroll and junior goalkeeper Caden Capobianco, lost 9-6 to the Sailors in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals. They finished seventh in Division 1 after beating San Clemente.

Laguna Beach also played Newport Harbor tough in two league matches, losing by four goals each time after competitive first halves.


Grayeli also has served as the general manager of the Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation, but a Laguna Beach aquatics boosters club member who requested anonymity said that contract was not renewed. Chad Beeler is listed as the club’s general manager on the club’s website.

Twitter: @mjszabo