EDITOR'S NOTE: This corrects the name of the new water polo club. It is Newport Beach Water Polo, Inc.
Robert Lynn has accepted the Newport Harbor High boys' water polo and swimming head coaching position, Principal Michael Vossen announced in an email to Newport aquatics families late Friday night.
"Coach Lynn comes to us with impeccable credentials that helped make him a unanimous choice with our interview panel," Vossen wrote in the email. "His extensive experience in the sport and strong affiliation with the U.S. National Team will be a tremendous asset to our program. We look forward to working with Coach Lynn and supporting him as he takes the helm of a proud tradition at Harbor High."
Lynn was offered the walk-on job with the Sailors earlier this week, a source told the Daily Pilot on Tuesday. Harvard-Westlake athletic director Terry Barnum said Lynn resigned at Harvard-Westlake on Friday and had an on-campus meeting with his players, telling them goodbye. He had been boys' and girls' water polo coach at the private school since 2009.
"I would like to thank Harvard-Westlake for all the support they have given me over the past two years," Lynn said in a Harvard-Westlake press release. "I will cherish the memories we created as a program and all of the success we enjoyed. Our students are amazing and they have made me a better coach. Leaving Harvard-Westlake was a very difficult decision, but my new job allows me to be closer to home and spend more time with my family."
Vossen said in the email announcement that Lynn will meet with Newport Harbor athletic director Mike Zimmerman to discuss the next steps in assuming duties with the program.
Lynn will not only take over the high school program but is also expected to lead the boys' club water polo teams. A new club program has been set up at Newport Harbor called Newport Beach Water Polo, Inc., boosters president Doug Stevens said. The high school boys would split from the Newport Water Polo Foundation, which would continue to be run by high school girls' coach Bill Barnett, and join the new club.
Stevens said 29 Newport Harbor High boys have switched their affiliation to the new club. He anticipates that will be enough for two teams, one 16-and-under and one 18-and-under, at upcoming summer tournaments including the Junior Olympics.
"The club has been approved by the district for pool time," Stevens said. "Pool time will be split between the Newport Water Polo Foundation and the new club … It's a way to provide an attractive incentive for a new coach to come in. You weren't going to land one only on a high school stipend."
Lynn was a 2000 Olympian and assistant coach with the silver-medal winning 2008 men's national team. In his tenure at Harvard-Westlake, the Wolverines girls won the CIF Southern Section Division IV title in February, and Lynn was named Division IV Coach of the Year.
His Wolverines boys' teams went 29-19 in two seasons and made the CIF quarterfinals each year. His girls' teams went 52-4.
Lynn, who lives in Long Beach, is an assistant coach for the U.S. men's senior national team and co-coach of the junior national team.
Lynn, 44, replaces Jason Lynch, the 10-year coach who was fired April 8.