Ross Sinclair, a former Newport Harbor High standout, has been named the girls’ water polo coach at Corona del Mar High, he said on Twitter Friday afternoon.
“Never thought I’d say it but honored to be the new girls head coach at @cdmaquatics,” he tweeted. “time to get to work!”
He also tagged CdM alumni Artie Dorr (@ArtieDorr), Tumua Anae (@tumua_AnEye) and John Mann (@bearmann4).
Don Grable, the CdM athletic director, confirmed Sinclair is the coach.
“We are very happy to welcome Ross to our CdM coaching family,” Grable said in an email. “He has a wealth of playing success and experiences and will lead our program with enthusiasm and passion. He has grown up in the community and is eager to carry on the tradition of our CdM Girls’ Water Polo Program.”
Sinclair, 28, a Newport Beach resident, played water polo at UC Santa Barbara, where he was a three-time team captain and two-time NCAA All-American. He has played five years abroad in Australia, Europe, and South America. He has had various experiences in coaching and teaching including being a well-known Junior Lifeguard Instructor and Lifeguard for Newport Beach. Most recently he said he was playing in Australia, where he also coached.
Sinclair takes over for his cousin and former coach Sam Bailey, who guided the Sea Kings to their first CIF Southern Section Division 1 title last season.
Bailey is now coaching boys’ and girls’ water polo at Beckman, which also plays in the Pacific Coast League that CdM won last year.
"[Bailey] was supportive,” Sinclair said. “After the news, he gave me some good words of encouragement saying that he is happy that I’m taking over and that there’s someone he can trust that can carry the good tradition and carry it into the future.”
Sinclair said he is excited to take over what he called a great program with a winning tradition.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Sinclair said. “This area is an aquatics town. It’s a no-brainer to go for this position. There is great support from the community. The kids are natural water athletes, having the ocean in their backyard. They enjoy water polo here. It makes it better as a coach to have the athletes who want to be in the water and be a part of the program.”
Sinclair said initially it is a bit weird to be coaching at CdM since he is a Newport Harbor alumnus.
“Obviously growing up in Newport and being in the Newport Water Polo Foundation and being with Coach [Jason] Lynch, the rivalry is there, but this is an opportunity for me,” Sinclair said. “I’m really looking forward to establishing my style and carrying CdM into the future. I’m sure it will be a little weird. As of now I’m happy to be a Sea King or a Sea Queen for that matter.”
Sinclair named Lynch, a former Newport Harbor boys’ water polo coach, as one of his mentors who he learned a great deal from, as well as Bailey and from Wolf Wigo while at UCSB.
“I learned a lot from them and got my own style and system of play,” he said. “I’m a positive coach who likes to have fun, but wants to win too. I want them to play at the highest level and enjoy it. I want to bring out the best in them.”
Sinclair was introduced as CdM girls’ water polo coach during practice with the club team on Friday.
He is forming a plan to build his assistant coaching staff he said.
CdM has yet to hire a girls’ volleyball coach.
The application deadline for the open coaching position is May 17.
Interested applicants should send a letter of intent, resume, and up to three letters of recommendation to Grable at email@example.com.