Brian Flacks leaves Harvard-Westlake to be Stanford’s water polo coach

Harvard-Westlake water polo coach Brian Flacks.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Brian Flacks, the highly regarded aquatics director at Harvard-Westlake in Studio City who built the boys’ program into a high school powerhouse, has been hired as the water polo coach at Stanford.

He replaces John Vargas, who retired at Stanford after 20 years and two NCAA championships.

Hiring a high school coach to run a college program is not unusual for water polo. Flacks has national team coaching experience.

Flacks, 34, is a 2006 Harvard-Westlake graduate who starred on the water polo team and played at UCLA and Loyola Marymount. He became head coach in 2011 and guided the Wolverines to four Southern Section boys championships and one girls’ title.

“I’ve spent over half my life at Harvard-Westlake, and it is impossible to put into words how meaningful the school has been to me,” he said in a statement.


It’s not the first time Harvard-Westlake has lost a water polo coach to the college ranks. Rich Corso was the USA Olympics coach before leaving for California.