LA JOLLA, Calif. - Dan Eby, a member of the UC San Diego men's water polo team from 1977 to 1980, passed away on Feb. 11 at the age of 53 after a more than four-year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Eby was the captain of Head Coach Denny Harper's first men's water polo team at UCSD.
A four-year starter at the two-meter position for the Tritons, Eby graduated from UC San Diego with a Biology degree in 1982. Out of college, he worked for Creative Financing Group before joining Gallo in 1985. In 1987, he moved to Stimson Lane Wineries as a sales representative and was there until 1992 when he was hired by UDL Laboratories as a Key Account Manager and worked his way up to Director of Sales, a position he held until going on disability in 2009.
His impact at UCSD was profound.
"I feel privileged to have coached a student, athlete, person and friend like Dan Eby," said Harper, who recently completed his 33rd season as head coach at UCSD. "He was instrumental in my positive transition as "the new coach" in 1980. It was a new direction for the program and Dan led the way, both in the pool and outside of it. Dan's leadership set the foundation for what became UCSD's first national top 10 ranking the year after he graduated. I will always be grateful for our time together and how he embraced me, even though I was barely older than him. He was in a word...special. On behalf of the entire Triton Water Polo Family, our condolences go out to the entire Eby family and all who were lucky enough to have know Dan."
Born in Rockledge, Fla., he lived most of his younger life in Southern California and was a graduate of Mission Viejo High School (1977). He is survived by his wife, Stacy, and daughters Taryn and Kendall as well as his parents, Hal and Patricia Eby, sister, Theka (Beth) Watts, and brother, Dr. David Eby.
Eby was a resident of Highlands Ranch, Colo.
What others remember about Dan Eby:
UC San Diego, 1977-79
"Dan and I shared our first three years together on the UC San Diego water polo team. Together we embarked on an idea that our team could be tougher, stronger, and better-a personal challenge that Dan readily accepted at every workout and in every game. In retrospect, he was the most unlikely person to build a competitive program around. Physically, he was undersized for the role he was asked to play, but Dan was smart, a natural leader and possessed a weapons-grade determination that provided the very attitude needed to elevate his team and teammates, ultimately providing the foundational blocks for establishing UCSD today as one of the premier college water polo team in the United States. Sadly, Dan is gone, but I believe his soul lives within every UCSD player who has met the daily challenge to be tougher, stronger, and better".
UCSD Water Polo 1979-80
"Dan was an amazing leader by example, a warrior in competition and most importantly, a tremendous teammate. As a junior transfer to the Triton program, I was honored to be chosen co-captain with Dan our senior year. On behalf of my teammates, I extend our condolences to his wife Stacy, his daughters Taryn & Kendall and entire the Eby family."
-- UCSDtritons.com --