Denny Harper Takes Home 19th WWPA Coach of the Year Honor
OAKLAND — University of California San Diego head coach Denny Harper has been named Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Coach of the Year, the conference announced on Thursday.
It is the 19th time in his career Harper has earned the honor, which is voted on by each of the league’s coaches. He last won it in 2016.
Harper led UC San Diego (20-6) to one of the best seasons in program history, finishing No. 5 in the final Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Top 20 Poll. The Tritons won 20 games for the first time since 2008, and their .769 winning percentage is second-best all-time behind the 2006 squad.
The Tritons won their 19th WWPA Championship en route to advancing to the National Collegiate Water Polo Championship Semifinals against No. 1-ranked Stanford.
It was the 15th time UC San Diego qualified for the national tournament, as its appearance in the semifinals was the program’s third in the last five seasons.
The Tritons defeated Long Beach State in the NCAA Opening Round, 14-9, before falling to Stanford in the national semifinals, 16-7. Sophomore Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt and redshirt junior Kacper Langiewicz were each named to the NCAA All-Tournament Second Team.
UC San Diego defeated UC Davis in the WWPA Championship final, 11-10, on Nov. 18. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jack Turner was named tournament MVP after recording 15 saves in the championship game. Turnbow-Lindenstadt and Langiewicz joined Turner on the All-Tournament First Team, while redshirt sophomore Calder Hilde-Jones landed on the Second Team.
The Tritons finished the season by winning 10 of their last 12 games, and went 12-6 against teams ranked in the CWPA Top 20.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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