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Tanner Signs New Deal

Sep 26, 2013

Stanford women’s water polo head coach John Tanner signed a new multi-year contract extension with the school, Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics Bernard Muir announced Thursday.

"It is a huge honor to coach Stanford water polo. Our students and alumnae have been comprehensively brilliant, winning NCAA titles and Olympic gold medals, earning NCAA post-graduate scholarships, and landing positions in world-class companies and graduate schools,” Tanner said. “It seems like every day we hear great news about opportunities earned by our present and former student-athletes.”

Tanner took the reins of the Cardinal program prior to the 1998 season, and in March 2012 his position, along with that of men’s water polo head coach John Vargas, was endowed by an anonymous donor. Since 1998 Tanner has accumulated a record of 380-59 and led Stanford to three NCAA titles (2002, 2011, 2012). Since the NCAA began sponsoring a women’s water polo national title in 2001, Tanner has overseen the Cardinal as the only school to qualify for all 13 National Collegiate Championships to date, appearing in the national championship game on nine occasions and never finishing lower than third place.

Last year Stanford reached the national championship game in search of its first NCAA three-peat but fell 10-9 in a golden-goal quadruple overtime contest. The Cardinal went 29-3 on the year and spent much of the campaign atop the CWPA Varsity Top 20 Poll.

Tanner was named ACWPC Coach of the Year in 2012 after guiding the Cardinal to its second straight NCAA title, and third overall. Five times he has been named MPSF Coach of the Year (1998, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008) and under his watch the Cardinal has captured four MPSF crowns (2000, 2001, 2003, 2006).

During his 15 seasons on The Farm Tanner has overseen his players earn 80 All-America selections, five Peter J. Cutino Awards (Brenda Villa, 2002; Jackie Frank, 2003; Annika Dries, 2011; Kiley Neushul, 2012; Melissa Seidemann, 2013), four MPSF Player of the Year honors and 80 All-MPSF nods.

In the classroom Tanner’s student-athletes have shined, earning 129 national All-Academic nods, two NCAA ELITE 88 Awards (Monica Coughlan, 2010-11), three NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships (Kate Pettit, 2002; Scotti Shafer, 2006; Monica Coughlan, 2012) and one Pac-10 Post-Graduate Scholarship (Ellen Estes, 2002).

Tanner has also prepared his players for successful international careers. Since the first Olympic women’s water polo tournament in 2000, nine Cardinal players have made a total of 14 appearances at the Games, with long-time U.S. captain Brenda Villa being one of just two players to represent the U.S. at all four Olympiads. Stanford players have helped the U.S. to Olympic Gold at the 2012 London Games as well as two silvers (Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008) and a bronze (Athens 2004).

This past summer the U.S. Senior National Team featured five Cardinal representatives at the FINA World Championship while three current players participated for the U.S. and Canada at the FINA Junior World Championship.

“John Vargas and John Tanner have molded their respective programs into models of the excellence we strive for at Stanford,” said Muir. “The positive impacts of their programs in both the athletic and academic forums and the Stanford community, as well as the generous endowment of their positions last year, has us very excited for the future of men’s and women’s water polo here at Stanford.”

Tanner will begin his 16th season at Stanford when the 2014 campaign gets underway in January.