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Barnea Named Penner Family Assistant Men’s Water Polo Coach

Aug 26, 2021

STANFORD, Calif.-  Stanford Athletics officials announced the endowment of the assistant coach position for the men's water polo program - the Penner Family Assistant Men's Water Polo Coach - made possible by the generosity of Carrie, AM '97, and Gregory Penner, MBA '97. 
 
This newly endowed position will be held by longstanding assistant coach, Jonathan Barnea, who finished his 15th year on the Farm during the 2020—21 season. 
 
"I am moved and deeply grateful for all the care, support, and generosity that Greg and Carrie have provided for Stanford Athletics, and our men's water polo program," Barnea said. "This is another example of the Penner family's desire to champion all of the things our team, our department and our university stand for. Knowing that Greg and Carrie recognize the value an assistant coach provides, and their willingness to ensure that this position is supported in perpetuity, means so much to me and to the future of this program." 
 
The endowment is the second for the men's water polo staff, joining the Dunlevie Family Director of Men's Water Polo, John Vargas. 
 
"We are so incredibly grateful to Greg and Carrie Penner for their generosity and their commitment to Stanford, Stanford Athletics, and the men's water polo program," Vargas said. "The confidence that this reflects in Coach Barnea is pivotal to our success moving forward. Stanford water polo is better prepared than ever to support our student-athletes' pursuit of excellence in the classroom, in the community and in competition."
 
The Penners are passionate philanthropists and loyal supporters of Stanford. Their charitable contributions have impacted many areas across the university including the Hoover Institution, the Graduate School of Education, and the Graduate School of Business. Carrie has served on the university's Board of Trustees since 2017; she also serves on the GSE Advisory Council, the Gardner Center Advisory Board, and several other advisory committees. Greg has previously served on the Stanford Athletic Board, the DAPER Investment Fund, and the GSB Advisory Council, and has played an integral role in ensuring the continued success of the athletics department and our student-athletes. 
 
"Greg and Carrie are friends, university partners, and outstanding leaders within the Stanford and Stanford Athletics community," Bernard Muir, the Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics said. "Through this gift, they are helping ensure excellence for the Stanford men's water polo program and a continued quest for future national championships."
 
"We are thrilled to provide this gift to support the Men's Water Polo team as the program exemplifies Stanford Athletics' commitment to supporting student-athletes, both on and off the pool deck," added Greg and Carrie Penner. "Our son had the privilege of being coached by Jon Barnea in the Stanford club program and we're pleased Coach Barnea will be the first beneficiary of this gift."
 
Entering his 16th season supporting the men's water polo program, Barnea has played an instrumental role in the Cardinal's success. Boasting seven 20-win seasons in his time on The Farm, Stanford has advanced to the NCAA Tournament six times since 2006, capturing the 2019 NCAA Championship, the 11th title in program history, along with two runner-up finishes.
 
Prior to Stanford, Barnea served as the head coach of the Palo Alto High School boys' team and the Stanford Water Polo Foundation's boys' 14-and-under team for three years. He also served as an assistant coach on the United States National Development Team. Barnea graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2002 with a degree in anthropology, and he and his wife, Teresa, live in Sunnyvale.