UCLA Water Polo Completes Coaching Staffs with Fuentes and Longan
LOS ANGELES - UCLA Head Coach Adam Wright has completed both of his coaching staffs with Bruin standout Joey Fuentes on the men's side and former USC star Amanda Longan on the women's side, he announced today.
Fuentes was hired as an Assistant Coach for UCLA Men's Water Polo and reported to duty on July 25, 2022. He replaces Jack Grover, who was named the head boy's water polo coach at Harvard-Westlake School. Fuentes returns to Westwood after spending the past two years as an assistant boy's water polo coach at Newport Harbor High School.
He was an attacker (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS) for the Bruins from 2012-16, winning an NCAA title in 2015. He was part of UCLA's most successful teams in 2015 and 2016, which established the NCAA, MPSF and UCLA all-time consecutive victories at 57. The 2015 NCAA Championship team went 30-0, becoming the first Bruin squad to go undefeated since the 1969 team went 19-0. It was also the program's 10th title and the school's 113th NCAA Championship.
The undefeated season for the Bruins was just the fourth all-time in NCAA men's water polo history, joining the 2012 and 2008 USC squads and the 1992 California team.
Fuentes' final season in 2016 was his best as he finished sixth on the team in scoring with 22 goals and was second on the squad in assists with 31. At the end of his senior year, the entire class was awarded the Dr. James Puffer Loyalty and Contribution Award.
"When we were recruiting Joey as one of the top players coming out of Southern California, what I really liked about him was his feel for the game," Wright said. "He's a very smart player. After seeing his progression in coaching at Newport Harbor, I knew he would be an absolute great fit with us. He has great communication skills and will do a great job for us in recruiting. He is a student of the game and will help push us to do some things in different ways to help us keep evolving. He absolutely has a good eye for the game."
Longan is a 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist and rising star behind the pipes for Team USA and she reported for duty on Sept. 9, 2022. She jumped to the National Team radar after being named top goalkeeper at the 2015 Junior World Championships. She was on the USA Cadet National Team in 2013 and the USA Youth National Team in 2014. She then was named to the USA Junior National Team in 2015 and again in 2017. She has been with the U.S. National Team since 2017.
Longan has been a winner at every level, which began at Oaks Christian HS in Westlake Village, Calif. Longan was named league Player of the Year as a junior, helping her team win the Tri-Valley League championship for the first time in school history in 2014. She set a school record with 31 saves in a single game. She was a three-time all-league first team selection and was later named the Ventura County Star Most Valuable Goalie as a senior. A three-time Ventura County Star second team honoree, Longan played club for 805 Santa Barbara.
She would then take her talents to USC where she would be named the MPSF MVP in her freshman season, leading the Trojans to the NCAA Championship in 2016. After becoming a World Champion with Team USA in 2017, she would go on to lead USC to another NCAA title in 2018, picking up some hardware in the process. She was named the NCAA Championship MVP, the Peter J. Cutino Award winner and the National Player of the Year in 2018.
Longan finished her USC career ranked as the Trojans' No. 3 all-time goalie with 580 career saves while her 260 saves made in 2019 stands as the fourth most in a single season by a USC goalie.
"We are very fortunate to have someone of Amanda's caliber in this position as she's still with the national team," Wright said. "I have had the opportunity to work with Amanda on several occasions and her work ethic is second to none. You can see that by what she accomplished at USC, but also by what she is doing with the national team. She sees the game from a different perspective being in goal, but what is most important will be her ability to connect with the student-athletes on our women's team. She will be able to demonstrate to them what it takes to play at the highest level. We want to be in a position where we are out in front and have an edge from a training standpoint and we are very glad she decided to be part of our staff."