mercoledì 24 settembre 2008

Guy Baker Appointed Director of Olympic Development For USA Water Polo

Guy Baker dopo 8 anni sulle panchine della Nazionale USA questo il comunicato in inglese di USA Waterpolo.


Huntington Beach, Calif. – September 23, 2008 – On the heels of leading the USA Women’s Olympic Water Polo team to its second silver medal performance and third consecutive Olympic medal, Coach Guy Baker is retiring from coaching. The dominant women’s water polo coach of his era, Baker will assume a newly created position at USA Water Polo (USAWP) as Director of Olympic Development, where he will shift his attention to building a stronger program of development for athletes, coaches and referees to serve both the men’s and women’s national team programs. “Guy Baker has achieved just about everything there is to accomplish as a coach in the sport of water polo,” said Christopher Ramsey, Chief Executive Officer of USAWP. “Now we are asking Guy to become a mentor and resource for our coaches at all levels, as well as an architect for a dramatically expanded national team development program. Our goal is to give our national team coaches the freedom to concentrate their efforts coaching their teams, as well as giving them the luxury of a larger pool of skilled athletes than ever before competing to represent our nation at the international level.” “It was a difficult decision to retire from coaching the Women’s Senior National Team,” said Guy Baker. “Over the last eight years, I have essentially held two jobs--coach of the Senior National Team and Director of our Women’s Developmental Program. I have loved both, but now is the right time to start a new chapter in my professional career. I am very proud of what we have accomplished with the women’s program. I was fortunate to work together with fantastic group of players, coaches, administrators and volunteers. Now I am looking forward to working with Chris [Ramsey], Terry [Schroeder], and our membership to help our organization reach its full potential.” As Director of Olympic Development, Baker is being asked to plan and administer USA Water Polo’s system of elite athlete development. In addition to improving performance, Baker is charged with fostering a culture of “service to the sport” that includes new resources and professional development opportunities for coaches at all levels of USA Water Polo. The goal is a progressive program that teaches fundamental skills and basic tactical precepts so that a clear sequence of learning can take place within all levels of USA Water Polo. Especially at younger age groups, USAWP will emphasize training hours over competition, expanding the number of athletes in training and providing longer time spans for them to mature. The Olympic Development Program will be expanded in phases over the next four years as the organization increases its resources and administrative capacity. "One of our inherent strengths of USA Water Polo is our club system," said Terry Schroeder, USAWP men's national team coach. "We have a tremendous number of age group athletes playing our sport, but we need to improve their fundamentals and provide more meaningful competition at all levels. I am thrilled that Guy will take on the task of building a more robust platform to accomplish these goals, and I look forward to working closely with him to strengthen our sport through our club and our collegiate programs." Working with Schroeder and the new women’s national team coach, Baker will review the current competitive framework and propose new elements to promote optimum development of age group talent, including a new matrix of regional training centers for elite athletes. This framework will result in a published calendar of national competition and training that complements club activities and is released with sufficient lead time to allow effective local and regional planning. Baker will also work to strengthen the relationship between collegiate water polo programs and the national governing body. “Our goal is to implement an infrastructure for American boys and girls and men and women to succeed at the highest international levels,” Baker added. In turn, we must simultaneously nurture our coaches and officials. Our objective is to change the dynamics of USA Water Polo from regional sport to true national sport. We will address the needs of all our National Teams, while implementing a seamless and vertically integrated developmental program that starts at the earliest age groups through the teaching resources of our clubs.” Since the 2000 Olympic Games, under Baker’s guidance, as the Head Coach or Director, USA Women’s Water Polo has won ten FINA major championship medals, three Olympic Game medals, three World Championships, three Junior World Championships, and one World Cup. The results are unprecedented; ten medals in thirteen events with thirteen consecutive medal round appearances and nine gold medal game finals. In addition Team USA has won four medals at the five World League Super Finals for a total of fourteen medals in the eighteen FINA events over the eight year period. As well as the three consecutive Olympic medals; his coaching highlights would be two World Championship gold medals (2003 and 2007), two Pan American Games Gold Medals (2003 and 2007) and three World League Super Final titles (2004, 2006 and 2007). Recently named the 2007 USOC National Coach of the Year, Baker began his coaching career in 1985 as an assistant to Ken Lindgren at Long Beach State University, where he was a former star player. After six years with the 49ers, Baker moved on to UCLA, where he was named men’s head coach in 1991. In his first year, Baker coached the men’s team to a second-place NCAA finish and finished his ten year UCLA Men’s Team career with four NCAA titles in six years; 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2000. UCLA added women’s water polo in 1995, prompting Baker to tackle head coach double duty from 1995-1998. In that time, the UCLA women’s team notched three consecutive collegiate titles in 1996, 1997, and 1998; the men’s team won two NCAA titles in 1995 and 1996. Baker was the first coach in history to lead both a men’s and women’s collegiate team to NCAA titles in the same year (1995-96). He went on to duplicate the double win the following year. Baker was hired to be USA Women’s Water Polo Senior National Team Head Coach in March of 1998. Prior to being named the women’s Head Coach, Baker was an Assistant Coach with the Men’s Senior National Team from the 1997 World Cup to the 1998 World Championship. The 1997 team won the gold medal at the World Cup. In January of 2001, USAWP named Baker as the full-time Women’s Director of National Teams and Senior National Team Head Coach. For more information regarding the position of Women’s Head Coach, USA Water Polo National Team, please refer to the “employment” section of the USA Water Polo website.

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