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CLUB DIRECTOR - 12U BOYS HEAD COACH - 18U BOYS HEAD COACH
KEVIN NESBIT

My name is Alexa Young

Years with RTWPC: 6 years

High School: Rancho Cucamonga High School 2000

College: Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College

Degrees: BA History, Secondary Teaching Credential, AS Fire Technology, AA Liberal Arts.


Club: CATS Polo, Hillside Aquatics


Former Coaching Positons:  USA Olympic Development Program Zone Head Coach (2014-2022), Whittier College (NCAA DIII), Alta Loma High School (2013-2021), Colony High School (2010-2011).

Hobbies: Working Out, Surfing, Concerts, Traveling, and spending time with his two boxers Maui and Jubilee. 

Favorite Music: The Offspring, Pennywise, Bad Religion, The Transplants, Rancid, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean...........

 

Favorite Sports Team: Sadly, the LA Angels, LA Lakers, LA Rams, Pro Recco.

     Coach Kevin Nesbit's water polo journey began as a club swimmer. Beginning his aquatics career at Hillside Aquatics under the tutelage of local legend Mike Dickson, Nesbit found his home in the water. At the age of eleven, Nesbit was moved into the Senior and College group at Hillside and quickly became a nationally ranked swimmer in multiple disciplines. Throughout the years Nesbit dedicated his mornings and nights to swim training and often found himself competing for top national ranks at Junior Olympics and Zone Trials. At the age of thirteen years old, Nesbit was recruited by Steve Merryman, then Rancho Cucamonga High School Head Water Polo Coach. Nesbit was introduced to water polo for the first time and never looked back.

 

     Looking back on his first games, Nesbit says "I was so nervous. The coach said to show up at Fontana High School for a summer league game. He immediately put me with some varsity-level guys given my swim ability. I was so nervous, I didn't see the sign on a pool deck bench that said 'wet paint'. I sat right in it. Here I am, game one of my water polo career, and red paint all down my backside". Though a minor hiccup in his first outing, Nesbit found humor in it and proceeded to give it a try. "All I could do as a freshman was a 'T-Shot' because I was fast. I remember the first time I witnessed a turnover from defense to offense, I stopped, looked my coach in the eye, and asked him what to do. He made it as simple as possible. 'Swim as fast as you can to the other side, we will get you the ball, and you find a way to put it in the goal. So my very first goal was off a one-on-one. I was hooked".

    Nesbit quickly began to put his swim expertise to work and ended up playing varsity by the end of his freshman season. Nesbit would continue his playing career with large strides securing a four-year varsity letter, two first-team all-Mt. Baldy League, and two first-team All-CIF honors. Nesbit's swim career did not skip a beat setting several school records, including the 100 breaststroke (56.17), and the 200 I.M. (1:56.89). Nesbit also secured multiple awards landing him a four-year varsity letter, four first-team All-Mt. Baldy League, two Mt. Baldy League MVP honors, four first-team All-CIF, CIF D2 MVP runner-up, and two high school All-American recognition.

     Collegiately, Nesbit found himself once again swimming for Mike Dickson at Chaffey College, and playing for water polo coaching legend Dan Marshall. Nesbit continued to excel in college accruing recognition for first-team All-Conference, two conferences ranks for swimming, and All-American remarks for swimming. Nesbit would then transfer to Sonoma State University. There he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and his Secondary Teaching Credential. Nesbit taught high school US Government and US History at Piner High School in Santa Rosa, CA.

     After a brief stint with teaching, Nesbit made a career change and applied for the Santa Rosa Junior College Fire Academy. During this time, he was able to play for SRJC's Men's Water Polo team for the famous James Graham, now head coach at the University of Pacific. Under Graham, Nesbit and his team would win the Northern California Sectionals Championship at UC Santa Cruz and advance to the third-place game at the CA State championships. "Playing for James is the first time I think I realized I wanted to be a coach. He was so analytical and strategic. Playing for him was an honor, and I'm proud to say I was able to play for him before he moved on to UOP." Graduating as his battalion leader and with top ranks from the 64th SRJC Fire Academy, Nesbit began working with Corte Madera Fire Department. Fire would bring Nesbit back to Southern California, where he would begin his career as a water polo coach and club director.

     Coach Nesbit began his coaching career in 2001 at Alta Loma High School as a Junior Varsity Coach. Though brief, Nesbit has fond memories of his time with ALHS, foreshadowing his future. Upon his return to Southern California in 2010, Nesbit began coaching at Colony High School in Ontario, CA in 2010. Nesbit was able to secure a 2011 Boys and Girls League championship. In 2013, Nesbit would take on the role, and task, of turning around a Division VII Alta Loma High School program. Nesbit states "I had no idea what I was in for. The level of play in this new area was a whole other level. The local powerhouse was Los Osos and Damien High School, but we struggled with everyone." After some time, Nesbit decided he needed to be more for his high school program. "I had to beg a local club to hire me. I was turned down twice, came back the third night, and was finally given a shot as an assistant." Looking back at it, Nesbit says he is very thankful for that opportunity. As Nesbit's coaching ability grew, so did Alta Loma High School, securing the school's first Boys League championship since 1988, and a first-ever Girls League Championship. What followed was a multitude of league championships, CIF divisional advancements, and a Girls CIF Championship (with no club players). Nesbit was named CIF and Inland Valley Coach for the Year several times. Nesbit ended his ALHS coaching career in 2021, yet set the table for a 2021 Boys CIF D3 Championship, and a 2022 Girls CIF D4 Championship (fueled by a majority of RTWPC athletes).

 

     Though his time at ALHS was surrounded by wins and accomplishments, when asked what his greatest memory was he stated ..."Actually, it's when we lost in the Boys CIF D4 semi-finals in 2017. We lost by one goal right at the buzzer. At this point, we still really had no experienced club kids. My guys were devastated. In our post-game talk, they were in the water, holding each other as a team, but crying. I couldn't handle it, and without warning, I just jumped in the pool in my clothes". When asked why, he states "How could I sit back and watch them heartbroken? Any good coach knows that they're not just the one who leads, yells, or wins. You're every bit as part of the team as your athletes. If they bleed, you bleed. If they celebrate, you celebrate. In this case, 'we were hurting' together. I didn't hesitate, it was the right thing to do."

     Overlapping with his former club and current club responsibilities, Nesbit was hired by the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program as a head coach for the Coastal Zone. During this time, Nesbit had won five Silver Medals at the USA ODP National Championships. He was also fortunate to be brought on to staff for the USA National Cadet team in 2021 to travel to Hungary to train and compete, winning both the 19u and 17u Championships in those club tournaments. Nesbit has been fortunate enough to travel to Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Germany, and Austria for water polo and encourages young people to travel as much as possible. "it gives you such an outside-the-box view. There is so much out there than just us. A broader perspective is a great thing to possess", Nesbit states.

     May of 2017 would be when everything changed for Nesbit. Departing from his former club, Nesbit acknowledged that the area needed more representation at the club level at all local high schools, not just two. So in May of 2017, Rancho Tsunami Water Polo Club was born. RTWPC has been going strong since 2017, and growing every year. In 2019 USA Water Polo named RTWPC "a club with high success and longevity potential". This year would also be the year Coach Nesbit was awarded the prestigious Ted Newland Distinguished Coaching Award. RTWPC continues to grow and Nesbit is focused on developing any and all athletes in the greater Rancho Cucamonga and Inland Empire areas.

     When not coaching, Nesbit enjoys working out, going to concerts, traveling, surfing, and playing with his two boxers Maui and Jubilee. In 2011, Nesbit completed the Alcatraz Sharkest Swim, where he finished 46th of 1000 participants. Nesbit hopes water polo continues to grow in the community and praises anyone who takes a chance at a new sport. Lastly, Nesbit simply says "Go Waves!"

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