The Santa Ana College (SAC) Exercise Science, Health and Athletics department has named Al Reyes the head coach for the men's water polo team. Reyes will also serve as the co-head coach of the women's water polo team as well as an assistant coach of the women's swim team. He joins SAC after spending the last three years as the boys' and girls' water polo and swim coach at Long Beach Millikan High School.
Prior to that, Reyes served as the head water polo and swim coach at La Canada High School, Sunny Hills High School and Gahr High School, where he got his start as a head coach. During his time at La Canada, where he also served as athletic director, Reyes led the boys' water polo team to the 2007 CIF Championship.
Reyes was also named the Freeway League Swimming Coach of the Year from 2002-04 while being nominated for the Sunny Hills High School Coach of the Year award during that same time.
Now focusing on college water polo, Reyes said that recruiting is going to be the key to his success at SAC.
"The water polo and swimming component is the same," said Reyes. "It's the recruiting [that's different]. You have to use every contact and network at your disposal. It is up to me to make something of the recruiting class that I have put together. But I like the challenge."
With the fall semester starting on August 23, Reyes admitted that fielding a team is more his goal this season than winning.
"I have two returners and recruiting is over," said Reyes. "Once I field a team, I need to get them to believe in the program and me. I need to change the perception that [Santa Ana College] is not a winning program. I plan on doing that with a positive attitude. A lot of good energy is contagious.
"I'm a big fan of Coach John Wooden. He always said that training hard can lead to success. His mantra was that success was measured by when you get out of the pool or off the court you know you gave it all you had."
For the 2010 season, Reyes is looking for any student-athlete that is looking to compete and to improve as a player.
"If you want to be a great water polo player and/or swimmer," said Reyes. "Come play for Santa Ana College. We have a lot of openings!"