Dana Hills coach Matt Rosa is The Orange County Register/OCVarsity 2012 boys water polo coach of the year.

Dana Hills' Rosa is the 2012 boys water polo coach of the year


The preseason buzz placed Dana Hills’ boys water polo team in the deep end of the talent pool.

Based on their roster and strong summer, the Dolphins were considered a Division 1 squad on the rise.

Dana Hills and Coach Matt Rosa proved worthy of the attention.

The Dolphins knocked off El Toro for the South Coast League title en route to a breakout season under their 10th coach.

For his efforts, Rosa is The Register’s coach of the year.

“I think we opened some eyes,” he said. “I felt it was a growing year for a lot of guys.”


2012 All-County boys water polo team

Mater Dei's Walters is the 2012 boys water polo player of the year

Dana Hills captured its first South Coast title in a league season that included El Toro, which has served three stints in the Sea View League over the years.

The Dolphins never beat El Toro coach Don Stoll, who took over the Chargers’ program in 1981 and retired after 2011.

But this fall, Dana Hills broke through with a 12-11 victory that helped the Dolphins capture their third South Coast crown under Rosa.

Dana Hills’ milestones didn’t stop there. The Dolphins also made the top-eight at the South Coast Tournament for the first time under Rosa and finished with 23 victories, the most during the coach’s tenure.

Rosa believes Dana Hills played its best game in a 7-5 loss against Long Beach Wilson in the Division 1 quarterfinals. The Bruins finished as the Division 1 runner-up to undefeated Mater Dei.

Rosa praised the leadership of seniors Sam Pfeil, Cade Montgomery and Brett Cleary. Next season, Dana Hills will return four starters, so the Dolphins might not be done growing under Rosa.

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