Steve Doten enters his 12th year at the helm of the UC Davis men's water polo program. He comes off a 2011 season in which the Aggies tied a school record with 22 wins, ranked among the national top 10 for two weeks, and advanced to the Western Water Polo Association title game.
Doten continues a strong run that largely began in 2006, when the Aggies ascended to No. 6 in the collegiate rankings -- the highest in Doten's career. His team posted six wins over top-10 programs that season.
The following year, Doten's program posted a 22-7 record with an undefeated mark against WWPA members. The Aggies reached the conference championship game that year, while Doten was rewarded with a nod as WWPA Coach of the Year.
Additionally, his student-athletes have enjoyed a parade of accolades during recent seasons. In 2007, David Welch, Nick Arrigo and Mike McGee each earned ACWPC All-America honorable mention and claimed spots on the All-WWPA squad. McGee and Arrigo added third-team All-America honors in 2008. More recently, center Aaron Salit garnered All-America honorable mention in 2010 before improving to the third team as a senior in 2011. Goalkeeper Kevin Peat captured All-America honorable mention as well last season.
On October 5, 2007, UC Davis defeated 15th-ranked Pacific by a final of 8-4, marking Doten's 100th career victory. He enters the upcoming season with a career mark of 156-138 overall, including a 104-45 conference ledger.
Doten's teams also have enjoyed tremendous success in the classroom. The Aggies' composite grade-point average has risen each year since his arrival. In 2006-07, Doten's squad was a co-winner of the athletics department's Lysle Leach Award for sporting the highest overall team GPA. Four made the ACWPC All-Academic squad, including the inclusion of Welch in the Outstanding category. Welch also added ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District second-team honors.
UC Davis men's water polo repeated as co-recipient of the Lysle Leach Award in 2008 and was one of just five teams nationwide to amass a cumulative GPA of better than 3.0 during the 2007-08 academic year. Furthermore, a total of 10 Aggies captured ACWPC All-Academic awards.
Other key seasons in Doten's UC Davis career include the 2002 campaign, in which the Aggies tied the school record with 19 wins. That team also posted 15 wins in the WWPA, the highest mark since 1990. In 2001, his first season at UC Davis, Doten was named the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year. He also guided two players, Travis Engelman and Tim Rogers, to first-team All-American status.
In addition to his duties at UC Davis, Doten started the Davis Water Polo Club men's open team in the summer of 2001, for which he serves as head coach. In 2003, both his junior and senior teams qualified for the USA Water Polo National Championships for the first time. In 2005, Doten brought the national tournament to Schaal Aquatics Center, where is 20-and-under team won the bronze medal. In 2008, Doten's senior national team placed eighth, its highest-ever finish.
In 2004 and 2007, Doten was selected as Elite Coach of the Year for the Central California Zone by the USAWP Coaches Committee. Additionally, Doten served as president of the WWPA from 2003 to 2006. Then in 2009, he was chosen for the staff at the USA Water Polo Holiday Camp, an annual event for the Olympic Development Program (ODP).
Prior to UC Davis, Doten was an assistant coach with the Cal women's water polo team from 1995-99. During this time, the Golden Bears finished second at the Collegiate Water Polo National Championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Doten also served as a coach for the Golden Bear Water Polo Club team. He helped lead the team to two USWP national championships in 1998 and 1999.
As a player, Doten spent three seasons (1986-88) under legendary coaches Pete Cutino and Steve Heaston, helping Cal to a 91-14 record during that time and NCAA championships in 1987 and 1988. The Golden Bears were national runners-up in 1986. Doten, who graduated from UC Berkeley in 1990 with a degree in sports sociology, earned his master's in kinesiology and physical education in 1994 and completed course work for his Ph.D. in education in 2000.
He and his wife, Lisa, have three children - daughters Kendall and Brooke, and son Trey. The family resides in Davis. All three children play for the Davis Water Polo Club.