Leyson repeats conference coaching honor

Dec. 7, 2017

DAVIS, Calif. - Daniel Leyson, UC Davis’ Child & Meisel Families Director of Men’s Water Polo, garnered his second consecutive Western Water Polo Association Coach of the Year award, the league office announced on Thursday. The fifth-year Aggie mentor guided his team to a 22-7 record, a WWPA team title and another berth in the National Collegiate Championship. The award is determined by a vote of the conference’s head coaches after the conclusion of the season.

Leyson’s honor marks the fifth time that the WWPA Coach of the Year acclaim has gone to UC Davis. Tom Elson won the award in 1996, then Steve Doten captured it in 2007 and 2010. Leyson then won his first such accolade last year.

This adds to a sizable mantel of awards for the former U.S. National Team player and coach. Leyson captured the USA Water Pol’s Monte Nitzkowski Distinguished Men’s Coaching Award in 2015, and serves as the USA NorCal head coach in the USAWP National League. Last January, he became the first person ever to earn an endowed coaching position at UC Davis, thanks to a donation from the families of two water polo parents.

Leyson’s award also completes the overall slate of All-WWPA honors. Senior Cory Laidig was announced as the Player of the Year back on November 15, while UC San Diego’s Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt captured Freshman of the Year distinction. Laidig (first team), junior Ido Goldschmidt (first team), junior Marcus Anderson (second team), junior R.J. Quigley (second team), senior Spencer Galli (honorable mention) and freshman Jack Stafford (All-Freshman) also received recognition in that November announcement.

The 2017 season saw UC Davis match its No. 2 win total and winning percentage (.759) in program history. Furthermore, this year’s team became the first Aggie men’s water polo squad to rank in the top 10 from wire to wire. UC Davis finished No. 8 in Wednesday’s Collegiate Water Polo Association poll, another program best for a final season ranking. 

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