USA Water Polo Announces 2023 Hall of Fame Class

USA Water Polo Declares 2023 Corridor of Fame Class

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Irvine, CA April 6, 2023 USA Water Polo is proud to announce the thirty ninth induction class into the USA Water Polo Corridor of Fame. This 12 months’s class options Olympic medalists, trailblazing ladies, grassroots sports activities development specialists and elite officiating.

Aaron Chaneya two-time Olympic referee and award-winning coach joins ladies’s water polo trailblazers, collegiate champions and Olympic medalists Nicole Payne and Coralie Simmons. The category is rounded out by two acquainted names in Northern California’s Contra Costa County. Highschool and membership water polo apply legend Ron Richisonenters the Corridor of Fame together with the Olympic silver medalist and NCAA champion Peter Varellas.

Be a part of us on June 9 at 11 a.m. PT for the Corridor of Fame Induction Luncheon on the Doubletree by Hilton Resort Pleasanton on the Membership in Pleasanton, California. To buy particular person tickets or tables, click on right here. To be taught extra in regards to the Corridor of Fame, together with a have a look at all of the previous inductees, click on right here. For lodging on the Doubletree, click on right here.

Congratulations to all of the inmates!

Extra on the 2023 USA Water Polo Corridor of Fame Induction Class:

Aaron Chaney
In 1979, Aaron Chaney helped the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos win an NCAA pool title, however he made a good larger affect on the pool deck throughout a four-decade profession as an award-winning coach and an elite collegiate and worldwide referee. In a 20-year run at Iolani College, Chaney guided the boys to a few championships and began the women program, which he led for eight years. At Corona del Mar Excessive College in California, he piloted the women staff to 10 league titles in 10 years and added 5 straight CIF titles whereas successful Orange County Coach of the 12 months in his first season. Over three impactful a long time, Chaney would ship greater than 60 athletes off to the collegiate water polo world. He would return to Hawaii to once more coach at Iolani, this time following because the College of Hawaii ladies’s assistant coach, serving to the staff to 2 Massive West crowns and an NCAA berth.

Carrying white, nonetheless, introduced Chaney to swimming pools throughout the globe. He refereed the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in Athens and Beijing, which included officiating the boys’s semi-finals in ’04. He additionally refereed 4 FINA World Championships highlighted by a ladies’s bronze medal match and the 2005 males’s gold medal match in Montreal. Chaney was named USAWP Referee of the 12 months in 2004 and officiated two FINA Cups and two World League Tremendous Last gold medal video games. Domestically, he was among the many greatest, officiating 20 males’s NCAA championships and ten ladies’s NCAA championships, which included 15 championship video games. It is no shock that Chaney is the namesake of the annual USA Water Polo Developmental Referee Award.

A member of the UC Santa Barbara and Hawaii Swimming Halls of Fame, he stays concerned within the sport as an assistant coach with the Punahou College membership program the place his daughter participates, whereas additionally working an annual pre-season varsity ladies event.

Nicole Payne
Nicolle Payne is lengthy revered as probably the greatest goalies in Staff USA historical past, each earlier than and after ladies’s water polo turned an Olympic self-discipline. She established her excellence at an early age, taking part in on the boys’ staff at Gahr Excessive College in Cerritos, California, the place she was a three-time All-American. She made her worldwide debut on the World Junior Championships in 1992. Two years later, she turned the primary lady to be recruited into the model new UCLA ladies’s water polo program. In Westwood, Payne was a part of three nationwide championship groups (pre-NCAA period), earned a number of All-America honors and nonetheless holds the Bruins’ single-save report at 225.

When ladies’s water polo was lastly added to the Olympic program, on the 2000 Video games in Sydney, Payne was a mainstay in purpose for Staff USA, serving to it take the silver medal. In 2003, she was a part of the primary American staff to win a FINA World Championship title, and he or she gained the highest honor in Barcelona. She completed her worldwide profession in end on the 2004 Athens Olympics, successful bronze. Payne is enshrined within the New York Athletic Membership and UCLA Halls of Fame and was a Pac-12 All-Century staff choice. She has been near the sport as a coach for UCLA and Staff USA, most not too long ago serving to the US staff win gold on the 2022 FINA World Championships.

Ron Richison
Water polo in Northern California’s East Bay wouldn’t be what it’s immediately with out Ron Richison. Richison is as acquainted to the area’s water polo households as a drive alongside Freeway 24. He first made his mark on the game at the highschool stage. He started teaching at Del Valle in Walnut Creek, CA in 1965 and moved to Campolindo Excessive College in Moraga, CA in 1969 the place he would spend 14 years as the pinnacle boys water polo coach. Three North Coast Invitational titles and a Foothill Athletic League crown adopted till Richison transferred to Acalanes Excessive College in Lafayette, CA in 1984.

At Acalanes, Richison’s staff soared even increased, claiming three California Interscholastic Federation pennants and a 1987 California State championship. All of the whereas, Richison was busy taking part in water polo as a membership sport within the area. In 1968 he joined Peter Cutino’s Harmony Water Polo Membership, now often known as Lamorinda Water Polo, and with the assistance of Steve Heaston, constructed it right into a powerhouse that continues immediately as a membership with nationwide recognition. Richison’s groups produced a staggering 22 highschool All-People, 24 eventual NCAA champions and 9 Olympians. The listing contains legends equivalent to Steve Heaston, Kirk Everist, Peter Schnugg, John Schnugg, Craig Klass, Rick McNair and swimming fanatic Matt Biondi. Away from the pool, Richison additionally spent a decade as treasurer of Pacific Water Polo, beginning in 2002. When not spending time along with his grandchildren, the now-retired Richison swims laps and stays a supporter of highschool water polo within the East Bay.

Coralie Simmons
Some of the dynamic gamers for Staff USA, Coralie Simmons emerged within the late Nineties from Hemet, California. There she performed on her highschool boys staff earlier than lastly coming to a water polo hotbed: Westwood. At UCLA, Simmons was twice named NCAA Participant of the 12 months, a four-year All-American and gained three nationwide collegiate championships. She completed her run as a Bruin in 2001, serving to UCLA win the primary NCAA Ladies’s Water Polo Championship. At UCLA, she helped lay the inspiration for what would change into the Bruins’ dynastic run within the mid-2000s. As an undergraduate, Simmons additionally made the primary U.S. ladies’s Olympic water polo staff and helped Staff USA win the primary silver medal in Sydney.

Outdoors of Staff USA, Simmons was an in-demand participant on the worldwide membership scene, ending with Glyfada and Vouliagmeni, the place she gained three Greek championships and a European Cup title. On the home entrance, Simmons was a key a part of the New York Athletic Membership’s many nationwide championship groups. When her taking part in profession ended, she took on assistant teaching roles at Hawaii and UCLA and helped information her alma mater to the NCAA Championship Event. She later took over the Sonoma State Seawolves and twice gained Division II Coach of the 12 months honors. Now in her seventh season as the pinnacle ladies’s water polo coach on the College of California-Berkeley, she has already guided the Bears to the NCAA semifinals 4 instances. Simmons additionally stays a key member of the Staff USA pipeline, twice serving as head coach of the ladies’s junior nationwide staff, which gained a world title in 2015.

Peter Varellas
Left-handers convey a unique aspect to water polo, and from 2002 to 2012, no American southpaw was as achieved as Peter Varellas. Rising up in Northern California’s East Bay, Varellas was a standout at Campolindo Excessive College in Moraga earlier than becoming a member of a star-studded Stanford College staff throughout the bay. He helped the Cardinal attain 4 consecutive NCAA Championship video games, together with a win as a freshman, in 2002. He was a constant pressure on the Farm: a two-time All-America who collected 168 targets, was named Pac-10 Male Athlete of the 12 months as a senior, obtained the Stanford Most Excellent Male Senior Award and was chosen because the recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

On the similar time, his nationwide staff profession was on the rise. He shortly turned an necessary a part of the squad, serving to the USA win gold on the 2007 Pan American Video games. He then contributed 5 targets and 7 assists throughout Staff USA’s breakthrough efficiency on the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the place the staff gained its first males’s medal since 1988. the silver. Varellas added one other PanAm title in 2011, then made his second Olympics in London in 2012, retiring after the Video games to attend the Stanford Graduate College of Enterprise. Professionally, Varellas competed for Rari Nantes in Savona, Italy from 2006-2010 and domestically with The Olympic Membership in San Francisco. Varellas is now an athlete consultant to the USA Water Polo Board of Administrators.

About USA Water Polo
USA Water Polo, Inc., is the nationwide governing physique for water polo in America, overseeing our US Olympic program in addition to 20 championship occasions yearly, such because the Junior Olympics and the Masters Nationwide Championships. With greater than 50,000 members, USAWP can also be the sanctioning authority for greater than 500 member golf equipment and greater than 400 tournaments nationwide. USAWP is dedicated to rising the game all through america, selling grassroots growth whereas offering a nationwide system of affiliated golf equipment, licensed coaches and officers. For extra info, go to

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