Alumnus to Head Michigan Water Polo Team

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Marcelo Leonardi '98Former Poet athlete Marcelo Leonardi ’98 has been named as the new head coach for the University of Michigan’s women’s water polo team.

“His experience as a player and coach at all levels of the sport will be extremely valuable for our program and the young women under his tutelage,” said Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon said in a statement.

Leonardi was previously the head coach for California State University, Northridge (CSUN). During his five year tenure, his team was nationally ranked, with a program high this year at No. 7. During his final season leading the team, the CSUN Matadors finished second in the Big West.

At CSUN, Leonardi had student-athletes named All-Big West 23 times, accumulating 10 first-team citations, five second-team honors and eight honorable mention accolades. He had six student-athletes earn All-America honors eight times. In the classroom, his student-athletes had a cumulative grade point average above a 3.0 all five years.

In addition to his collegiate coaching success, Leonardi has national and international coaching experience with USA Water Polo (2009 to current). He is currently the women's national youth team coach, which will be competing this summer at the Youth World Championships in Madrid, Spain. He also serves as the national technical director for the women's Olympic Development Program (ODP) associated with the organization since 2013.

Before joining the staff at CSUN, Leonardi was head coach for the El Rancho High School water polo and swim programs for six years.

Leonardi earned a B.A. in biology and Spanish and a Master’s degree in education from Whittier College He earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Azusa Pacific University in 2011.

Read more in The Michigan Daily.