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Del Mar Water Polo Club announces new head coach

Brett Ormsby and Bojan Hrlec
(Courtesy)

Del Mar Water Polo Club has announced that its founder and current head coach, Brett Ormsby, will join the men’s water polo coaching staff at Stanford University. Current club program director and assistant coach, Bojan Hrlec, will take over as head coach of the club.

“The assistant coach position at Stanford University is a coaching dream come true for me, and an opportunity that I absolutely could not pass up,” said Ormsby. “I leave knowing that the club is in a great place, the strongest it has ever been, with great families, athletes, and coaches. Bojan will continue to build on the past achievements of the club, it is in trusted hands. He brings an enthusiasm and energy to his leadership that is inspiring and will ensure the ongoing success the club.”

Hrlec joined the Del Mar Water Polo Club coaching staff in 2015. He assumed the position of program director and began taking over day-to-day operation of the club in 2016, while continuing his coaching duties.

“I am thrilled for Brett and join the rest of the club in thanking him for building Del Mar Water Polo Club into what it is today. I have no doubt that his coaching talent and dedication to his players will be a tremendous asset to the Stanford water polo team,” said Hrlec.

Ormsby has enjoyed a decorated career as both a water polo player and coach. He was a four-time All-American and 2004 National Player of the Year at UCLA. He led the Bruins in scoring each of his four seasons, and captained UCLA’s 2004 NCAA Championship team. Ormsby went on to play for the USA National Team, and competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

In 2008, after coaching at UCLA and Los Angeles Water Polo Club, Ormsby relocated to San Diego and assumed the head coach position at Cathedral Catholic High School, quickly establishing Cathedral as one of the top water polo programs in San Diego. While at Cathedral, Ormsby founded the Del Mar Water Polo Club.

The club has been ranked among the nation’s best 16U and 18U programs annually. Since joining the club’s coaching staff in 2015, Hrlec has worked to expand the club’s focus on development of the younger age groups, coaching both the 12U and 14U teams. His experience as a youth player provides the foundation for his coaching philosophy.

Born in Rijeka, Croatia, Hrlec began his water polo career at age 6. He played for his local club WPC Opatija until age 12, when he was recruited by Water Polo Club Primorje as the top goal scorer in his age group in the country. During his time in Primorje, he played on youth teams that were consistently among the best teams in the country, and won several medals with the Croatian Junior National Team.

Hrlec moved to the United States in 2010 and played at West Valley College for two years, before transferring to UC Irvine. While at West Valley College he was a member of a team that captured one state and two conference championships. While at UC Irvine, Hrlec was a leading scorer and was ranked sixth in goals scored in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, earning All-American honorable mention honors. In 2014, he was recruited to play for the New York Athletic Club water polo team, winning several tournaments at the Masters level.

As head coach of the boys 12U team in 2016, he led the team to a first place win in the gold division of the 2016 Junior Olympics national water polo tournament. He is currently the head coach of the boys 14U team, which is ranked 15th in the nation.

With the departure of Ormsby, Hrlec will move into the role of club head coach, overseeing all club activities.

“The club has come a long way in the last nine years,” Hrlec observed, “the original focus of the club was at the 16U and 18U level. Fast forward to 2017, we sent teams to compete in the national Junior Olympics water polo tournament in every age group category, 10U-18U. In most cases, we had multiple teams at each level.” He continued, “My vision for the club is to maintain the success achieved by the club in the older age groups, while increasing the focus on development and training of players entering the sport.”

Beginning this fall, Hrlec will take over as primary coach of the 10U team, while continuing to coach the 14U team and to oversee the club as head coach.

“I am excited to work with our youngest players to develop their technical skills, and to instill in them the desire to win through teamwork and achieving their personal best,” Hrlec said. “Sports are a way to prepare kids for life. I played competitive sports from the time I was very little. It was intense, but I learned so much that was useful to me later in life: how to be a leader, how to set and achieve a goal, how to learn from mistakes, how to work hard and persevere through defeat.”

The fall session for Del Mar Water Polo Club begins Aug. 28. – Submitted press release


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