CLAREMONT, CA – Foothill Club Water Polo Coach Alex Rodriguez is currently coaching in Rio with our US Men’s National Team.
Alex Rodriguez is a local that went to Bonita High School, go Bearcats! He was there for the first boy’s water polo team at Bonita and in three years lead them to the CIF Finals. Rodriguez was not a high-end recruit and walked on to the Pepperdine University team his junior year after two years at Citrus College. His junior year at Pepperdine University he ended up being the leading scorer. His senior year he helped his Pepperdine team win its only NCAA National Championship in water polo.
Once he graduated Pepperdine, he became an assistant coach at Bonita High School and worked alongside his high school coach, Andy Rosenberg. The following year, he went back to Citrus College as an assistant where the team came in second in State and then won a State Championship the next. He returned to Bonita High School boy’s team as a head coach, where they won their first CIF title. After winning CIF, he had an opportunity to coach at Pepperdine University as an assistant coach. At the same time, he started and coached the Bonita High School girls into a highly competitive program that went to CIF finals in their third year of existence.
Rodriguez also coaches at the very prestigious Pomona-Pitzer colleges where he started in 2005. He has led his men’s team to 4 SCIAC titles and his women’s team to 6 SCIAC titles which qualified his team for 5 NCAA tournaments. This was an accomplishment that seemed far fetched when he first arrived. He takes pride in his local area and wanted to start a club team to help get student athletes recognized by college coaches.
Rodriguez started Foothill Club Water Polo in 2005. At Foothill, he has done a phenomenal job getting student athletes recognized. In just over 10 years, he has had over 70 men and 60 women move on to be student athletes in college. He has mentored multiple coaches that have turned around and became college coaches or have even found themselves on staff alongside of him at the 2016!Olympic Games. He has had over a dozen athletes travel abroad and play water polo professionally.
Even after all of these amazing accomplishments, he considers the opportunity to serve as an assistant coach at the 2016 Olympics to be a career high point.
“I am the first in my family to be born in the USA. My family is originally from Cuba and my parents sacrificed a lot to raise me here,” said Rodriguez. “They came to this country without money, without being able to speak English and with only the clothes on their backs. They did everything they could to give me the typical American upbringing and worked very hard to provide for me. Whenever I hear the national anthem, I think about what my parents and grandmother did for me and what this country has given our family. I am a very proud American and coaching for the USA has been a dream come true.”
Rodriguez was hired by USA Water Polo in November 2013 as the junior/youth team coach. He led the youth team to a gold medal in the Pan American Games which was the first gold medal for the team in several years. After his accomplishments with this team, he was asked to be an assistant on the Men’s Senior Team and has been serving in both roles the last 2 1/2 years.