Crimson Water Polo Winter Clinic at Harvard University
2023 DATES & PRICES NOW AVAILABLE!
USSC is proud to partner with Harvard Water Polo Head Coach, Ted Minnis, to bring you the Crimson Water Polo Camp! The focus of the program will be in-water instruction on the fundamentals of the game. Don’t miss this opportunity to work with the top players and coaches in the country.
Campers train each day at Blodgett Pool on the campus of Harvard University. This clinic is open to any and all high school or going into high school athletes with water polo experience.
- Instruction by Harvard Men's Water Polo coaching staff and current players
- Low camper to instructor ratio
- Daily emphasis on fundamentals, position training, drills and scrimmages
- Position Specific Training for Drivers, Shooters, Goalies & 2 Meter Offense & Defense
- View More Details ⟩
Camp Director Ted Minnis
Ted Minnis enters his 11th year as The Friends of Harvard Water Polo Head Coach in 2021-22. Minnis is the 10th coach in Harvard men’s and women’s water polo history, and the first individual to serve in the role since the position was endowed in May 2013.View Ted Minnis's Bio ⟩
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 men's water polo and 2021 women's water polo seasons were canceled by the Ivy League.
In a shortened 2020 season, Minnis guided the women's program to a 12-2 overall record, including victories over three ranked opponents. The team saw three players win CWPA weekly honors over four separate occasions and reached a season-high national rank of No. 17.
Minnis guided the Crimson to a historic season in 2019, earning an undefeated 27-0 record through regular season play and breaking program records for best start to a season and most consecutive wins. In its sixth consecutive 20 or more win season, Harvard defeated Princeton to become the new NWPC Champion. Four members of the Crimson seniors Charlie Owens and Austin Sechrest, junior Dennis Blyashov and sophomore Noah Hodge earned First Team All-NWPC honors while Owens was named MVP of the conference. Minnis was named NWPC Coach of the Year as well as NWPC Coach of the Tournament. He earned his 200th career victory with the men's program in the NWPC championship match.
Minnis led the men's program to its fifth consecutive season with 20 or more wins, completing the year with a 22-8 overall record and a second-place finish in the Northeast Water Polo Conference for the 2018 season. For the second striaght year, he guided junior Austin Sechrest and sophomore Dennis Blyashov to All-America Honors. Additionally, Minnis aided three Crimson players, Blyashov, Sechrest and first-year Noah Hodge, First Team All-NWPC honors for the first time in program history while Sechrest was named NWPC Most Valuable Player of the Year. In another set of firsts, the Palo Alto, California native shocked the water polo community as he coached the program to its first victory over a top-three ranked opponent after defeating then No. 3 California with a triple overtime 15-14 victory on Sept. 15. Minnis now boasts 171 victories with the men’s team over the course of nine seasons.
Upon conclusion of the 2019 season, the women’s team boasted its best season since 2016 and the fifth time in program history with a 20 or more win season and finished with 21-8 overall record. Minnis also led the women to its first NCAA program shutout on Feb. 3 in a dominant 17-0 victory against LaSalle. In continuing a tradition of post season accolades, Minnis aided senior Kristen Hong to her second-consecutive year collecting ACWPC All-America Honorable Mention honors in addition to All-CWPA and All-Tournament first team honors to conclude her unprecedented career. Additionally, Minnis coached sophomore Mathilde Ribordy and first-year Grace Thawley to second team honors. In his nine seasons with the women, he has compiled 144 wins.
During the 2017 campaign with the men’s team, Minnis helped lead the Crimson to a 24-8 overall record, a second-straight Northeast Water Polo Conference title and a second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The men’s team concluded it’s season with a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals in Los Angeles. He also helped guide freshman Dennis Blyashov to All-America third-team and NWPC Rookie of the Year recognition, along with sophomore Austin Sechrest who was named an All-America honorable mention.
Coach Minnis became the winningest coach in Harvard water polo history for both the men’s and women’s programs during the 2016-17 season. On the men’s side, Minnis won his program-best 100th game on the opening day of the 2016 season against then-No. 10 UC Davis. Minnis and the Crimson finished with an overall record of 27-7, pushing his then-total to 125 victories. He is also the all-time leader in wins for the women’s water polo program with 111 total wins, surpassing Chris Hafferty’s total of 81 wins during the 2014-15 campaign.
The 2016 Harvard men’s water polo team recorded its third-straight season with 20-plus wins for the first time in school history and defeated a program record 13 ranked opponents. Harvard reached as high as No. 8 in the CWPA poll, marking its highest ranking ever. The Crimson won the first conference championship in school history, taking home the Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) Championship and clinching its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance. Harvard went on to win its first NCAA tournament game with a victory over No. 12 Bucknell, before defeating No.9 UC Davis to secure a spot in the NCAA Final Four.
Minnis was recognized as the Monte Nitzkowski Distinguished Men’s Coaching Award winner of 2016. He won the award for the Northeast zone earlier in the year, before being voted as the national recipient by a panel of judges.
Minnis was selected as the 2016 USA Water Polo Zone Award Winner at the conclusion of the season for the Northeast. He helped guide Joey Colton to second-team All-America honors and Noah Harrison to All-America honorable mention. Colton, along with Dan Stevens, was named NWPC first team as well.
On the women’s side in 2016-17, Minnis helped lead the Crimson to a 15-14 mark and its highest finish since 2000 at the CWPA Championships. A team that allowed less than eight goals a game throughout the year, the Crimson powered past Indiana to reach the semifinals and ultimately record fourth overall at the tournament.
In 2015, Coach Minnis guided the men’s program to a 21-10 overall record and one of its most historic seasons in program history. Harvard reached as high as No. 12 in the CWPA poll, and the Crimson finished third at the CWPA Championship and advanced to the semifinals for the first time during Minnis’ tenure. Harvard downed three top-10 opponents on the season and six ranked opponents, both program firsts. Minnis was honored as the CWPA Northern Division Coach of the Year for the second time and guided several members of the Crimson to postseason accolades. Anthony Ridgley was named CWPA Northern Division Rookie of the year, Ben Zepfel and Joey Colton earned nods on the first team, while Noah Harrison, Dan Stevens and Colin Woolway were named to the second team.
The women’s team enjoyed one of its most successful seasons yet in its sixth season under Minnis, finishing the year at 24-10, recording the first back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in program history. The Crimson checked in at No. 13 in the CWPA rankings from March 23 – April 6 for its highest ranking ever, while also marking a program first with nine wins against top-25 teams this season. The Crimson defeated the No. 13 ranked opponent twice, downing its highest ranked opponent in program history. Yoshi Andersen and Cleo Harrington earned CWPA Division I/II first team all-conference honors, while Melissa Balding was tabbed to the second team.
The women’s program was strong in his fifth season going 20-13, the most wins since 2004. For the team’s performance throughout the 2015 season, coach Minnis was named the CWPA Division I/II Coach of the Year, the first such honor obtained by a Harvard women’s water polo coach. The 20 wins put Minnis atop the all-time wins list at 87 wins in just five seasons. The Crimson also had four players earn All-CWPA Division I/II honors, including Yoshi Andersen earning a first team nod.
Coach Minnis also led the men’s program to a 22-10 overall record, its best finish under his tenure and the most wins since 2000. For the first time, Harvard went undefeated on its annual California road trip, going 5-0 including an upset victory over then-No. 16 Whittier. The Crimson finished second at the CWPA Northern Division Championship for the second consecutive season, after upsetting then-No. 17 St. Francis and narrowly falling to, the eventual Northern and Eastern champions, Brown in the championship game. Harvard’s strong season earned them numerous accolades. Sophomore Joey Colton was named the CWPA Northern Player of the Year and freshman Colin Chiapello was named the CWPA Northern Rookie of the Year, junior Ben Zepfel was named to the CWPA All-Northern first team for the second consecutive season, while sophomore Blake Lee and junior Collin Woolway were named to the CWPA All-Northern second team.
In his fourth season at the helm, both programs continued to grow crossing the double-digit wins mark for a fourth consecutive season. The men finished the season 18-14 and took second place at the CWPA Northern Championship. Coach Minnis was named 2013 CWPA Coach of the Year along with three players earning All-CWPA Northern Division honors, led by Ben Zepfel being named to the first team. The women’s side earned 15 wins in its fourth season under coach Minnis and took fourth place at the CWPA Northern Championships. Melissa Balding was named the 2014 Rookie of the Year, becoming the first ever women’s player to earn that honor. She was joined by Yoshi Andersen who earn first team honors and Shayna Price who was named to the season team.
In 2012-13, Minnis directed both programs to double-digit wins and berths in the CWPA Eastern Championships. The men’s team finished fourth at the CWPA Northern Division Championships, its highest finish since 2007, on its way to a seventh-place finish at Easterns. The men’s team also performed well out of the pool, as 13 Crimson were named CWPA Student-Athletes for the second consecutive season.
The 2013 season saw Minnis direct the women’s program to its longest win streak, eight games, since water polo became an NCAA sport in 2001. Harvard ended the year 18-16 to give itself three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2000-02. The squad also went on to place sixth at the Eastern Championships, tied for the fifth-best finish in program history. Aisha Price ’13 (first team), Ariel Dukes ’15 (second team) and Yoshi Andersen ’16 (second team) were all named to the CWPA All-Southern Division team.
On the women’s side, Harvard completed its second straight winning season (17-12) in 2012 and won four out of five regular season Southern Division contests. The squad, which finished in seventh place at the CWPA Eastern Championships, had one of the biggest wins in recent years, as it took down No. 20 Hartwick, 12-11, on Senior Night. Six Crimson players won a combined 10 Player of the Week awards while Devan Kennifer ’12 (first team) and Elise Molnar ’13 (second team) were named All-Southern Division.
In his first season as a collegiate head coach and first year in charge of the Crimson, Minnis showed immediate success. The men’s squad won its most games (12) in three seasons and matched its CWPA Northern Division Championship finish (fifth) from the previous year. The men’s team also finished third at the Ivy Championships and boasted 13 CWPA Scholar-Athletes and ACWPC All-Academic award winners.
The women’s team was also instantly successful during Minnis’ first season. The Crimson women logged 17 victories, its most wins in six years, and its first above .500 record since 2005. The team had two CWPA Southern Division All-Conference players in Devan Kennifer ’12 and Monica Zdrojewski ’12 and had five different players earn CWPA Southern Division Player of the Week, Defensive Player of the Week or Rookie of the Week honors during the season.
Minnis, who has competed and coached at the youth, club and high school level, came to Cambridge after serving as the interim director of athletics, aquatics director and head water polo and swim coach as Castilleja School in Palo Alto, Calif.
Minnis is a veteran coach at the Stanford Club. During his 10-plus years of service, he won two Junior Olympic bronze medals, a U.S. Club Championship and finished among the top 10 at various national tournaments numerous times. Minnis served as the head coach for the Olympic Development Program Pacific Zone for three years and in 2009 worked with the National Youth team staff. Most recently, his teams picked up a pair of silver medals at the 16 and Under Olympic Development Regional Championship and Zone Championship.
In 2007, Minnis was named the USA Water Polo Development Coach of the Year and in 2005 and 2007 was a Positive Coaching Alliance finalist for coach of the year.
Assistant Coach Jackie Puccino
Jackie Puccino joined the Harvard water polo coaching staff in July 2018. Puccino will enter her fifth season with the Crimson in 2022-23.View Jackie Puccino's Bio ⟩
During the women's campaign in 2022, Puccino helped lead the team to its first-ever CWPA Championship game appearance on his way to earning CWPA Coach of the Year for the second time with the women's team. The team went on to post a 23-7 overall record, the second-highest single season win total in program history. The seven losses also marked the least amount in varsity program history, barring the shortened 2020 season. The Crimson boasted a quartet of All-Conference honorees including Zoe Banks, Inde Halligan, Grace Thawley and Evan Tingler. All four student-athletes also gained ACWPC All-America honors, including a spot on the third team for Halligan.
Returning to competition in 2021, Puccino helped guide the men's team to its third-highest win total in program history, amassing 26 wins. The Crimson was ranked as high as No. 11 in the CWPA National Rankings during the season, and featured a trio of All-America honorees in Noah Hodge, Alex Tsotadze, and Gabe Putnam. Tsotadze, meanwhile, was named NWPC Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the season.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 men's water polo and 2021 women's water polo seasons were canceled by the Ivy League.
In a shortened 2020 season, Puccino helped guide the women's program to a 12-2 overally record, including victories over three ranked oppoenents. The team saw three players win CWPA weekly honors over four separate occasions and reached a season-high national rank of No. 17.
Puccino helped lead the Crimson men to a historic season in 2019, earning an undefeated 27-0 record through regular season play and breaking program records for best start to a season and most consectuive wins. In its sixth consecutive 20-win season, Harvard defeated Princeton to become the new NWPC Champion. Four members of the Crimson – seniors Charlie Owens and Austin Sechrest, junior Dennis Blyashov and sophomore Noah Hodge – earned First Team All-NWPC honors while Owens was named MVP of the conference.
In her first season as assistant coach in 2018-19, Puccino guided the men’s team to a 22-8 overall record and the program’s first victory over a top-three ranked opponent when the team defeated then No. 3 California in triple overtime. On the women’s side, she helped the Crimson to its first varsity program shutout while collecting a 21-8 overall record and just the teams fifth season of 20-plus wins.
Before Harvard, Puccino spent a year as the women’s water polo head coach at San Diego Mesa College, leading the Lady Olympians to a 15-8 record, an undefeated conference season (6-0), PCAC Conference Championship and an appearance in the So Cal Regionals. In addition to her roles as head coach, the 2017 PCAC Coach of the Year spent her time as head coach to the Cathedral Catholic High School girls water polo team and the San Diego Shores water polo club.
Prior to her time at SDMC, Puccino spent five years coaching at her alma mater, Palomar College, helping the Comets to two conference championships and four So-Cal regional appearances while earning the PCAC Coach of the year in 2014 and 2016.
Puccino was named first team All-American while playing at Palomar and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marist before earning a master’s degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific.
Assistant Coach Jacob Castro
On staff is Assistant Coach Jacob Castro. Castro joins the program from Siena College where he helped coach a pair of award winners during his first season.View Jacob Castro's Bio ⟩
Before coaching at Siena, Castro spent six seasons as the head coach of Torrey Pines High School girls' water polo team in San Diego where he led the team to the 2019 CIF-SDS Division I Championship Game. Castro was also on the staff of The Bishop's School's boys' water polo team from 2017-21 which saw them win back-to-back open division CIF-SDS titles in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Previously, Castro was the head coach of the 16U and 18U San Diego Shores Water Polo Club where he helped develop over 30 players that went on to pursue college opportunities. During his time there he helped lead the 16U girls' B program to No. 19 in the national rankings at the 2019 Junior Olympics before going on to win a bronze medal in the Junior Olympics Gold Division two years later.
Castro began his collegiate career at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California where he was named a First Team All-American and a First Team All-Big 8 Conference honoree during his two seasons there. Castro went on to play for UC San Diego where he tallied 11 goals and eight assists in two seasons. The Tritons advanced to the NCAA Final Four in both years Castro was on the team.
Castro earned his bachelor's degree in human development from USCD in 2016 and earned a master's in performance psychology in January 2021 from National University.
We want our campers to come home with experiences that enrich both the quality of their play and their life through a better understanding and greater appreciation for sport, as well as more developed techniques and a heightened level of self-confidence.
- Dates: December 9-10
- Age Group: 14-18
- Gender: Coed
- Camp Type: Day Camp
- Schedule: 9:00am-3:00pm, Saturday-Sunday
- Check-In: 9:00-9:15am at Blodgett Pool
- Lunch: Lunch is not provided. Please bring a packed lunch.
- Program: The Advanced Skills program is designed to provide high school water polo players with the fundamentals, latest drills, in-water scrimmages and position specific training (Divers, Shooters, Goalies and 2 Meter Offense & Defense) essential for improvement. The goal is for campers to come home with experiences that enrich both the quality of their play and their life through a better understanding and greater appreciation for sport, as well as more developed techniques and a heightened level of self-confidence.
Blodgett Pool - Harvard University
79 N Harvard St
Boston, MA 021163
Click Here for Directions
Saturday, December 9th thru Sunday, September 10th
- Check-in: 9:00-9:15am at Blodgett Pool.
- Check-out: 3:00pm at Blodgett Pool.
There is no supervision before or after camp hours so please make arrangements to drop off and pick up your child on time.
Lunch is NOT provided each day. Please bring a healthy lunch and snacks each day.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE FEE?
- Instruction: Morning and afternoon training sessions
- Supervision: Campers are supervised by staff during camp hours.
- Camp T-shirt & Prizes: Campers will receive a Nike Water Polo Camps t-shirt and prizes.
INSTRUCTION, EQUIPMENT & FACILITY
- Ratio: 1:10 staff-to-camper ratio
- Groupings: Campers are grouped by age, ability, and experience.
- Equipment Needed: Please bring your water polo suit, swim cap, googles and towel(s)
- Facility: Blodgett Pool
- Medical Protocol: Most camps have an athletic trainer on-site to help with illness or injury. In case of an emergency, campers will be transported to the nearest hospital.
PREPARE FOR CAMP: COMPLETE YOUR PRE-CAMP CHECKLIST
To view your customer account, complete your mandatory forms, pay balance dues, and review important camp information, visit Pre-Camp Checklist. All necessary camp information is on this page. If there are any imperative changes prior to camp start, registered campers will be notified via email and this webpage will be updated!
CHECKLIST OF THINGS TO BRING
Below is a suggested list of clothes, equipment, and personal items. US Sports Camps is NOT responsible for lost or stolen articles or money.
- Dryland Training Gear (running shoes, t-shirt, athletic shorts, sweatshirt)
- Water Polo Suit
- Swim Cap
- Hat or Visor
- Sandals/Flip Flops
- Water Bottle
- Healthy Lunch and Snack each day
- Signed Health & Release forms and waivers (forms completed online do not need to be printed and turned in at camp)
Transportation is not provided. Campers are responsible for getting to and from camp on their own. There is no supervision before or after camp hours so please make arrangements to pick up your child on time.
For information regarding our cancellation policy and all other company policies, please visit USSC Policies.
Crimson Water Polo Winter Clinic
• Dates: December 9-10
• Camp Hours 9:00am-3:00pm
This clinic is open to any and all high school or going into high school athletes with water polo experience.
The home of Harvard Swimming , Diving and Water Polo. The pool has permanent spectator seating for 1,200, and there is room on the pool deck to accommodate 500 swimmers, coaches, and officials. Blodgett Pool has hosted several men's and women's Ivy and Eastern Championships, and was the site of the 57th annual NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in 1980. In 1991, Blodgett hosted the NCAA Men's Region One Diving Qualifier. Blodgett hosted both the Ivy League men's and women's championships on several occasions.
In addition, the pool is the home of the water polo teams, and served as the host venue for the CWPA Men's Water Polo Northern Championships in 2002 and the Women's Eastern Championships in 2009.
Incredibly good teachers!
December 20, 2021: The coaches were incredibly good teachers and mentors. They taught specific plays and strategies that I was not taught before. In that short period of time, the head coach made us feel like a family.
December 20, 2021: Having exposure to the entire Harvard coaching team was amazing.
December 19, 2021: My daughter was only able to participate on the second day due to a conflict in a tournament for her club team. The organizers and the coach were understanding and accommodating. When she arrived, the coaches ensured that she integrated into the group and provided specific feedback and suggestions. The camp was thoughtfully done, well run and fun for all of the players.
SECURE YOUR SPOT – CAMPS SELL OUT!
Last year over 650 Sports Camps sold out, leaving 7,000+ campers on the waitlist. Due to high demand, early registration for our first-come-first-serve camps is strongly recommended.