Questions for Hunt
Coach talks tough losses, coaching and young players
To understand the greatness of the UC Irvine water polo program, one only has to look at the NCAA Championship plaques or peruse a listing of Olympians who have played for the Anteaters. Once again, UC Irvine is sporting a top ten squad that is brimming with talent. The Anteaters are led by two-time MPSF Coach of the Year Marc Hunt.
UC Irvine has had a mixture of results this season as you have had good wins against UCSB and Pepperdine but also some tough losses in a later rematch with UCSB and against UCLA. Why is that and how do you remedy it?
Hunt: We're just a young crew. Last season, we graduated seven seniors including five All-Americans which were our most since 1986. We only returned one starter in Mitch Wise. What we are is a talented, inexperienced, pretty tough group that is going through some growing pains.
One constant refrain you hear about UC Irvine is that the Anteaters do the best job of coaching up players. That UC Irvine is great at taking that under recruited guy and maxing them out. Can you talk to us about that?
Hunt: That was Coach Newland's trademark and I am a result of that. Nobody recruited me out of high school. Coach Newland's philosophy was based around a couple of principles which are discipline and self-motivation. Guys like Ryan Bailey, Jeff Powers and Dan Klatt are a result of that. There are no secrets. You just put in the time.
Mitch Wise is a sophomore from Oregon that has blown up this season as he has fifty-two goals in nineteen games. Can you tell us about his growth from good to great?
Hunt: Mitch still has a ways to go. He is a very talented natural athlete. It is like finding a needle in a haystack to have somebody with his athleticism and ability. He is a confident player and he can shoot the ball. Mitch works hard and has become a good defender.