Club Director and President
Head Coach - Age Group Water Polo, 16u & 18u Boys Water Polo
Duje Grubisic’s water polo career began in Croatia, where he played professional water polo, starting at the age of sixteen, and had the immense opportunity of being coached by some of the best water polo coaches in the world. Duje then landed a full water polo scholarship at Concordia University where he was voted most valuable player and earned all-American honors, three years in a row. After his undergraduate work, he was offered a graduate scholarship and while earning his Master’s Degree also landed a position as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s water polo team at Concordia. Additionally, Duje has been recognized as the captain of every water polo team he has been a part of.
Duje’s coaching career started shortly after he arrived in America. In his first year as a coach, he led the Orange County Water Polo Club’s 14U team to 2nd place in the US Junior Olympics. The following year he coached the Northwood Water Polo Club’s 10U to 3rd place in the Junior Olympics. In the following years, the teams he has coached have consistently ranked in the top six teams in the nation.
Throughout his years of coaching, Duje has been a role model in how to successfully resolve conflicts between players and address the concerns of parents. He has also had the enjoyment of witnessing some of the kids he has coached utilize water polo as a catalyst to get into the college of their choice. However, the real enjoyment for Duje is teaching kids life lessons through water polo and watching them develop into respectful and driven adults.
Duje is also Head Coach at Beckman High School for Boys Water Polo as well as Assistant Head Coach for Girls Water Polo. Contact Duje here
Head Coach - 16U and 18U Girls Water Polo
Head Coach - Swimming
Coach Matt Calhoun is from Visalia, CA in the central valley where he played water polo and swam for Mt. Whitney High School. After graduating he attended the College of the Sequoias for an associate's degree, where he also swam, before transferring to UC Davis. At Davis he studied Psychology and played for the men's club water polo team.
Matt has been coaching water polo since the age of 19 beginning with the JV girls water polo team at Golden West High School. While in college he also coached the women's club water polo B team and was president of the men's club team for 2 years. Post-college Matt moved to Southern California and began assistant coaching for the Socal boy's and girl's 18U and 16U water polo teams. This is when Matt began assisting at Beckman High School for boys and girls water polo and swimming.
Coach Matt has been with Patriot Aquatics since the beginning and continues to encourage athletes to play with passion. He loves the sports of swimming and water polo and enjoys seeing the joy it can bring to athletes of all ages. He believes every athlete can find success with a good attitude and their best effort. He will continue to coach and support all athletes in the Patriot program.
Head Coach - High School Swimming
T.J. Prendergast started swimming at the age of 9 and began playing water polo as a freshman at University High School. After high school, he played water polo and swam for Santa Ana College and then Orange Coast College. He played one year at UC Santa Barbara before taking on an assistant coaching job there. He also was a player/coach for the Southern Illinois University club team for 2 years. His high school coaching career began at Rancho Buena Vista High School in North San Diego County. In his 8 years there he led his boys water polo team to six CIF appearances, reaching the semi-finals once. His swim program qualified swimmers every year and the boys program won a league title and got 2nd in CIF. In 2004, he started the Beckman girls water polo and swim programs and he still is the only girls swim coach Beckman has ever had. In his time here, the swim program has had qualified swimmers or divers for CIF championships every year, including the State Championships the three years that it has existed. He is excited to have started the Patriot Aquatics' high school swim program to help the swimmers be better prepared for their high school swim season.
Coach - 12U Boys Water Polo
Coach Santiago "Santi" Rodriguez was born in Medellin, Colombia, where he began playing competitive water polo at the age of 9. As a teenager, he was selected to the Colombian National Team and played in four international tournaments. Santiago came to visit California with the Medellin Water Polo Club when he was 15; the head water polo coach at American River College in Sacramento was so impressed that he recruited Santi and he played there for two years - earning All-American honors two years in a row. Santi then transferred to Concordia University on a water polo scholarship, where he will be graduating in December 2017 with a degree in International Business. Santi has extensive coaching experience in both water polo and swimming and is very popular with his students.
Coach - 14U Boys Water Polo
Coach John Roberts is from Northbrook, Illinois and played water polo and swam all four years at Glenbrook North HS, three of those being on Varsity. John earned All-Confrence and All-Sectional in those three years. In his senior year he was also a swim state qualifier and placed top 20 in the 50 freestyle. John also played club for North Beach Water Polo, where he took training trips and played with some of the best teams in Southern California. This past (sophomore) season at Concordia University, he started 18 games and is looking forward to his junior season in the Fall of 2017. At Concordia he is majoring in Communication and looking to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. John has also coached at his former club teams; North Beach and Back Bay Water Polo. He is excited to teach the team how to be exceptional players and upstanding young men and women.
Assistant Coach - High School Water Polo & Swimming
Coach Tijmen Egtberts was born and raised in The Netherlands. He started playing competitive water polo at the age of 8. His talent got recognized at Santa Rosa Junior College where he played for two years and was added to the coaching staff for one year as well. Tijmen continued his education at Concordia University where he played water polo for one year and was Senior Captain of the swim team his final year. He graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor's degree in sports management and currently attends Concordia where he is working on a Masters of Science degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration with a focus on aquatics.
As a coach, Tijmen has 8 years of experience and in 2017 he coached a 10U team that won the gold division at NJO's, while only having one substitute for the entire tournament. The younger athletes are the ones that coach Tijmen connects with the most, while enjoying overall the personal development that water polo brings.
Assistant Coach - Girls Water Polo
Jake Snyder started his water polo career at SOCAL Water Polo Club, where he went on to play for Foothill High School. He was Knight of the Year his senior year and made first-team all-CIF, and also was All-American. Jake is now a senior at Concordia University in Irvine where he is playing on a water polo scholarship. He began his coaching career two years ago with the Kahuna Water Polo Club, and now he is looking forward to helping the young boys and girls of Patriot Water Polo improve their water polo skills.
Assistant Coach - High School Water Polo
Coach Rhett was born in Oceanside, California where he attended Vista High School and began playing water polo and swimming his sophomore year going on to hold school records in both swimming (100 Butterfly), and water polo (assists). He went on to play water polo at Palomar Junior College where he was a 2-time State Goals and Steals Leader, All-American, First Team SoCal, and First Team All-Conference athlete. He was recruited to play water polo and swim at Concordia University Irvine where he later graduated with a Bachelors in Exercise Sport Science. Rhett has been coaching for 7 years throughout Southern California and is excited to continue teaching young athletes with Patriot Aquatics.
Specialized Coach - Goalies and Drivers, Boys and Girls
Chris Dawson started playing water polo his sophomore year at Davis High School in Davis, California. His senior year he switched to the position of goalie and was able to make the UC Davis varsity team to start his college career. After freshman year as a goalie, Chris switched back to the field and played alongside fellow Patriot coach Matt Calhoun with the UC Davis Club.
After playing through college, Chris started to coach with the Davis Club and specialized in goalies. Chris is very excited to coach with the Patriot Club and specifically with goalies and drivers.
Assistant Coach - 10U Water Polo
Coach Jeff Hamilton was born in Anaheim, California where he attended Canyon High School and began playing water polo and swimming his Freshman year going on to play with the Junior Olympics Travel Team B. He continued playing with Golden West College where he was awarded All-American status in 1996 and 1997.
Coach Hamilton then joined the U.S. Submarine Service and later graduated with a degree in plasma physics from the University of California Irvine. Jeff has over 20 years of water polo experience and is excited to be an assistant coach for the 10U Patriot water polo team.
Assistant Coach - 10U Water Polo
Coach Robert Amakasu’s water polo roots began when he started swimming at the age of 6. He swam all the way until high school where he followed the path of his older brothers and started playing water polo. He played varsity water polo and swimming at Bonita High School.
After graduating, Robert became an assistant coach at Claremont High School for 2 years. Later he served as an assistant coach to head coach and brother, Mark Amakasu at Bonita High School. The two helped Bonita High School win the CIF championship in 2005. Robert is also a coach for USA Basketball and has been coaching boys and girls of ages 6 to 12 for four years now.
Robert is married with three children that are involved in many different sports. He is a resident of Irvine and is thrilled to return to the water polo community to help Patriot Aquatics grow.
Assistant Coach - 16U and 18U Boys Water Polo
Coach Mason Reynoso has been playing water polo for the past 10 years on club teams and was a 4-year Varsity Water Polo starter at Beckman High School, as well as a 4-year Varsity Swimmer. At Beckman, he helped take his team to 2nd place for two years in a row in the Division 1 Pacific Coast League. As a club water polo player, Mason medaled twice at the Junior Olympics; was named to the Junior Olympic All-Tournament 1st Team; was named All-American by USAWP; medaled at dozens of tournaments over the years and was named All-Tournament 1st Team or 2nd Team multiple times. Mason is currently playing water polo at Golden West College as a 2-meter player. He enjoys giving back to the sport of water polo by coaching at Patriot Aquatics, and is thankful to work with Coach Duje!
Assistant Coach - Swimming
Coach Heidi Walker started swimming at the age of 13 for a recreational summer team and continues to swim with the Mission Viejo Nadadores masters team. Heidi played basketball and swam all four years of high school and continued to swim and play basketball in junior college. After college, Heidi began the sport of triathlon and is currently on the Ferrari of Newport Beach Multisport Racing Team. Heidi is a PE teacher at Beckman High School. She finds teaching and coaching to be very rewarding.
Assistant Coach - Swimming
Coach Casie Gallegos is currently a junior at California State University, Fullerton studying for a business degree in finance. She swam (4 years varsity) and played water polo (3 years varsity) for her high school team at Beckman High School for all four years. Casie has been giving swim lessons in her neighborhood for 6 years. She loves to watch kids improve their swimming abilities and accomplish their goals.