The Coronado Aquatics Club has named Coronado native and five-time Olympian Jesse Smith its new executive director. Smith has represented the United States in water polo for nearly two decades.
“I grew up in the pool in Coronado and I’m thrilled to be back,” said Smith. “I look forward to working with the outstanding team in place, and tapping into the knowledge and skills I have acquired playing water polo at every level, all over the world, to help develop the next generation of water polo players.”
“It’s exciting to be a part of rebuilding a club with such prestige and legacy in a tight knit, historical community,” said Coronado Aquatics Club Board Member Jamie Reid. “I can’t wait to see the evolution that Jesse, Coach Laci and the Board sets in motion.”
Smith was a member of Team USA at the Olympics in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020, earning a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing games. In addition to his Olympic accolades, Smith was a member of the gold medal-winning team in the Pan American Games four times (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015), and part of a fourth-place finish at the 2009 World Championships. He is passionate about advancing the game of water polo and sharing its benefits with a diverse audience.
“We’ve been looking for ways to get kids in the water and give them those life skills of dedication, of excellence, but also just having fun,” said Smith. “It’s really about persevering and committing to something and going for it with all your body, all your mind, all your spirit.”
Smith is a 2001 graduate of Coronado High School, where he was a two-time San Diego Union-Tribune Player of the Year and a three-time CIF champion. At Pepperdine University, he was a four-time All-American and team captain. During his four seasons with the Waves, Pepperdine went 67-35 overall and won the 2002 MPSF regular-season title. Smith was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2005, Smith began his professional career, playing in countries including Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Turkey, Brazil and Egypt. He has been coaching and consulting at USA Water Polo and independent camps since 2003.
Smith and his wife, Brittany, have five children: Brooks (12), Samuel (10), Sawyer (7), Amelia (3) and Penelope (1). They live in San Diego.
VOL. 112, NO. 34 - Aug. 24, 2022