BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — No head coach in the history of Pennsylvania high school water polo has ever taken home state titles as the head coach for both men’s and women’s teams.
That is, no head coach had ever taken home such titles before 2017, when North Penn High School head water polo coach Jason Grubb became the first such coach in the history of the state to bring home both men’s and women’s state titles.
“Our sights were on a state championship for both programs,” Grubb said. “Ideally you want to win every game but the losses we had this year helped us work on our flaws.”
Grubb notes that both teams had four combined losses on the season, all by a single goal and three of the four losses were in overtime. This, Grubb mentioned, kept the team “hungry and motivated.”
For his accomplishments in the high school season, Grubb was named the coach for the Pennsylvania Public School All-Star Team in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) High School All-Star Game. The event was held in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Championship held at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. on November 17-19. The High School All-Star game is designed to bring together top players from programs across the Northeast to showcase their talents in front of collegiate coaches and give the student athletes an opportunity to play in a fun game.
“It is cool to see athletes that a few weeks prior that worked hard to beat each other now get together and play a fun relaxed game with each other,” Grubb said of the All-Star Game. “It is a great addition that the CWPA has implemented to showcase these hard working athletes.”
Becoming a success in coaching is enough of an accomplishment in any sport, but for Grubb, his life with the pool does not stop there. Grubb also serves on the swimming team at North Penn as assistant coach, under head coach Jeff Faikish. Faikish also serves as the assistant coach on the water polo team under Grubb.
“Our coordination between the water polo and swim programs is key to our success,” Grubb notes. “We want our kids to be well-rounded student athletes. Most of our athletes play water polo and swim.”
Grubb and Faikish coordinate with full-time aquatics director Rhonda Diliberto to make sure both of the programs are “top of the line.”
“Both sports mesh well and aid each other,” Grubb says.
The biggest challenge for Grubb, he says, is Age Group Development for North Penn, which is another one of his responsibilities.
“You have to put a lot of time and energy into the youth programs. We have some great age group coaches at our school for both water polo and swimming. Their hard work has huge payoffs for the program’s future,” Grubb says. “Both Jeff and myself are there for everything from our high school athletes down to our eight-and-unders.”
Beyond age group development and coaching, Grubb is also involved with the CWPA as an official. Grubb credits Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Commissioner Dan Sharadin and Assistant Commissioner Tom Tracey for helping him become involved with the organization.
Grubb thanks his wife and daughter for their flexibility in the fall and winter, because during water polo season his schedule becomes very hectic. Without their support, he says, none of this would be possible.
2017 was a good year for Jason Grubb. 2018 provides opportunity for the defending state-champion coach as he looks to defend his multiple state water polo titles.