Raffi Alapont has been a Head Coach for the West Valley Water Polo Club since 2002. During that time he has been instrumental in building the club from 40 players to over 200 today. He has taken the travel team to Puerto Rico, Spain, and Hungary, as well as throughout the US. He has been a FINA rated official and is currently a USA Water Polo referee. As an athlete, Rafael began swimming competitively at 6 years old and began playing water polo at 12. He attended and played water polo for the University of Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico. Prior to West Valley Water Polo Club, he took Mountain View HS to two league championships and several CCS appearances, the Puerto Rican Youth National Team to a Gold Medal in Mexico, his club in Florida to the Florida State 19 and under Championships, Brantley HS(Florida) boys to 3rd place and girls to 2nd place in the Florida State Championships. Rafael is also an excellent math instructor and has taught at both Mountain View and Homestead HS, and currently teaches math at Prospect High School. He is married to Teresa and has three sons, Justin, Aaron and Alton.
Teresa earned a degree in Finance from Santa Clara University and has been working in the financial field for the past 20 plus years. During those years, she was a financial analyst and accountant for numerous private companies. She was also a financial advisor with Ameriprice and Citi Wealth Management group for the last 6 years prior to her retirement to become a stay-at-home mom. In addition, she has been a tireless community volunteer for several schools and non-profit organizations. She has been a Team Mom for high school water polo teams, has served as a board member for a local swim club, and as a volunteer coordinator and manager for concession stands at many very large, zone swim meets. She has been instrumental in the setting up and organizational aspects of the West Valley Water Polo Foundation and is key to the successfully functioning business aspect of the club. She is currently the administrator and key liaison between parents, coaches and the board members for the club. In her spare time, she also volunteers with a local CPA Firm to help need-based clients in the community and is working with the Mountain View High School Athletic Department to implement a new tracking system for their athletes.
12U & 18U Girls Head Coach
Don has been coaching with West Valley Water Polo Club for the last seven years and has been involved with every age group, both boys and girls, and he has taken club teams to Spain, Hungary, Puerto Rico and Florida. Don has coached water polo at Mercy HS in Burlingame, Mountain View HS, where he lead the girls to 3 CCS berths and a quarter final ,which was a school first, as well as the boys to 3 CCS berths. He is currently the Head Women’s Water Polo Coach at Los Gatos HS and has taken them both to the CCS quarter finals each year, and won the championship title in 2015. A large number of his athletes from these high schools have gone on to play for a wide range of universities and colleges. As an athlete, Don was a water polo player and swimmer at Junipero Serra HS in San Mateo where he was four time team captain, received All-League honors and was a CCS finalist in the 100 Breast and 200 IM. Don also played for Burlingame Water Polo under Bob Greene(Serra HS) and Keith Wilbur(Santa Clara University) and played in the Junior Olympics and in Hawaii. He then played for Bruce Watson at West Valley College and was an All-American both years and won a State Championship. Don is currently completing his studies at San Jose State University.
14U & 16U Girls Head Coach
Aaron has been playing and coaching for over 30 years. He grew up in Orange County, California, where he was trained by great coaches as well as several olympians (Doug Kimbell, Terry Schroeder and others). During his high school career he was named to All-League, All-County and All-America teams. He was then the inaugural recruit for the BYU-Hawai‘i Men’s Water Polo Program. While there, he served as Team Captain as well as the athletics representative on the Student Academic Advisory Council, all while earning the Scholar-Athlete Award. He has since worked with all levels of athletes, including numerous national team and olympic athletes from various countries. He has also had the opportunity to mentor under and learn from several internationally recognized coaches such as Michel Roy (Canadian National Team), Pat Oaten (Brazilian and Canadian National Teams), Sean Nolan (U.S. National Team) and others. He has owned, operated, and administered various clubs and non-profit clubs over the years. He has been living and coaching in Hawai‘i on and off for the last 15 years, where he coached at Kahuku HS, Mililani HS, Pac-5, University of Hawai‘i, and the Olympic Development Program. Locally, he previously coached at Archbishop Mitty and Lynbrook High Schools. In his non-water-polo life, Coach Waldrip is a Linguist, speaks several languages, and is working with endangered language communities around the world.
16U Boys Head Coach
Gábor Sarusi is currently the Head Women’s Water Polo Coach at San Jose State University and also coaches the 16 and Under boys teams at West Valley Water Polo Club. Gábor grew up in Hungary where he played Division 1 level water polo. He played at West Valley College, where he was an All-American. He also was an All-American Honorable Mention at University of Southern California and played in two NCAA championship games and won an MPSF title. Currently, he is a member of the New York Athletic Club and has won a USA Water Polo National Championship with them. Gábor has coached at Loyola HS in Los Angeles and won numerous league championships, made the CIF playoffs three straight years and a California State High School championship in 2010. He has coached with Trojan Water Polo Club on several age levels and sent several athletes to the Olympic Development Program and recent NCAA championship teams. Gábor was the Head Coach for Mountain View High School for 4 years, where they won the De Anza League, and played in the CCS championships every year finishing twice in the semi-finals, and beating the No.1 ranked team the previous year. Mountain View had numerous players who made All-CCS. Gábor was also named one of the coaches for Division I for the High School All-Star Games twice.
Bruce is currently the Men’s Head Coach for the newly reinstated NCAA Division I team at San Jose State University, which began Fall 2015. He was formerly at West Valley College, where he had been since 1979. During that time, his Men’s teams have won 21 Northern California Championships and 6 State Championships. He has had over 100 All-Americans who have also transferred to major universities to earn degrees and continue their careers. He has been California Community College and US Water Polo Pacific Zone Coach of the Year several times. Coach Watson played his college water polo at San Jose State University where he was All-American. He has also been a US Water Polo All-American several times and is a former member of the United States National Team. Bruce has also won a FINA Masters 50 and Over World Championship as a player, and officiated over 30 International water polo matches. Besides coaching West Valley College and the 18 and Under’s for West Valley Water Polo, Bruce also coaches the Olympic Club Men’s Open team. Bruce was recently inducted into the San Jose State Athletic Hall of Fame and is only the fourth water polo player to be inducted.
As a former swimmer and collegiate water polo player, Heather has always been passionate about aquatics. After years of coaching swimming, Heather began coaching water polo in 2011. Heather coached at Saratoga High School for two years and has been teaching and coaching at Homestead High School ever since. Heather started coaching for West Valley in 2017.