Two years after launching a women's swimming program, Allan Hancock College has announced plans to launch a women's water polo team. The announcement will allow women's water polo players in the Santa Maria Valley to take their game to next level close to home. The program will begin official practices on August 15 to compete during the 2015 season, which starts in September.
"There has been a significant interest from our students, as well as a demonstrated interest from members of the community to start a water polo program for a long time," said Kim Ensing, associate dean of kinesiology, recreation and athletics. "The announcement represents the next step in expanding our aquatics program and maintaining compliance with Title IX."
The water polo team will replace Hancock's women's cross country program, a fall sport that has experienced a recent drop in student-athlete participation.
Ben Britten will serve as the head coach of the Hancock women's water polo program. Currently, Britten is as an assistant coach on the women's swim team and academic support counselor in the athletics department.
"We are excited to bring college-level water polo to the community. There is a large high school base of talent and we look forward to providing these student-athletes with a gateway into the university system," said Britten. Prior to Hancock, Britten was the head age group coach of the Clovis Swim Club and a volunteer assistant coach at Fresno State.
The Hancock women's water polo team will compete in the Western State Conference. Practices will take place at the pool on the Santa Maria campus.
Students who are interested in playing on the inaugural water polo team should call the athletic department at (805) 922-6966 ext. 3227 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.