Wave Standout William Rodriguez Rejoins Men's Water Polo Staff for 2012 Season
July 31, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - Former Wave student-athlete and assistant coach William "Willo" Rodriguez rejoins the men's water polo staff for the 2012 season, Pepperdine announced today.
Rodriguez will join the Waves and interim head coach Gary O'Brien this upcoming season as an assistant coach and will continue in 2013 under future head coach Terry Schroeder. Rodriguez was an assistant for the Waves for two seasons in 2006 and 2007 after being a student-athlete during the 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
During his time as a student-athlete, Rodriguez helped the Waves compile a 30-16 overall record and was known as one of the team's top drivers. The 2002 campaign saw the Waves post a 16-10 overall record, place first in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with a 7-1 record and end the season with a No. 3 national ranking.
Prior to his two playing seasons at Pepperdine, Rodriguez led West Valley College, located in Saratoga, Calif., to consecutive state championships while earning All-America honors.
A standout performer both before and after his collegiate career, Rodriguez earned a spot on the 1995 Puerto Rican Junior team. After graduating he enjoyed a successful international water polo career. In 2003, he competed with the Puerto Rican National Team at the Olympic Qualifying tournament held in Rio do Janeiro, Brazil. Some of his numerous stops in the international water polo circuit include Spain, Croatia, Cuba, Brazil, and Greece.
Rodriguez graduated from Pepperdine in 2003 and earned Master's Degree in Physical Education in 2010. He is planning to pursue a Doctorate Degree in Educational Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University.
In his two seasons as an assistant coach under then-head coach Jack Kocur, Rodriguez tallied a career record of 40-27 as the Waves finished tied for sixth in the ever-competitive MPSF in both seasons.
Rodriguez has stayed within the collegiate water polo coaching fold since leaving Pepperdine, spending the 2009-10 season as the assistant women's water polo coach at Rio Hondo College. In the 2010-12 seasons he was an assistant men's and women's water polo coach at USC.
"Not everyone gets the opportunity to play and go to school at such a special place as Pepperdine University," Rodriguez explained. "Being a Wave was one of my biggest dreams since I was 8 years old. After seeing Terry Schroeder score a last-minute goal against Hungary in the 1988 Olympics in Korea, I knew I would one day get to meet the man in person and play for him."
"Playing and coaching at Pepperdine have been by far the most meaningful highlights of my water polo career," said Rodriguez. "Being able to once again coach with Terry Schroeder, who is considered the father of Pepperdine water polo, is an honor. I look forward to the challenges ahead and re-establishing Pepperdine water polo as one of the premier water polo programs in the country."
The Waves will open up the 2012 season on Sept. 1 at the UCLA Invitational.