Marcelo Leonardi Named Water Polo Interim Head Coach

Sept. 25, 2009

Northridge, Calif. - Marcelo Leonardi has been named interim head coach of the nationally-ranked Cal State Northridge women's water polo program.

His appointment was announced today by Matador athletic director Rick Mazzuto.

"I am delighted to have Marcelo Leonardi serve as head coach of Matador women's water polo," said Mazzuto. "He brings significant experience to the position and has previously received coaching honors outside the University."

Leonardi is no stranger to the CSUN water polo program. Leonardi previously served four seasons as a Matador assistant coach. His coaching expertise helped the Matadors to a 20-16 overall record last year, a share of the Big West Conference regular season title (4-1), and a national ranking (#12).

"It is an honor and privilege to be named interim head coach of the women's water polo program at Cal State Northridge," said Leonardi. "I am very excited about coaching the student-athletes and look forward to building on the academic and athletic success that women's water polo program has achieved."

Before arriving at Cal State Northridge, Leonardi served as head coach of the El Rancho High School girl's water polo and swim programs for six years. Under his leadership, the Dons won the Del Rio League water polo titles in 2003 and 2004.

During the 2004 season, Leonardi coached the Dons to the CIF Division III championship game. For his efforts, Leonardi was named the CIF Division III Coach of the Year.

Also in 2004, Leonardi coached El Rancho HS to the league title in swimming.

Also among Leonardi's coaching highlights include being named Coastal California Women's National Youth Zone Coach (2003-05), Top 40 women's Speedo Head Coach for Team Graffiti in 2004 and founder, director and coach for the El Rancho Water Polo Club (2002-09). Leonardi has also coached several age group clubs in recent years.

Leonardi has also been selected as the San Gabriel Valley Women's All-Star water polo coach three times, as well as the SGV women's water polo district coach in 2004.

Leonardi graduated from Whittier College in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in Biology and Spanish. In 2001, Leonardi earned his master's degree in Education. Two years later, Leonardi added a teaching credential in Biology/Life Sciences.

Leonardi is currently attending Azusa Pacific, where he is completing his Doctor of Education degree.

Leonardi takes over for Molly Barnes, who resigned following eight years as head coach of the Matadors.

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