Harvard hires away another Castilleja water polo coach


The Castilleja water polo program has lost another coach to Harvard University, with the announcement that Crimson water polo coach Ted Minnis has hired Jessi Wood to join the men's and women's coaching staffs. Wood reunites with Minnis in Cambridge after serving as his assistant coach at Castilleja for the past two years.

"I am very excited for Jessi to join me on the East Coast," said Minnis. "She will be an incredible addition to the water polo family and will add a great about of knowledge and skill to the coaching staff. I am lucky she was able to move cross country so quickly and step into her role immediately."

Wood, a former top recruit for the University of California who was sidelined with injuries, started her coaching career while in college when she served as a pool site director and swim instructor for the Little Dipper Swim School.

She joined Minnis on the Castilleja staff in August of 2008. During her tenure, Wood served as the junior varsity head coach, varsity assistant before being promoted to associate head coach. In addition to her water polo duties, she coached the swim team and was a substitute teacher in the fitness and wellness department.

Wood also has experience coaching Olympic Development program with Golden Bear Water Polo and College Park High in the East Bay. For the past six months, she has served as the Aquatics Director at the Menlo Country Club. At the Stanford Water Polo Club, she coached the girls U12, U14 and U16 teams.

Wood graduated from Cal in 2008 with a degree in education and social change.

Castilleja coach Brenda Villa, meanwhile, filled her assistant coach vacancy by hiring fellow Olympian Jessica Steffens. Like Villa, Steffens is a Stanford graduate (2010) and played in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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