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Cal Women's Water Polo Q&A | Head Coach Coralie Simmons

Coralie Simmons is in her fourth year as the head coach of the Cal women's water polo program. In each of her first three years in Berkeley, Simmons led Cal to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships. 

How has your team managed the disappointment of the 2020 season being cut short as they prepare for next year?

"The disappointment has been excruciating, especially for our senior class. Since the announcement, we have supported one another remotely as much as possible. We have committed to staying mindful for teammates, as well as the broader community. The act of supporting and showing care has invited healing for team members. We are currently turning the corner and getting excited about our upcoming offseason and 2021 season."


How has your team stayed engaged with each other since the middle of March and have you used any creative approaches? 

"We have experimented with all means of communication. Before reading week and finals week, we engaged in several scheduled Zooms per week. And, currently we are revisiting Zooms together 1-2 times per week. These Zooms included: trivia, documentary reviews, book reviews, goal sharing, quote sharing, and guest speakers (topics: post college careers, study abroad, play professionally, Olympic journeys). The distance is difficult, but we are creative with ways to stay connected."


What does your day-to-day routine look like working from home and have you utilized this time to focus on interests of yours you wouldn't normally have time for?

"Shelter-in-place has been an amazing way to touch back in with my family at a time where I'm usually traveling for competitions or recruiting. My kids and I have tapped in to several art and gardening projects. We are finding creative ways to collaborate and enjoy one another's company. But, the balance has been difficult. My wife and I are both working from home and trying to homeschool our kids. It has been a challenge, but we are working well as a family unit, and we're definitely finding the silver linings!"


Give us a brief look ahead to the 2021 season. (Note: No seniors plan to return.)

"Our 2021 season is going to be exciting. We have a talented and vibrant freshman class as well as a seasoned senior unit. All parties are going to be highly motivated and hungry for competition. Thus far the team has been thoughtful about their fitness and connectedness. The work they put in now will be extremely beneficial in 2021!"


What would you like aquatics supporters to know about the current crowdfunding challenge and its importance?

"As we all know, Cal women's water polo and all the aquatics sports are world class. We maintain this because of our environment, commitments, and alumni support. Our ongoing crowdfunding challenge is a way for our program to maintain this standard of excellence. We've teamed up with men's swimming and hope to contribute to the aquatics challenge. Women's water polo aims to bring in new and old supporters to reach our fundraising needs and goals. Get involved! Give back!"

May 12, 2020 FEATURE

To support Cal baseball and exceptional, well-rounded experiences for the program's student-athletes, click the button below.

Cal Baseball Q&A | Head Coach Mike Neu

Mike Neu is his third year as Cal baseball's head coach after directing the Bears to their first NCAA regional appearance in four

years in 2019.

How did your team respond to the season being cut short, and do you expect some of your seniors to come back next year?

"It is obviously difficult to cut a season short especially when we are about to start conference play. The future really depends on a lot of factors we cannot control, including the MLB draft as well as the potential scholarship and roster sizes that have yet to be determined in our sport. We are doing everything possible to be sure our seniors have opportunities that fit their goals moving forward." 


How does your team stay engaged with each other on a weekly basis?

"We have 2-3 Zoom meetings each week at scheduled times. It started off as informative meetings, but we have transitioned into a guest speaker series that includes an impressive group of Cal baseball alumni that are very successful in baseball or their respective careers. It has helped our program grow, stay connected, and understand more deeply that we are at the best university in the world."  


What do workouts look like for your team during shelter in place and with social distancing guidelines?

"The team has voluntary workouts and practice plans loaded on their BridgeTracker app. This provides them a schedule each day and a progression to prepare for the summer baseball season."   


What does your day-to-day routine look like and have you been able to focus your time on any new interests?

"The positive aspect is obviously getting to spend more time with my family in the spring and still continue to work from home. As a program, we understand that we will either come out ahead or behind when the pandemic ends, and it is not an option to be behind. We continue to recruit, develop, and interact with the team. It just takes more creativity and an adjusted vision." 


What are the biggest challenges facing your program during these uncertain times?

"We want to be on the field and compete each day as well as develop the players in our program and recruit. We cannot do any of those things now so we just work to be prepared for when we can get back out there." 




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