Nov. 26, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After leading the Air Force water polo team to its first WWPA title since 1994, Falcons' head coach Jeff Heidmous was chosen by his peers as the Western Water Polo Association Coach of the Year. It marks the third time that Heidmous has earned the award, after being named WWPA Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1994.
Under Heidmous' guidance, the Falcons, seeded third at the WWPA Championship, defeated top-seed UC San Diego, 9-7, to earn the WWPA automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The Falcons, currently ranked 10th in the nation, hold a 19-10 record entering the national championships, marking Air Force's highest win total since 1999.
After capturing the WWPA title, four Falcons were named to the WWPA All-Tournament team, including MVP Cruz Smithson. Meanwhile, four Air Force players were also named to the All-WWPA postseason honors list, including first-team All-WWPA selection Josh Stedman.
This weekend, Dec. 1-2, the Falcons will head to their first NCAA Championship since 1994, and their first national tournament since the field was trimmed to four teams. Air Force, seeded fourth, will take on undefeated host USC in the first game of the weekend, while second-seed UCLA and third-seed St. Francis will play in the second semi-final. Sunday's games include the third-place contest and the title game. All four games this weekend will be played at McDonald's Swim Stadium in Los Angeles and streamed live on www.NCAA.com.