Aug. 3, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University water polo program will operate under the direction of Todd Clapper, who will assume the head coaching duties of the Sun Devils, it was announced Wednesday by Lisa Love, Vice President of Athletics. Clapper, who served as an assistant coach with the program during the 2005 season, will begin his role immediately as the Sun Devils prepare for the 2006 season, their fifth overall and second as a member of the highly-competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF).
"I am very excited and honored to accept this position," Clapper said. "The support received from the University, the Athletic Department and its support staff makes Tempe an ideal coaching destination and I am fell fortunate to have this great opportunity. It is an exciting time to be a part of Arizona State athletics with Lisa Love coming in and bringing such a strong vision of success. Couple that with President Michael Crow's vision for the University on a whole and this is a great place to be. I look forward to doing my part to help guide the Sun Devil water polo program along that path of success in both athletics and academics."
Clapper, a native of Hollidaysburg, Pa., and 1997 graduate of Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pa., is set to begin his third head coaching position overall and second at the collegiate level. Prior to ASU, Clapper served as the head coach of both the men's and women's programs at Brown University from 1999-2004. Before that, he was the head coach of Wissahickon High School in 1998. He also served as the interim head coach for the Sun Devils during the past summer after the program's only head coach, Vicki Gorman, resigned to pursue other professional opportunities.
"Todd Clapper will lead the ASU water polo program in short order to Top 10 national status and continue the rise to create a national contender," Love said. "He balances his competitive talent and passion with a commitment to the entire collegiate experience for the student-athlete. We look forward to an exciting future under his leadership."
A four-year letter winner at The Rock as a goalkeeper, Clapper directed the defense and goal keeping efforts of the Sun Devils in 2005 and helped guide true freshman Caylinn Wallace to a stellar rookie campaign that saw her earn a place on the MPSF All-Freshman Team. She also was selected as the MPSF Player of the Week following a school-record 22-save performance against No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, an 8-7 overtime upset win for ASU. For his efforts, Clapper spent the summer working with the young goal keeping corps of Team USA that helped the Americans to a second-place finish at the World Championships in Montreal, Canada.
Several solid veterans return to the fold for the 2006 campaign, as do several talented newcomers Clapper had a hand in recruiting to ASU.
"We have a great returning group of student-athletes as well as some strong new coming in this season," Clapper said. "After working with many of the athletes last year and seeing what they could do, I am very excited to get the season underway as I feel we can make a serious impact in the MPSF and work toward our goal of being one of the premier programs in the nation."
While at BU, Clapper was selected for several coaching accolades, including coach of the year in the New England (2000), Eastern Championships (2001, 2003), Northern Division (2002) and Northeastern (2004) categories. In 2001, he guided the Bear women to an appearance in the inaugural NCAA Championships, a rare feat for an eastern team in a western-dominated sport.
Prior to his time as a coach, Clapper competed for The Rock from 1993-97 and captained the team as a senior in 1996. A former walk-on, he helped lead the team to a Top 15 national ranking after taking over the starting goalie duties as a sophomore. Also as a senior, he was a second-team all-conference selection. Out of the pool, Clapper excelled academically, graduating Cum Laude with a BS in Exercise Science (aquatic emphasis) while also attaining a minor in Adapted Physical Activity and Rehabilitation.