By Charles Rich, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 31, 2014
Following two successful seasons as coach of the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team, one which included a historic CIF Southern Section Division V championship in 2013, Brent Danna has resigned.
Danna tendered his resignation as the Falcons' girls' water polo and swimming coach last week, but might remain a history teacher at the school. Danna will coach the summer boys' and girls' water polo teams at El Toro High in Orange County. He graduated from El Toro in 2003.
"El Toro asked me a couple of weeks ago about coaching the teams during the summer and I thought it would be a great opportunity," said Danna, who finished 56-9 and 16-0 in the Pacific League at Crescenta Valley during his tenure. "I let CV and the team know about it because I have a lot of respect for CV.
"I'm also getting married in August and my fiancé has got a good job here in Orange County. She's been super supportive with my coaching, but she wants to stay in Orange County."
Over the last three months, Danna, the reigning All-Area Girls' Water Polo Coach of the Year, has been commuting nearly 150 miles round trip per day from Orange County to La Crescenta.
"There have been times where it's taken two to three hours to get from one place to the other," Danna said. "Still, CV is a great place and I've enjoyed teaching."
After taking over the girls' water polo and swimming programs at Crescenta Valley from Pete Loporchio, Danna molded the talent he had before piloting the top-seeded Falcons to a 10-5 victory against Riverside Poly in Irvine to claim the title in 2013. Crescenta Valley finished 32-2 and 8-0 in league that season and then reached the semifinals after going 24-7, 8-0, this past season.
"Certainly when you win a CIF title and get to the semifinals and win two league championships, the memories will always be priceless," Danna said. "These are memories that are going to last a lifetime.
"I'm indebted to the CV aquatics water polo program from [boys' water polo Coach] Jan Sakonju to Pete Loporchio to [girls' athletic director] Peter Kim, all of whom trusted me to take over the programs. It was having the right chemistry, along with the right people, to make something special happen in winning CIF. It's fun to be a part of a winning tradition."
Kim said a search has begun to replace Danna, who also led Crescenta Valley's girls' swimming team to a pair of league championships.
"As soon as we can fill the position, the better," Kim said. "I loved having Brent leading the program and he did a lot of great things along the way.
"He stepped right in after we hired him and brought a lot of knowledge about the game to the players. I wish he could have been here for a long time coaching."
Plenty of athletes thrived during Danna's regime at Crescenta Valley, including senior hole/set Elissa Arnold.
The University of Michigan-bound Arnold, who scored 92 goals en route to being named the 2014 All-Area Girls' Water Polo Player of the Year, said Danna came to the Falcons with excellent credentials.
"He played water polo in Orange County, so you knew he had an excellent background," Arnold said. "He carries a lot of respect and tried to make you the best you could be.
"He was more than just a coach to me. He was a coach and a big brother. I don't know what I would have done without him."
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .