Ricky Mulcahey pined for a return to the area, along with the possibility of being an aquatics coach.

Mulcahey had paid his dues coaching water polo at several levels in Ventura County. He heard about the coaching vacancy at his alma mater, Crescenta Valley High and decided to apply for the position.

Eight years after graduating from Crescenta Valley, Mulcahey was tabbed as the school's new girls' aquatics coach on July 30. Mulcahey, 26, replaces Brent Danna, who resigned in May after leading the Falcons to a CIF Southern Section Division V championship in 2013.

"I put in a lot of time coaching at all the different levels, so I'm glad it got me some place," said Mulcahey, a former All-CIF pick who played at L.A. Valley College and California Lutheran University. "To come back to CV is cool and it's kind of surreal.

"When you play there, you learn about the tradition that the school has in aquatics and you look to keep it going. I learned from some great people there in [former aquatics coaches] Peter Kim, Pete Loporchio and Jan Sakonju. They were the ones who laid the foundation for me."

Mulcahey, who teaches physical education at Verdugo Woodlands and Cerritos elementary schools in Glendale, will take over a couple of successful programs. The water polo team won the Pacific League championship and reached the CIF semifinals, while the swimming program took first in league last season.

Mulcahey spent the last two seasons as the boys' and girls' varsity water polo coach at Westlake High. Prior to Westlake, Mulcahey was an assistant coach at Burbank and served as a graduate assistant at California Lutheran for three seasons and coached a few club teams.

"Those were all great experiences," said Mulcahey, who was a utility player at Crescenta Valley and a hole/set at the collegiate level. "You get to spend time coaching a sport you love to play.

"I had been a way from the area for quite some time, though not that far from it. It's just great to be back in the area being able to teach and coach."

Kim, who is now the school's girls' athletic director, said Mulcahey featured a quality resume.

"We thought it was very impressive, not only as a player but as a coach" said Kim, who along with Loporchio, started the school's girls' water polo team in 1996. "He did it the right way from a coaching standpoint by working his way up from the lower levels in high school to college.

"He's more than qualified and he brings a lot to the table."

charles.rich@latimes.com

 

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Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .