Former Brown Coach Todd Clapper Named New Zealand National Team Coach
– Todd Clapper, the head coach of the Arizona State
University water polo program and former head coach at Brown
University, has been appointed as the head coach of the New Zealand
Senior Women’s National Team, New Zealand Water Polo
announced Thursday. Clapper, entering his fourth season at the helm
of the Sun Devil program, will continue his duties with ASU’s
team while also working with New Zealand as it prepares for several
upcoming international events.
“Being able to work with New Zealand and its women’s national program is a great opportunity for me,” Clapper said. “I look forward to helping their team develop and improve on the world stage. I feel this will be a great benefit for both New Zealand and Arizona State’s programs and I am very excited to get started.”
“Todd brings with him a wealth of coaching experience,” Operations Director Eelco Uri said. “He has been working within the USA national women’s program, one of the best in the world, for many years. I am thrilled we have been able to sign a coach of his caliber.”
Clapper has been signed to a one-year contract with NZWP and will help prepare the national team for upcoming international events, including the 2009 World Championships that will be held in Rome, Italy, before playing host to the 2010 FINA World Cup in Wellington, New Zealand.
In his coaching career, Clapper has served as the head coach of the U.S. National Youth Team and the U.S. Under 20 National Team. In 2005, Clapper took his U.S. Youth National Team to Montreal and won the Pan-Am Junior Games, a tournament for teams one age division higher than his squad. For his efforts, the U.S. Olympic Committee named him the USOC Water Polo Coach of the Year while dubbing his team the USOC Water Polo Team of the Year.
During his three years with the ASU program, the Sun Devils have continued to climb the standings, including a 2008 season in which the team climbed to a national No. 4 ranking, it’s highest ever, while placing in a tie for fifth in the MPSF standings. Three of his players earned All-America honors, including Addison McGrath, the first, first-team selection in ASU history, as well as Caylinn Wallace and Kelly Phelps, both honorable mention selections.
Clapper came to Tempe with a wealth of coaching experience. Following his graduation from Slippery Rock University in 1997, he stayed on with his alma mater and served as an assistant coach for the women's team for one season. From there, he took on assistant coaching duties at Villanova University for a year.
His first head coaching position came one year later when he took over the reigns of the Wissahickon High School boys and girl's programs in Ambler, Pa. In his one season with the girl's team, he helped them attain their highest state finish as the team placed third in the Pennsylvania meet.
Following a year at Wissahickon, he took over at Brown University were Clapper mentored a pair of teams as the head coach for both the men's and women's water polo squads from 1998-2004. Under Clapper, the women earned a berth into the inaugural NCAA Championship event in 2001 while also climbing as high as No. 12 in the nation.
For his efforts at Brown, he earned several coach of the year awards, including New England (2000), Eastern Championship (2001 and 2003), Northern Division (2002) and Northeastern (2004). He closed out his tenure with the Bears' women's program with a record of 105-73 while seeing his team post 18 or more wins in each of his last four season, including 22 victories in 2001 and 20 in 2002.
His teams also fared well in the championship seasons as his team won the Eastern title in 2001 and the Northeastern division in 2004. The Bears also took runner-up honors at the ECAC Championships three times, the Northern Championships twice and the Eastern Championships once.
A four-year letter winner for Slippery Rock, he helped the team attain a Top 15 national ranking. As the starting goalie, he captained the squad as a senior in 1996, the same year he also was selected second-team all-conference. A walk-on that became the starter in goal by the end of his sophomore season, he graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Exercise Science (aquatic emphasis) and also attained a minor in Adapted Physical Activity and Rehabilitation.