CORONA DEL MAR, CA —Corona Del Mar has excellent news for the girls of their Sea Queens Girls Water Polo Team. The high school has hired two-time Olympic gold medalist Melissa Seidemann as the coach, as confirmed by the new Athletic Director Dennis Wilbanks.
Wilbanks has taken over for retired Don Grable, who left after 32 years in education and 11 as Corona Del Mar's athletic director, according to the Daily Pilot. Wilbanks, a special education teacher, has served as offensive line coach for CdM football for the past 10 years. He brings Seidemann to the school as one of his first adds.
Seidemann is a Rise Athletes Mentor and resident of Seal Beach. She "always planned on teaching in classrooms and on the pool deck when her athletic career came to a close," she wrote on her mentor page.
"There are one million things that kids today are worried about, on top of the craziness of being an adolescent and an athlete," she writes. "Kids need support and guidance to work through what is going on in their minds. ...I hope to provide that support and give young athletes the tools they need to be successful in athletics and beyond."
According to a report from the OC Register, head coach Justin Papa resigned in March to pursue a life outside of water polo.
In 2019, Papa led the Corona Del Mar Sea Queens to finish 12-16, unable to reach the Division 1 playoffs.
According to its Girls Water Polo website, Corona Del Mar has a proud tradition of excellence in the pool, classroom, and community. They have not won a Pacific Coast League Championship since 2017.
Seidemann's younger sister, Natlaie Seidemann, is the Girls Water Polo Head Coach at JSerra High School. With both sisters in the same league, this should be an interesting year in Girls Water Polo.