Gonzaga Water Polo was born as a club sport in the fall of 2002. The first team consisted of about 16 players. By the next year, the team had nearly doubled in size, and was divided into "A" and "B" squads. It was granted full varsity status in 2004.
When Gonzaga Water Polo started, it was the only D.C.-area school to have a water polo program; the team’s games were played against Baltimore schools such as Gilman, Loyola Blakefield and Calvert Hall. The team also participated in regional weekend tournaments at the U.S. Naval Academy and in Philadelphia.
Today, Gonzaga Water Polo averages more than 50 scholar-athletes spread over three teams (Varsity, JV “A” & JV “B”) and is very competitive amongst other East Coast schools. Gonzaga Water Polo alumni have gone on to play water polo at such schools as the Naval Academy, Princeton, Virginia Tech, Miami University, Loyola University Maryland, and Clemson.
In 2019, the varsity Water Polo Eagles notched two solid wins early in the year, beating McDonogh 14-4 on September 5 and Loyola Blakefield 19-7 on September 13. Another highlight of the season was the team’s strong showing at the Beast of the East tournament on September 30 behind a great performance in the net by senior Ryan Luetjen. And on November 4, the Eagles beat Malvern Prep at the Prep Eastern’s tournament in Reading, PA, where senior Thomas Gilday was named to the all-tournament team.
Water polo is a challenging sport that combines swimming skills with the strategy of games like soccer and lacrosse. It fosters tremendous teamwork and is played as a varsity or club sport in most U.S. colleges. If you enjoy swimming in the summer but are not interested in making a commitment to year-round swimming training, water polo may be the sport for you. It will keep you in great shape for other sports—and it may even open college doors.
A member of Gonzaga College High School’s faculty/staff since the fall of 1991, Coach Viola is currently a History teacher, with over thirty years of coaching experience. In 2002, he helped start Gonzaga's Water Polo program along with some dedicated student-athletes. Starting with only one team of sixteen players, the team has grown into three teams (Varsity, JV “A,” and JV “B”) with over fifty student-athletes playing. Coach Viola played water polo at the University of Richmond in the early 80’s.