Dave Almquist is the recognized Riverside water polo coach who has led Poly High School and Riverside City College to numerous championships in three decades of coaching. David was also the assistant coach of the United States Men’s National team from 1984-1988, which included the 1988 silver medal winning team that competed in Seoul, South Korea.
“The water polo tradition at Poly High School started with Al Jennings when the school opened in 1965, but it took off when Dave Almquist took over as coach in 1977. He worked hard to elevate the program to bring it up to the level of established teams from beach cities in Orange County. The improvement in facilities and tougher scheduling resulted in his Poly teams winning four Southern Section titles in his twenty years at the school.
“David has been wildly successful with the Riverside City College women’s water polo program, winning four California State Championships since 2005, eight straight Orange Empire Conference titles and boasting a gaudy 184-12 record over the last six seasons. Many of those teams finished the season with more goals scored than missed shots. The 2007 season is indicative of the high level to which the program has risen. That team completed its undefeated season with wire-to-wire dominance and played only two games within five goals all season, outscoring their State Tournament opponents by a combined score of 41-5. In 2009, a winning streak of over 50 straight matches began, which was the longest in program history. During the years of their championship runs, a big part of the program success has been the coaching philosophy of Coach Almquist which emphasizes team togetherness and unselfish play.