Dave Almquist Coach

Home  »  2013 Inductees  »  Dave Almquist
Mar 16, 2013 5 Comments ›› Riverside Sport Hall of Fame


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.


  1. Tom Borden says:

    Nice article, however you have an error in the second paragraph. Dave took over the water polo and swim program at Poly in 1974-1975. That was my senior year and he was our coach that year.

  2. Gary Hunt says:

    It took me several years to really appreciate the effort and dedication that Dave
    put into his coaching. How he molded young men and women into very special
    athletes and what he did to put together a special TEAM in the pool.
    Congratulations Coach, you are most deserving of this award and the
    recognition that it brings.

  3. Suzanne Cardey says:

    Dave is the iconic water polo coach in Riverside. I am so happy that he was given this esteemed honor. He truly deserves to be recognized in the sport of water polo that has been a passion of our family for the last 12 years. Way to go DAVE!!!!

  4. Jon Merryman says:

    Congrats Coach!

  5. James Hawkins says:

    Better late than never…way to go Big D..Koehler would have been proud of all you gave back. Your gifts of spirit changed many along the way. What you have given to the students you inspired will make the world a better place.
    Talking me into Swimming with the Poly Water Polo team at Ramona… that almost drowned me…. that’s still one I owe you.


    Always Your Buddy J Hawkins