By DENALI BOLLENS
UHS girls water polo coach Jeff Colton, who guided the team during pre-league, accepted an assistant coaching position with the Arizona State women’s water polo team. Colton left for Arizona on December 28.
Colton said to the OC Register, “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It will be very enjoyable to work with that kind of athlete, someone who is very motivated and capable.”
Colton started coaching and teaching at UHS in June and applied for the Arizona State post a few months ago.
Arizona State women’s water polo reached the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament last season, earning the No. 5 seed but ending up losing to University of California, Berkeley in the first round. Colton said he is attracted by the Sun Devils’ quest to rise in the collegiate rankings.
Former El Dorado High School coach Dave Johnson (Athletic Dept.) has replaced Jeff Colton on an interim basis. This past weekend, Johnson led UHS to a first place victory in the Falcon tournament, UHS’ first tournament victory in over a decade.
Senior captain Kyla Pickell (Sr.) said, “It has been a large transition, Colton and Johnson have very different ways of coaching.” Sujung Choi (Sr.) said, “Jeff was very intense and always pushed us to go harder in every situation, but Dave is more relaxed and focuses more on the technical aspects of the games.”
“Colton was very intense and was really good at pumping us up while Dave is a little more relaxed, so we have to rely on each other to get motivated,” said Sophia Bajak (Jr.). “Colton was one of the most experienced coaches in the game; he was the best thing that happened to Uni water polo. He taught us a lot that we have to apply by ourselves now.”