(March 13, 2013) Head coach Matt Anderson two days before the Wolverine Invitational.
Under the guidance of Matt Anderson, Michigan has become the pinnacle program of eastern water polo and is consistently amongst the nation's elite every season. A three-time Collegiate Water Polo Association Coach of the Year honoree and five-time division Coach of the Year, Anderson boasts a 311-120 (.722) record after completing his 11th season at the helm for the Maize and Blue.
Since the Modern Era began in 2001 (when the NCAA started recognizing a championship for Women's Water Polo) Michigan is the all-time leader in wins at the collegiate level. As a head coach, Anderson sits No. 3 in all-time wins at the collegiate level.
A firm believer in developing complete players, Anderson emphasizes putting forth the same effort to all aspects of the game. His hard-nosed defensive philosophy and aggressive offensive style produced an Olympic goalkeeper in Betsey Armstrong (2002-05), eight divisional most valuable players and 24 AWPCA All-Americans -- including Lauren Orth, Alison Mantel and Kiki Golden in 2011.
Anderson is one of just five coaches in school history to lead a women's team to 200 victories. He joins current U-M coaches Mark Rosen (Volleyball, 1999-present), Beverly Plocki (Women's Gymnastics, 1990-present), Carol Hutchins (Softball, 1985-present) and Associate Athletic Director Bitsy Ritt (Women's Tennis, 1984-2006).
His teams have enjoyed great success both in the conference and on the national stage. The 2010 campaign marked the fourth time during Anderson's tenure that Michigan advanced to the NCAA Championship. Making their third trip in as many seasons, the Wolverines were the fifth seed at the 2010 NCAA Championship, setting a new standard for a CWPA team since the NCAA field expanded to eight teams. Michigan finished in fifth place at the 2009 national tournament, earning a program and conference record No. 7 ranking in the final national poll led by Robertson became the first Wolverine to earn a repeat selection to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team, earning three-straight honors from 2008-10.
The preeminent program of the CWPA, U-M has claimed the division crown in each of Anderson's first nine seasons (10 straight overall) and won the Eastern Championship 5 times -- the most of any CWPA school. Anderson led the Wolverines to a Southern Division title in his first season and remains the lone coach to claim a Western Division crown since realignment took place prior to the 2004 campaign. Under his tutelage, Michigan players have earned 47 nominations to the all-division team.
Michigan has made it to the championship game of the CWPA Eastern Championship in all but two campaigns under Anderson. At the conference championship, under Anderson the Wolverines claimed titles in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and have placed 19 players on the all-tournament team. Anderson coached Armstrong, Hyrne and Robertson to championship Most Valuable Player honors in 2005, 2008 and 2010, respectively. Kiki Golden became the first Wolverine to earn Rookie of the Tournament honors in 2010.
In 2011, Alison Mantel was named the 2011 Collegiate Water Polo Association Women's Varsity Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The highest honor bestowed by the league to an active player, the award recognizes an outstanding senior student-athlete who has achieved success in both the scholastic and athletic arenas while possessing a spirit, which provides service to the community.
The classroom has also been a source of great success for the Maize and Blue program. Between the CWPA and ACWPC, Michigan has gathered 113 all-academic honors. The scholarly accolades also include 61 Academic All-Big Ten honors and 113 U-M Athletic Academic Achievement awards. Carrie Stover (2006-09) and Wesley Ellison (2004-07) Cara Reitz (2008-11) and Alison Mantel (2008-11) earned All-Academic status from the CWPA and ACWPC in each of their four seasons with the Wolverines. Additionally, Brittany May was named the U-M female Big Ten Conference Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winner for the 2009-10 academic year.
Anderson's teams have made a habit of re-writing the record books on a yearly basis. After establishing the program's highest victory total (35) in 2009, the Wolverines set a new program standard for winning percentage (.865) and fewest losses (5) during the 2011 campaign.
En route to 2008's CWPA Eastern Championship crown, Anderson piloted the Maize and Blue through a perfect 27-game span including an unblemished record against competition from the East. The streak, which stretched from February 24 through April 27, saw the Wolverines down 10 ranked opponents, claim the division and conference crown and smash several program statistical records.
Michigan has not taken the easy road to success, having played 180 nationally ranked teams during Anderson's tenure. In 2010, the Wolverines were 14-5 against ranked opposition, improving their record under Anderson to 102-94 against the nation's best programs. Continuing having never lost to an unranked opponent. On Feb. 27, 2010, Michigan became the first CWPA team to win against a top-five opponent since the beginning of the modern era with a victory over No. 3-ranked Hawaii.
Anderson's accomplishments have earned him the distinction of CWPA `Doc Hunkler' Coach of the Year on three occasions - taking home the hardware in 2005, 2008 and 2009. On the divisional level, Anderson was named a coach of the year three times between 2004 and 2006 and added three more to his collection from 2009 through 2011.
Beyond his coaching duties, Anderson is highly involved in the promotion and growth of the women's water polo game. In February 2008, he was appointed to the NCAA Women's Water Polo Committee; where he currently serves as Chairman. His term of service on the committee commenced on Sept. 1, 2008, and will run through Sept. 1, 2012. The water polo committee oversees the conduct of the NCAA Championship and playing rules. Anderson is also a member of the NCAA Rules committee for Men's and Women's Water Polo; that terms runs concurrently with his Committee duties.
Anderson is a member of the five-person board of directors for the Collegiate Water Polo Association as voted by his fellow collegiate coaches. He also holds the position as treasurer for the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches and is ardently involved with USA Water Polo.
Anderson is also currently the head coach of the United States Women's Senior National 'B' Team. In the summer of 2011 he led the USA B squad to a Silver Medal at the World University Games in Shenzhen China. The team went 6-1 defeating Australia, France, Mexico, Great Britain, Russia and Italy before losing to the China A squad (world's #2 ranked team) in the Gold medal game. On that team was former Michigan star Leah Robertson (10'). There are only a few current coaches that have ever won a medal at a World Championship competition. Previously he was an assistant coach with the United States men's youth national team - formerly the U.S. cadet team. He previously was the head coach of the national youth `B' team for five years (1999-2003). Anderson helped lead the 16-and-under cadet team to a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American U18 Youth Championships. During the summer of 2006, he helped the squad to seventh at the 16-and-under World Championships - the United States' highest placing at the competition. He was also selected as one of four coaches at the 2009 USA Water Polo Speedo Top 40 competition, coaching a team featuring Armstrong, Robertson and Kiki Golden.
Introduced on October 1, 2002, Anderson became the second head coach in the short history of the program. "Matt Anderson brings to Michigan a passion as an educator, a great knowledge of water polo and a commitment to the academic mission of the institution," then-senior associate athletic director Megan McCallister said at the time of his hire. "We are thrilled to have Matt as a member of the Michigan family."
Prior to Michigan, Anderson spent the 2001 season as an assistant coach at Indiana University, where he was responsible for the Hoosiers' recruiting and conditioning. During his tenure at Indiana, the Hoosiers improved from No. 20 in the nation to a then-school-best No. 14. Prior to coaching at Indiana, Anderson was an assistant coach at San Jose State (1999-2001), where he helped his alma mater reach a top-five national ranking.
From 1997-2001, Anderson served as the Zone Six head development coach for the Boy's 19-and-under development camps, the second largest water polo member zone in the United States. His responsibilities included recruitment, selection and implementation of water polo programs for future Olympians.
Before coaching in the collegiate ranks, Anderson achieved over 200 victories in 11 years as a coach at the high school level. He was the head coach as Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, Calif., from 1993-2000. He started the girls program and coached the team for two years along with an eight-year stint at the helm of the boy's team. Over that time, he compiled more than 170 victories, 3 league titles and 1 finals appearance in the CIF/CSS divisional playoffs. In 1999, he was named the California Interscholastic Federation/C.C.S. Honor Coach of the Year for his devotion to students and the game of water polo at the high school level. Anderson spent the three previous years at Newbury Park High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., serving as the head coach for boy's water polo and girls and boys swimming from 1991-93. He started his coaching career as the head coach of boy's water polo at Santa Clara High School in Santa Clara, Calif., in 1990.
Prior to entering the coaching profession, he spent seven years as the city youth coordinator for Sunnyvale, Calif. In that position, he was responsible for school to career development for area youth, including programs for at-risk and teen parents.
Anderson earned his bachelor's degree from San Jose State in journalism with a minor in literature in 1991.
He resides in Pinckney with his wife, Tara, and their two children, Everett and Eden.