Boys Water Polo, Coach Feature, Fall Sports, Sports

Head Coach Feature: David Fox Returns After 2013 New England Boys Water Polo Title

S.Bahnasy/The Phillipian

Fox enjoys working with Andover students in what he calls the “triple-threat:” the classroom, the dorm, and the pool.

Drawing from his experience as both a coach and a referee for both USA Water Polo and the NCAA, including a position as assistant coach for Harvard University, Head Coach David Fox brings more than 30 years of experience to Andover Boys Water Polo. Coach Fox returns to Andover Boys Water Polo this season after coaching the team from 2005-2013.

During his years coaching Andover Boys Water Polo, Coach Fox led the team to multiple “Liquid Four” New England Championship tournaments and a championship title at the 2013 New England Championships.

Coach Fox, who also coaches Andover Boys Swimming and Diving, says he is glad to come back to lead the team and already has established relationships with some of the players.

Coach Fox wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “When the Boys Water Polo Team was in need of a head coach at such a late date, early August, I was happy to return to the role. I already knew some of the boys, both captains had lived in French House before, and wanted to help them. I had worked with Coach [Jill] Meyer [’09] before and knew she and I share similar philosophies. And, with the building of a new pool on the horizon, now is the time to develop our aquatics program, not for it appear unstable.”

Coach Fox’s extensive background in the sport has allowed him to acquire a great deal of knowledge that he emparts onto his players, according to Co-Captain Eric Osband ’19 and Theo Faugeres ’21.

Osband said, “[Coach Fox] is really good. We had a change of coaches this past summer. He used to be our referee, and he’s super knowledgeable about the game. He used to be a college coach, and he also still [referees] college water polo games. In practice, he doesn’t just teach us moves, he explains what exactly is going on there and why the work and what not to do.”

Faugeres said, “I’d say he’s a really good coach. He’s able to bring the team together. He improved our understanding of the game a lot over the past weeks. And overall, he’s just efficient. He manages to keep the tone light throughout the practice, but he’s also focused and objective.”

According to Coach Fox, he enjoys coaching at Andover because it allows for different interactions with students.

“Among the prime reasons I enjoy working at Andover is ‘the triple-threat’: working with adolescents in a variety of environments, the classroom, the dorm, and the pool. Each environment sparks a different type of relationship, each equally rewarding and equally important,” wrote Coach Fox.

One of Coach Fox’s standout qualities, according to Max Hunger ’20, is his ability to know when to bring the team together to focus and when to foster a fun and light-hearted atmosphere.

“His [best quality] is his understanding of when to be serious and when to have fun. If you screw around in a game, he’ll be really mad at you because it’s not the time, but you respect him for that,” said Hunger.

Hunger continued, “I don’t want to portray him as a coach who’s always serious and not having any fun. He’s a really fun mix of the two. That’s why I respect him. I think he just knows how to deal with the team, especially with all guys who just play around a little too much.”

When game time comes, Coach Fox makes sure that the team is prepared and focused but also trusts his players to motivate themselves, according to Osband and Hunger.

“I don’t know what he’s thinking [before the games], but he’s pretty calm beforehand. He doesn’t really say much because he knows that as a team, we’re pretty motivated on our own. He just wants to make sure we’re focused and we’re ready for the game. He doesn’t try to hype us up because he knows we do that on our own as players,” said Osband.

Hunger said, “Before and during [games], it’s game first, so there isn’t much other than the game, making sure everyone’s happy and mentally prepared for the game, and making sure everyone’s in their best shape. Fun is for the practice and for enjoying yourself, but when it comes to games, you’re there to compete, have fun with your teammates and win, ultimately.”

According to Coach Fox, his hope is for the team to have reached its full potential by the end of the season.

“In terms of the water polo team this season, our goal is just to play the best we can, with the context of life at Andover, at the end of the season,” wrote Coach Fox.

Oct 5, 2018