Wilson boys’ water polo coach Jeff Nesmith has announced that he’s stepping down after eight years of leading the Bruins. He will remain involved with the program and keep teaching Introduction to Law at his alma mater.
“I want to be around the program, I’m not going anywhere,” Nesmith said. “I know we’re going to hire someone that we’ll be able to work with, so I’m planning on being a lower levels coach. I just want to take a step back from the head coaching role. And if there was a year to end on, it was a successful year. I feel like we accomplished something.”
The Bruins returned to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinal for the first time since 2012 this year after winning a 14th consecutive Moore League title, but are graduating a big group of decorated seniors.
“Becoming the coach at the school you went to is an incredible sense of pride,” he said. “The coaches I looked up to in my life, I got to become that for some of these young athletes and being a positive role model in that way is the most important thing. I really value the time I was able to be part of such a great program.”
After playing at Wilson and Stanford, Nesmith has been coaching water polo at the high school, college or club level for the last 15 years including three years as the Wilson girls’ head coach. He wants to get his masters degree and get more involved with Wilson’s Leadership and Public Service pathway. Nesmith also wants to help his alma mater find its next coach because he knows what it takes to honor the tradition of the program.
“We’re kind of built on tradition at Wilson,” Nesmith said. “Our local aquatics community has always been a great source of athletes and that’s Long Beach’s greatest strength. Being able to harness that and use that for team chemistry, that makes Wilson strong. Guys who grow up together, play water polo together and go to high school together make the Wilson program.”
Wilson has opened its search for a new coach, and the obvious internal options of current Wilson water polo coaches will be in the running.