On July 11, Wittenberg University’s Athletic Department announced the hiring of the first women’s water polo head coach, Sivan Pardon. Pardon, who has a rich history of work with players in the pool, is set to develop the newly started program and lead the push in making the team competitive.
Pardon grew up in Los Angeles. It was here that her love for water polo flourished. Originally, she was involved recreationally. Once she reached Mira Costa High School, Pardon was playing competitively and excelling. After she graduated, she decided to continue her athletic career at the University of Hawaii. During her time in college, Pardon experienced great success through the program. In her freshmen year, the Rainbow Warrior’s Water Polo Team made it to the NCAA tournament and finished fourth in the nation.
After four respectable years in the pool, Pardon started her coaching career in her fifth year of college. In that year, she became a graduate assistant for the water polo team. In her work, she coached redshirt athletes who did not travel with the team. Pardon’s job was to develop these players and work with them on the fundamentals. She also worked in a program that worked with children to teach them about water polo.
With the experience Pardon earned with the University of Hawaii, she was able to get a job at her former high school in Los Angeles. Back at Mira Costa, she became the head coach of the men’s and women’s water polo programs, as well as the swimming teams. With this, she worked with all levels of athletes in high school by coaching the freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams. She experienced quite a bit of success by leading her boys’ water program and girls’ water program to a first and second place finish in the Bay League.
Also during her time back on the mainland, Pardon began coaching club water polo teams. One of the clubs she worked with was a developmental club for teenage girls. In this program, Pardon watched it grow and become successful. The club became competitive and participated a few times in the Junior Olympics. In 2014, the team became one of the top programs in the nation and they finished with a second-place finish in the Junior Olympics.
With this success, Pardon became an obvious hire for the Tiger’s Water Polo team.
At the time of her hiring, athletic director Gary Williams said, “Sivan is a terrific hire for us. I could not be more pleased to have a person of her character, work ethic and passion for her craft be the first coach for our women’s water polo program.”
Pardon also felt a connection to what Wittenberg stood for and believed in, and felt it was the perfect opportunity for her.
“Even in my interview, people have been incredibly supportive, regardless of their knowledge of water polo,” Pardon said.
So, she moved across the country and has started her work here at Witt. A big adjustment for her so far has been the weather, as she is used to the California sun.
With the water polo program being new, the team is starting out as a club team.
Pardon is anticipating this season and said, “We are hoping to generate a lot of interest.”
She wants to connect with the Wittenberg community and begin to give the water polo team a fan base. As of now, the team is mostly working on development and fundamentals to prepare for this first season. Pardon hopes to build a competitive program in the near future as well as maintain the Wittenberg athletic excellence. She is also keeping herself busy as an assistant coach for the Wittenberg swim teams.
As a member of the Collegiate Water Polo Association, Wittenberg will be having games this year around Ohio. There will even be a few home games for the new program. Although students may not know anything about water polo, the sport can be very intense and exciting to watch. Make sure to check out this new program with Pardon at the head spearheading the push to make this program dominant.