USA Water Polo Names YMCA of Greenwich's Ulmis Iordache as Coach of the Month

USA Water Polo, the national governing body for the sport of water polo in the United States under authority of the United States Olympic Committee, named the YMCA of Greenwich’s Ulmis Iordache as the Coach of the Month for August 2012.

“I am honored to be recognized by such an important organization as USA Water Polo,” Iordache said. “This award is not just about me, it is really about these fine young athletes who come through our program at the YMCA of Greenwich. Over the years we have developed a program that helps players develop as athletes, teaches them the importance of teamwork and community and how to be competitive while being a good sportsman.”

As a former Romanian player since the age of five, Iordache came to the United States to start his career as a water polo coach. Within weeks of his coming to the United States in 2007, Ulmis became affiliated with a new water polo club, Greenwich Aquatics, when the YMCA of Greenwich finished the construction of a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool. Ulmis was quick to learn the American method (Olympic Development Program) of coaching and was able to forge his own style by combining that with his knowledge of Eastern European water polo training techniques and strategies.

The Greenwich Aquatics program started with 10 players and now has a roster of over 200 athletes. The USA Water Polo Olympic Development Committee currently ranks the YMCA program at 15th in the Nation. As a full-time coach, Ulmis spends countless hours coaching all the age groups from Splashball to Masters and travels many hours most weekends for water polo competitions.

“The YMCA has some terrific programming, said Ed Philipp, CEO of the YMCA of Greenwich. “Our aquatics programs are some of the best in the area and they keep getting stronger. We are very pleased we can offer so many wonderful opportunities to our community. Ulmis’ award is a win for the YMCA and a win for the town. Greenwich is becoming known throughout the aquatics world for the caliber of athletes it develops. Congratulations Ulmis.”

At the Junior Olympics this summer, Ulmis lead five YMCA teams. The 12-U girls and 14-U boys teams both placed eighth overall in Platinum, a result unheard of from a non-California team. Four Greenwich Aquatics athletes are currently on various USA National Teams, and the program boasts a growing list of athletes continuing their water polo careers at top Div. I water polo universities.

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