Shana Welch has been promoted to take the place of Gavin Arroyo as Head Coach of the Cal State Long Beach women’s water polo team. Long Beach State Athletics made the announcement on Tuesday.
Welch spent four years as a graduate assistant for The Beach before being brought on as Assistant Head Coach in the 2019 season. Arroyo praised Welch during a phone conversation with Total Waterpolo saying she was a good fit for the program and is “hungry and enthusiastic.”
Welch, a University of Michigan graduate, was inducted in to the Collegiate Water Polo Association Hall of Fame in 2016 after a career in which she established a program record for goals with 297 and captained the Wolverines her final two seasons. She went on to play professionally in Greece before returning to to the US and becoming a firefighter.
She is a native of Larksville, Pennsylvania where she competed for Wyoming Valley West High School.
Arroyo was appointed Assistant Coach for the USA Men’s Senior National Team in 2018 and had been discussing the coaching change with Long Beach State Athletic Director Andy Fee for over a year. Arroyo’s involvement with Team USA put “obvious strains on doing things well,” with the Long Beach State women, and the time was right to make the change.
The move is “not a demotion” as some had speculated but a decision that “makes sense,” Arroyo said, citing the strong support for his work at the senior national team level by Long Beach State Athletics.
Welch completed her first season as Associate Head Coach when it was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic in early March.[updated 2 September 2020 to specifically identify Long Beach State Athletic Director Andy Fee]