PRINCETON, NJ. — Dustin Litvak, formerly of the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), has been named the head coach of the Princeton University men’s water polo team, while longtime assistant coach and former Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Champion head coach Derek Ellingson was promoted to the head coach of the Princeton women’s water polo squad as announced by Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan ’91.
Litvak will also be an assistant to the women’s program while Ellingson will assist with the men’s unit.
“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Litvak to our Tigers Athletics team and to promote Coach Ellingson to this new position,” said Marcoux Samaan. “Both coaches truly understand the importance of their roles as coaches, mentors and educators and will help us reach our goals of Education through Athletics and Competitive Excellence. We are confident that their collective experience, knowledge, collaborative approach and commitment to excellence will allow them to lead both programs to new heights.”
“I would like to thank Mollie, Anthony and the entire search committee for selecting me as the next head men’s water polo coach at Princeton University,” stated Litvak. “I am very excited to begin working with the high-achieving student-athletes on both the men’s and women’s teams as we look to continue the legacy Luis and his staff built. I also want to thank Adam Wright, Brandon Brooks, Molly Cahill, Kodi Hill, Ashley Armstrong and everyone at UCLA for an unbelievable experience there with both the men’s and women’s programs. I will forever be grateful to them. This is an exciting time to be a part of Princeton Water Polo and I can’t wait to get started.”
“I am truly honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead the Princeton women’s water polo team,” mentioned Ellingson. “I’m thankful for the search committee for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach of the women’s team and assist with men’s squad. I am excited to continue the program’s tradition of excellence and look forward to the challenge of guiding the next generation of student-athletes in their pursuit of greatness.
Litvak has spent the past five seasons at UCLA, working with the men’s and women’s water polo teams. From 2013-15, he was an assistant with the men’s team that won the 2014 and 2015 national titles. Litvak has helped with the women’s squad for the past three seasons, highlighted by two second-place finishes at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship tournament (2015, 2017).
Prior to his time at UCLA, Litvak earned coaching experience at Occidental College for two years (2007-08). He also was the head coach of the boys’ water polo team at his alma mater, Agoura High School, where he earned Marmonte League Coach of the Year nine straight years. Aquoura won its first-ever CIF Championship in 2007 and three more additional crowns in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Litvak was a four-time CIF Division IIII Coach of the Year and a seven-time Los Angeles Daily News Coach of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double Goal Coach Award.
The former assistant also had a variety of assignments with USA Water Polo, serving as a coach with the men and women’s youth national squads. Recently, the men’s youth national team won the goal medal at the 2017 UANA Youth Championships in Lima, Peru.
Litvak graduated from Pepperdine University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications.
Ellingson has been on the Princeton staff since the summer of 2004. In his career with the Tigers, he has helped the program to a total of 12 Southern titles (six for the women – 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 and six for the men – 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015), and seven CWPA/Eastern crowns (four for the men – 2004, 2009, 2011, 2015 and three for the women – 2012, 2013, 2015).
Before his coaching career at Princeton, Ellingson spent five years at his alma mater, Queens College, first as an assistant and then as the men’s and women’s head coach.
The coaching veteran has been to nine NCAA tournament teams, helping Queens to the tournament in 1997 as a player and taking the Knights back to the tournament in 2002 as head coach. At Princeton, he helped the men to the 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2015 NCAA Tournaments. Also assisting with the women’s side prior to this season, he helped the Tigers to nationals in 2012, 2013, and 2015.
Ellingson graduated from Queens in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Anthropology. While at Queens, he helped the 1996 squad to the CWPA Northern Division title and a second-place finish at Easterns. The following year, Queens finished first at both the Northern and Eastern tournaments to advance to the NCAA Tournament. At NCAAs, Queens defeated the University of California–Davis in the consolation game to become the first school from the East Coast to place as high as third in the national tournament, led by Ellingson’s All-America accolades.
Release courtesy Princeton University Athletics Communications