Dan Klatt of Irvine is assistant coach of the U.S. women’s national water polo team.

In pursuit of Olympic gold for the third time

by LORI BASHEDA

He’s already competed in one Olympics and coached in two. Now, Dan Klatt heads to the Tokyo Summer Games, optimistic that his team can win its third consecutive gold medal.

Klatt has been assistant coach of the U.S. women’s national water polo team since 2009.

He helped lead Team USA to back-to-back gold medal victories at the last two summer Olympics – in 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. And he’s hoping for a hat trick in Tokyo.

“I’m very confident in the players we have,” he says. “It’s an extraordinary group of women. I would consider myself as much of a fan as a coach.”

Klatt graduated from UCI in 2001. Three years later, he was named head coach of the university’s women’s water polo team, where he continues to drive the team’s “ascent toward the top of the water polo landscape.”

He took the UCI job the same year he played on the U.S. men’s national water polo team at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Today, Klatt, 42, lives in the University Hills neighborhood with his wife and twin boys, who start kindergarten at Vista Verde Elementary in August.

“I’m pretty much an adopted child of Irvine,” he says, laughing.

Klatt and the team of 13 women leave for Tokyo on July 13.

Until then, they are training at local pools, including the premier Woollett Aquatics Center at Irvine High School.

The excitement is building, Klatt says.

“They are well prepared, they’re good competitors, and we have as good a shot as anyone else at winning the gold medal.”