Clovis News: Sports

Boys Water Polo: Coach of the Year


School: Clovis North

He's qualified because: In his fourth year after launching the boys water polo program at Clovis North, he led the Broncos to the Central Section Division II championship, capping a 23-9 season with a 16-13 overtime win against Hanford in the final. Guided Clovis North to a second-place finish during the team's first season in the rugged Tri-River Athletic Conference, earning league coach of the year honors.

A little background: Lofaro first came to the area as an exchange student from Rome 18 years ago, playing water polo at Clovis High. He was going to play at Fresno State, but the program was eliminated and he returned to Italy. He returned to the Clovis area four years later, getting his degree from Fresno State while starting his coaching career. He coached the boys junior varsity and the girls varsity programs at Clovis before starting up the Clovis North program in 2007. Lofaro's first team, a JV squad made up entirely of freshmen, went 0-16. They moved into the County/Metro Athletic Conference the next season, competing at the varsity level with only sophomores. Then last season, Lofaro led the Broncos to the CMAC title and into the Division III final, where they lost 6-3 against Hanford West.

Admiration society: "He has a great way with people. I don't know if that's because he has world-wide exposure or if it just comes natural. When he first took over my JV program, it was obvious this person knows how to coach, he knows how to relate to kids, and he knows the fundamentals. And he has a little bit different kind of strategy because of his European background. I knew a long time ago he'd be a success." -- Clovis coach Terry Giffen

He said it: "We started with all freshman four years ago and we started building. This was our first year with seniors, and it was pretty neat because they really came along, from 0-16 as freshmen to Valley champions and second in the TRAC. It's a pretty good group to work with." -- Lofaro