Post image for Ted Minnis returns to Menlo Park, recruiting water polo players for Harvard Univeristy

A tall and athletic 8th grader at Nativity School, Ted Minnis had caught the attention of legendary Menlo-Atherton High School football coach Ben Parks.  But on the way to the football field, Ted took a dip in the water.

“My friend Ken’s dad, Jim MacKenzie, had played water polo at M-A,” recalls Ted. “Ken was going to follow in his dad’s footsteps. We were at his grandparents’ pool one day, and Jim taught me the egg beater kick. That would serve me well in the game, as I was goalie.”

As for not playing football: “Let’s just say when I decided to play water polo at M-A, Coach Parks was not happy. [Football and water polo are both Fall sports.]

Ted not only played at M-A, he returned to the school at age 21 to coach boys’ water polo, a position he held for the next 11 years, while holding down a day job and raising his son. He left in 1999 to coach water polo and other sports at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, where he also held positions in athletic administration.

We met Ted at M-A’s pool, which has been rebuilt since his tenure there. He was in California recruiting  male and female high school water polo players for his current employer, Harvard University, where he’s coached for the past four years.  “I get to do what I love all day, every day” is how he sums up his coaching duties.

Neither water polo nor football were Ted’s first choice of sports. “I wanted to be a basketball player and go to the Olympics and coach at the college level” he says. “But I realized I wasn’t good enough. What’s a bit ironic is that you can take a lot of basketball into the water.”

He cites current Stanford female water polo coach JT Tanner, who also grew up in Menlo Park, as his most significant mentor. “In my mind he’s one of the best coaches in the world,” Ted says. “I am where I am today because of JT. He took my coaching to another level.

“As an example, one day he filmed me at practice. I was yelling and screaming per usual. JT showed me the film and said, ‘This is what I’m going to show to your mom.’ That sunk in, and from that moment on, my demeanor on the pool deck is motivated by behaving in a way my mom would be proud of.”

Ted has yet to recruit any M-A players to play at Harvard. But he’s back in his hometown staying at the family home, so who knows if this will be the magic year.

Photo by Scott R. Kline

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44th annual Menlo Charity Horse Show is scheduled for Aug. 5-10 at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton

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The 44th annual Menlo Charity Horse Show benefiting Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired will be held August 5 to 10 at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. Attracting 450 exhibitors, the six-day event features non-stop Hunter and Jumper competitions  in three arenas. Spectators can take a break from watching the equestrian action and enjoy shopping […]

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Photographer Barry Fleisher is drawn to street photography and construction sites

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Although it took some decades for Barry Fleisher to re-embrace photography, he remembers first getting bit by the camera bug while in his 20s. “I got a Nikkormat in the 1960s and started taking photos of friends and the trips I took,” he recalls. “I was mostly into landscapes.” A retired neonatologist, Barry has lived […]

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Menlo Park and Atherton plan National Night Out events on Aug. 5

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The City of Menlo Park is asking those planning National Night Out neighborhood or block parties on Tuesday, August 5 to sign up in advance. One planned event is at Menalto Corners in the Willow neighborhood. Emails Cafe Zoe owner Kathleen Daly: “[There will be]Bounce houses at Spa in the Park, Menlo Park trivia contest sponsored […]

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St. Patrick’s Seminary is hidden gem tucked behind open gates in Menlo Park

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I have a feeling most Menlo Park residents drive right by St. Patrick’s Seminary on Middlefield Road without giving it a second thought. Maybe this photograph will make them turn up the driveway some day, go in the front door and ask to see the chapel —an awe-inspiring structure well worth the one block side trip. […]

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M-A senior Simran Kashyap creates iPhone game called This or That

Thumbnail image for M-A senior Simran Kashyap creates iPhone game called This or That

Simran Kashyap, a rising senior at Menlo-Atherton (M-A) High School, has taken her passion for software engineering to the next level and designed an iPhone gaming app, making her one of a steadily increasing number of Silicon Valley female youths who have demonstrated an interest in the technology industry. The game, entitled “This or That” […]

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What caught our eye at the Connoisseurs’ Marketplace in downtown Menlo Park

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The 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace is taking place this weekend in downtown Menlo Park along Santa Cruz Avenue, and we wandered down this morning to take a look. Like similar summer street festivals there’s something for everyone — food, shopping, beer/wine and entertainment. The fun t-shirts from YeahYeah!PonyPrince, which sells original hand-painted linoleum block printed designs […]

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Director of Wine Paul Mekis oversees close to 2,000 bottles of wine at Madera restaurant in Menlo Park

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Madera restaurant’s Director of Wine Paul Mekis was not always a “wine guy”. But he did have early influencers. Raised in Santa Cruz, his father and grandfather made wine. He also remembers a trip to the Napa Valley when he was in his early 20s with his Missouri grandparents. “I’d done some research before and took […]

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Michael Killen’s paintings on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park – talk on climate change also scheduled

Thumbnail image for Michael Killen’s paintings on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park – talk on climate change also scheduled

Menlo Park artist Michael Killen characterizes his work as chronicling the “developments and thoughts of our time that include climate change, human rights, impact of climate change on California’s water, resilience of America, and sustainability.” A sampling of his paintings are currently on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park. Emailed the artist: “One of the […]

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West Menlo Park home is on the Edible Landscaping tour on July 19

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One of the reasons Kristin Kuntz-Duriseti and husband Ram bought their west Menlo Park home eight years ago was to have a bigger piece of land in order to start a suburban fruit and vegetable garden. “The fruit trees were the defining thing,” Kristen said. “And being sustainable was a huge value to us. “We planted 20 […]

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Menlo Park hosts the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace July 19-20

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park hosts the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace July 19-20

Presented by the Melo Park Chamber of Commerce, the 28th annual Connoisseur’s Marketplace comes to Santa Cruz Avenue on July 19-20. Hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm both days; admission is free. There is also a “Saturday Twilight Concert” featuring Steely Dan/Chicago tribute band Aja Vu from 5:30-8:00 pm on Saturday, July 19 in Fremont Park. Festival […]

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