Sports

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

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

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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M-A grad Will Carhart is part of winning team at US Rowing Youth National Championship

Thumbnail image for M-A grad Will Carhart is part of winning team at US Rowing Youth National Championship

A rowing team from Norcal Crew is the national champion in the lightweight four with coxswain event, winning the gold medal at the US Rowing Youth National Championship at Lake Natoma, CA, last month. Will Carhart (a graduated senior from Menlo-Atherton High School), Misha Hindery, Marcelo Buxton, Chris Skokowski, (all three are rising seniors at Palo […]

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Photographer Peter Samuels is Menlo Charity Horse Show’s artist of the year

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San Francisco-based Peter Samuels has  been selected as  the“Artist of the Year” for the Menlo Charity Horse Show, which will take place August 5 – 10, 2014 at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. Each year the committee selects an artist and work that represents the spirit of competition that has the Show an equestrian tradition for 44 […]

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Tennis teaching pro Marcus Cootsona writes first novel – Slammin’

Thumbnail image for Tennis teaching pro Marcus Cootsona writes first novel – Slammin’

Local tennis teaching pro Marcus Cootsona admits that he finds it difficult to stay off the court and away from the writing desk. Following up on his nonfiction book of tennis tips — Occam’s Racquet: 12 Simple Steps To Smarter Tennis — published in 2011, he’s written a novel: Slammin’. The book tells the story of Wally Wilson, who […]

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Menlo Park native competes in 2014 World Rowing Cup II at Lake Aiguebelette, France

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park native competes in 2014 World Rowing Cup II at Lake Aiguebelette, France

Seth Weil (far right above and wearing red shirt below), who grew up in Menlo Park and graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School, is one of the more than 700 athletes from 46 countries who competed in the 2014 World Rowing Cup II at Lake Aiguebelette, France this weekend. He is part of the U.S. men’s four crew that includes Michael Gennaro (Havertown, Pa.), […]

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John Tarlton is participating in cycling’s Race Across America to raise money for Stanford Cancer Institute

Thumbnail image for John Tarlton is participating in cycling’s Race Across America to raise money for Stanford Cancer Institute

John Tarlton, president and CEO of Tarlton Properties, Inc. (TPI), a commercial property development and asset management company based in Menlo Park, is competing in cycling’s Race Across America (RAAM) to raise money and awareness for the Stanford Cancer Institute. RAAM is a 3,000-mile cycling race that started June 10 in Oceanside, Calif., that will across 12 […]

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Trio of Menlo School spring sports teams named CCS scholastic championships

Thumbnail image for Trio of Menlo School spring sports teams named CCS scholastic championships

Three Menlo School spring sports teams were named Central Coast Section Scholastic Champions and four other teams made the top five of those with the highest collective grade-point average in their respective sports. Menlo baseball, boys’ swimming and boys’ track and field each had the top GPA during the 2014 spring season. Menlo baseball amassed […]

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Water sports a lifelong pursuit for Ladera Oaks’ club manager Jim Gorman

Thumbnail image for Water sports a lifelong pursuit for Ladera Oaks’ club manager Jim Gorman

Jim Gorman, club manager at Ladera Oaks, where he also runs the swim school, has been knee deep in water all his life. Like many kids who grew up on the Peninsula in the 50s and 60s, he learned to swim a Clyde Devine’s in San Carlos and competed in swimming, water polo, and diving at […]

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M-A awarded Peninsula Athletic League Commissioner’s Cup for 6th year in a row

For the 6th year in a row, Menlo-Atherton High School was awarded the Peninsula Athletic League Commissioner’s Cup. The Commissioners Cup is awarded annually to the Peninsula Athletic League school that best exemplifies the league’s commitment to sportsmanship and excellence in athletics. Points are awarded to each varsity team in each sport that they participate […]

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30 M-A grads will pursue athletics at college

Thumbnail image for 30 M-A grads will pursue athletics at college

The Menlo-Atherton High School Class of 2014 includes 30 grads who will pursue athletics at the college level. (Note: some are missing from the photo.) Water Polo Jessica Heilman (Brown), Evan McLellan (Davis), Sammy Henze (Notre Dame), Sierra Sheeper (Cal Poly) Crew Katie Kelly (Cal), Salm Calvert (UCSD), Will Carhart (USD) Everett Moiseff (UCSD) Edward […]

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