Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Nicholas Graffis Head Coach, Girls Water Polo

Nick started playing water polo in Long Beach at Shore Aquatics and Long Beach Poly High School where he was All-City for three years. Nick’s team finished first in the Moore League and runner-up three times. He also competed for ORCA and SOCAL where his teams finished in the top 15 at National Junior Olympics each year. 

He coached at his alma mater, Long Beach Poly, for four years and was head coach for one year. As head coach, his boy’s water polo and swim teams each finished second in the Moore League, and his girl’s water polo and swim teams each finished first. Nick also started a water polo and swim club, Long Beach Aquatics Foundation, to support the underprivileged area around the high school and bring more experienced athletes to the school. The club experienced success in many tournaments and at various age groups.  In addition, it supported the communities of North Long Beach, Dominguez Hills, Lakewood and Cerritos with almost thirty new athletes in years one and two – 13 of which entered area high schools and many were selected to the All-City team in their first year. Nick's club also successfully qualified for National Junior Olympics every year. 

Nick has also coached at University High School where his team earned second place in the Pacific Coast League. As the head coach at Mt. Carmel High School, Nick’s team was ranked fifth in Division I and won the Palomar League.  In the two years that Nick coached the UC Irvine Women’s Club team, they ranked seventh in the Nation – the highest in team history – and Nick was named Pacific Coast Division Coach of the year.  As a coach at Orange County Water Polo Club, his team finished in the top 20 at National Junior Olympics.

Nick’s Vanguard coaching responsibilities include working with the 14U Boys Silver team and assisting with several other groups. Outside of coaching, he’s pursuing a career in medicine. 

Matthew Whitmore Head Coach, Swim

Coach Whitmore attended Costa Mesa High School, Goldenwest College, Pepperdine and San Diego State.  He currently holds a California teaching credential as well as a Master's degree.  In addition he is also a Level III USA Swimming Certified Coach. 

During the school year, he teaches English at Edison High School, where he coached  Varsity Water polo and Swimming for several decades.   As an athlete, he was a seven-time All-American selection.  He has been actively coaching water polo and swimming since 1986, being named Sunset League Coach of the Year 4 times.  

He lifeguarded for the City of Huntington Beach for 20 years, 16 of those years spent heavily involved with the Junior Lifeguard Program.  


Board of Directors