A New Season for Waterpolo Means a New Coaching Staff

After an incredible year as Michigan’s state runner-up team, the girl’s water polo team is gearing up for another success-filled spring season. The team’s talent and hard work were catalysts in their winning season, and former head coach Justin Hulsebus played an integral role. 

This season, however, Hulsebus will not be coaching the Pioneers. Instead, Boys’ team head coach Raheem Brown, who began a coaching career at East last year, and Grant Anger will be taking over the program. 

“We all expected it coming, some more than others,” Abby Schulz ‘24 said. “I believe he was ready to move on with other things in life.” 

While Hulsebus may have finished his time coaching East Grand Rapids water polo on a high note, this leaves a large legacy for new coaches to fulfill. 

“I think that Grant brings a new perspective to the dynamic of the team, along with a very positive and excited attitude,” captain Barbara Bart ‘22 said. 

Anger will be taking over the position of head coach with the assistance of boy’s coach Raheem Brown. Together, the two will be fostering a new generation of water polo players and are excited to build upon the success of years past. 

A shift in coaching staff may be a tumultuous time for athletes, but water polo players at East are excited for the opportunities ahead. 

“My first impression [of Grant] is that he dances a lot and he’s the male version of Barbara Bart,” Amelia Chandler ‘23 said. 

A key element of new coaching is the new ideas and philosophies which can be brought to the team. “To me new coaches mean new ideas. Every coach has something to offer, as an athlete this creates lots of opportunities to learn,” Schulz said.

As the two coaches work to understand their new roles, upperclassmen, especially captains, have been imperative in fostering a welcoming environment for new players and the new coaching staff. 

“From coaching the boy’s team and officiating several of the girl’s games last season, the transition period was rather easy. The captains have been great leaders so far and the underclassmen have already bought into the program,” said Brown. 

The girls, who are currently ranked 5th in Michigan by polls, are looking forward to shattering expectations in the pool in the weeks to come.

“I expect that once we grow into our own identity, we will be contending for a top finish,” Brown said, “one could certainly say this is our redemption tour as we chase down another State Championship.”

This story was originally published in the March 31 edition of The East Vision.