Tim Kates Named New Aquatics Director and Head Varsity Water Polo Coach

Tim Kates Named New Aquatics Director and Head Varsity Water Polo Coach


Tim Kates Named New Aquatics Director and Head Varsity Water Polo Coach

Longtime Bay Area water polo and swim coach Tim Kates has been named Serra High School’s new aquatics director and head varsity water polo coach. Kates will begin on April 3. 

A lifetime local, Kates attended St. Raymond’s Catholic School as an elementary school student, then attended St. Francis for high school and the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2004. 

Kates has spent much of his life in the pool, as a high school and collegiate water polo athlete. He has also been a coach at Menlo-Atherton, Gunn and St. Francis high schools, as well as the Stanford and South Peninsula water polo clubs. 

Serra Athletics Director Justin Ferdinand is excited to welcome Kates to the coaching staff.

“Tim Kates brings a ton of playing and coaching experience and a wealth of knowledge. His passion and enthusiasm for the sport of water polo is unmatched. He will be a welcomed addition to the Padre coaching staff,” Ferdinand said.

What attracted Kates to Serra was its placement in the challenging Western Catholic Athletic League, which boasts a very competitive level of water polo. 

“I look at the opportunity to challenge myself, and to help the program move up the ranks of the league,” Kates said. “I know Serra has a large pool of talented boys and I firmly believe that I would be able to help them rise to new levels within the WCAL division,” he added.

Kates’ coaching philosophy includes balance, education, atmosphere and respect. He said he hopes to encourage the boys to be the best versions of themselves. 

“The true definition of success comes at the end of the season, when we see how much learning we have done, how much we have grown as individuals, did we treat each other and the team with success and did we have fun,” Kates said.  

As for playing style, Kates said, “Water polo is a simple game. We will play as hard and aggressive as possible while in control and within the rules of the game. The playing style has much to do with the attitude of the team and the attitude of the team is extremely important.”

When he is not in the water coaching, Kates is in the yoga studio, enjoying a good streaming show or tending to his two tanks of Bumblebee Platies, small fish that are stunningly distinguishable by their bright yellow body with black markings. 


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