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ASU water polo head coach Todd Clapper steps down from position

Assistant coach Petra Pardi was named interim head coach March 25

ASU Water Polo vs Princeton-13.jpeg

ASU Water Polo Head Coach Todd Clapper talks to his team during a timeout against Princeton on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe.

ASU water polo head coach Todd Clapper stepped down from his position. The team named assistant coach Petra Pardi interim head coach on March 25, according to Sun Devil Athletics spokesperson Doug Tammaro.

Assistant coach Stefanos Leandros is also no longer employed by the University, according to Tammaro.

Clapper did not return calls from The State Press requesting comment. ASU spokesperson Christopher Fiscus confirmed the departures of Clapper and Leandros but did not elaborate when asked why the two left the program.

"Our team is singularly focused on the games ahead,” Pardi said in a statement. "We look forward to finishing the season strong."

Pardi takes over the team with three games remaining on the schedule before the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament in late April.

Pardi played for the Sun Devils from 2011 to 2015. She earned All-American honors as a junior and served as team captain in her senior season. 

Pardi returned to ASU to finish her master's degree in 2016 and served as a team manager and graduate assistant coach. Pardi was officially promoted to assistant coach in August of 2018. 

Clapper had served as the team's head coach since 2005 and was in the middle of his 17th season in the position with the Sun Devils. 

He went 285-180 while coaching the program and has led the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including an appearance in last season's water polo Final Four. Clapper was also the winner of ASU's Frank Kush Award in 2020-21.

Leandros was in his first season coaching as an assistant at ASU. He previously spent several seasons as an assistant coach with the Greece National Youth, Junior, and Senior Water Polo programs.

ASU women's water polo is currently ranked ninth in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top 25 with a 13-9 overall record and a 1-2 record in the Pac-12. The team's next contest will be the last road trip of the season when it travels to UCLA on April 2.

Editor's Note: This story was updated on April 2, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. to include a statement from ASU spokesperson Christopher Fiscus. 

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Walker SmithSports Editor

Walker Smith is a managing editor in the digital department of the State Press. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor on the sports desk and works for Blaze Radio and interned at Big Slate Media in broadcast productions.

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