Following a nine-year stint at Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) rival, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Chris Gielen was named the Head Women's Water Polo Coach in August 2014.
Gielen became just the second head coach in the history of the Bulldog program, which dates back to 1994. He replaced longtime head coach, Tom Whittemore, who took on more administrative responsibilities as the Chair of the Physical Education Department while also remaining at the helm of the Bulldog men's water polo program.
Equipped with a unique repertoire of skills, Gielen joins the Bulldog family as an experienced water polo coach, chef, and instructor. While working with the men and women at Pomona-Pitzer, he gained outstanding experience with a successful program that won a combined five conference titles since 2005. He played an integral role in recruiting student-athletes, developing practice plans, implementing fitness training, and much more. In his final year with the Sagehens, he was named the Associate Head Coach.
In addition, he served as the Head Coach of the Foothill Club Water Polo boys' 18-and-under team for three seasons. During that stint, he guided the squad to two top-five showings.
Outside of water polo, Gielen offers the experiences of working as a Chef Instructor in a post-secondary program for more than seven years. He also possesses a background as a strength and fitness trainer, ski instructor, and martial artist.
Gielen began his educational career with an Associates of Science in Applied Sciences at Citrus Community College before completing his degree in Culinary Arts through Le Cordon Bleu. The consummate student with a sincere desire to learn, he then earned his Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from Cal State Fullerton and most recently received his Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University.
As a student-athlete, Gielen was named the Citrus College Male Athlete of the Year in 1998 after earning First-Team All-America honors, First-Team All-Southern California, and First-Team All-Conference honors in water polo. His team also named him the Most Valuable Offensive Player that season.