3-Time GCC Coach of the Year| 2-Time MPSF Coach Of the Year| 1-Time National Coach of the Year| 3 GCC Championship Titles| 4 NCAA Championship Appearances
James Graham enters his 10th season at the helm of the Pacific men's water polo program and sixth year as head coach for the women's water polo team. Compiling a combined record of 267-185 during his ten-year tenure with the Orange and Black, Graham has solidified his role as one of the most decorated and successful coaches in Pacific history.
National Team Experience
An active member of the U.S. National Olympic programs dating back to 2005, Graham recently served as the Head Men's Water Polo Coach for Team USA at the 2017 University Games in Taipei. Graham has been the head of analytics for the men's and women's team since 2013. Graham provided analysis to help prepare both squads for the 2016 Rio Olympics. During the summer of 2012, Graham traveled to London, England to help the U.S. Men's Water Polo team at the London Olympics by conducting statistical analysis on all competing teams. Graham provided the U.S. coaching staff with in-depth breakdowns of opponent's tendencies. He would go on to join assistant professor of Mathematics at Pacific, John Mayberry, to author "Measures of Tactical Efficiency in Water Polo", a study published in the Journal of Analysis in Sports.
Graham also served as an assistant coach for the United States National Youth team from 2005-2007, coaching the National 2-Meter Development Camp and Holiday Camp held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Pacific Men's Water Polo Head Coach
-Overall Record (10 Seasons): 166-109
On the men's side, Graham has helped build the Tigers into one of the nation's elite programs. Adopting a mentality to "Dream Big" and compete with the best, the Tigers have finished as one of the top four teams in the CWPA Top 20 in four of the last five seasons.
In his tenth year, Graham has coached the Orange and Black to three 20+ win seasons and eclipsed the 125+ win mark over competition ranked in the Top 25.
Pacific finished atop the national polls this past 2017-2018 season with a final record of 21-6 and national ranking of No. 5. The Tigers won their first GCC Championship, beating out No. 7 UC Irvine to clinch their first title and defeating Pomona Pitzer for their second-ever NCAA victory in program history. The Orange and Black's efforts helped Graham snag his first Men's WP GCC Coach of the Year Award.
The 2013-2014 season was a monumental stepping stone for the men's water polo, improving from 13-12 the previous year to clinching their first 20+ win season in Pacific Water Polo history (23-5). The Tigers held the No. 1 ranking for seven straight weeks, making it to their first-ever NCAA Championship in an overtime match with USC.
Individual records during Graham's time include 24 All-America Accolades, 30 All-Conference (GCC, MPSF) Accolades, and two Conference Player of the Year awards.
Pacific Women's Water Polo Head Coach
-Overall Record (6 Seasons): 101-76
Taking over as the head coach for Women's Water Polo on June 12, 2012, Graham became the first individual in school history to coach both teams simultaneously. In six seasons with the Orange and Black, Graham has uplifted this program to a Top-10 nationally ranked team, compiling a record of 101-76, it's highest win total in program history.
Graham has been a part of the growth of the women's team first-hand, going from an unranked team in 2014 to progressing to it's highest ranking in program history this year at No. 6.
Following three GCC Championship appearances, back-to-back GCC Championships (2017, 2018) and two consecutive NCAA selections (2017, 2018) the Tigers have evolved into a dominant powerhouse capable of competing with the nation's best. Pacific broke records this past 2017-2018 season, achieiving it's highest-ever seeding at No. 5 in the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships. The Orange and Black are 29-17 in the last two seasons competing against Top-25 competition, seven of those wins coming against opponents ranked No. 10 or better.
Graham has also developed some of Pacific's finest water polo players during his time with the Orange and Black, helping the program earn 19-All-Conference Team accolades, eight NCAA All-Americans, and two GCC Player of the Year awards.
Life Prior to Pacific
Graham began his playing career at Santa Rosa Junior College, where he played for two years. His stellar play garnered an Honorable Mention All-America and All-Northern California honors during the 1999 season. Graham spent his final two years at the University of Redlands, suiting up for the Bulldogs from 2001-02. Redlands never lost a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game while Graham was there, winning the Big 8 League Title both of his two years. Graham was a two-time Academic All-American and earned All-SCIAC honors as a senior.
Prior to joining Pacific, Graham would go back to coach at his alma mater, Santa Rosa Junior College. Graham build the Bear Cubs into a state power, carrying a career record of 86-50-1 which included a school-best third place finish at the California State Championships and Big 8 Conference title in 2007. For his efforts, Graham was named the 2007 Big 8 Conference Coach of the Year. It was his second conseuctive Coach of the Year honor as he won the same award in 2006 after taking the Bear Cubs to the Northern California Championship. He was honored as the Northern California Coach of the year in 2006.