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In fifth season, Graham led Pacific to first GCC title.
In fifth season, Graham led Pacific to first GCC title.
Women's Water Polo - Tue, May 9, 2017

LOS ANGELES - University of the Pacific's James Graham has been named the 2017 Golden Coast Conference Coach of the Year, as voted on by the league's eight coaches. Graham led the Tigers to their first GCC Championship and trip to the NCAA Championships.

2017 GCC Postseason Awards

 

Graham was the unanimous choice among his peers in earning the honor. In his fifth season, the Tigers enter the NCAA quarterfinals at 21-8 overall and will face Stanford on Friday in Indiana. Pacific has turned in the third 20-win season in program history, the most since 2010 and 2011. Pacific has won seven in a row and 11 of the last 12 dating back to March 15th's win over No. 18 Harvard.

Graham is now 83-68 in his five seasons as the women's head coach at Pacific. 

The Tigers finished the 2016 season ranked No. 15 in the polls, after posting nine wins over Top 25 opponents. The Tigers advanced to the Golden Coast Conference championship game, before falling just short of a bid to the NCAA Tournament with a sudden-death overtime loss, 10-9, to San Diego State.

Karolina Hlavata earned All-American honors in 2016, one of three Pacific players to earn All-Golden Coast Conference honors. The Tigers placed nine members on the GCC All-Academic Team.

In 2015, the Tigers finished 16-12 overall, and second in the Golden Coast Conference at 5-1. Pacific's 5-1 record was the best conference mark in the history of the women's program. The Tigers were ranked 16th in the final CWPA Top 20 poll, the second-highest finish in program history. The Tigers posted a nine-match win streak and seven wins over ranked teams on the year. Pacific went unbeaten versus unranked teams and suffered just two losses to teams ranked outside the Top 12.

Five Tigers earned All-Golden Coast Conference honors, including co-Player of the Year Anna Kertes. Kertes and Michele Relton was named First Team All-GCC, while Taylor Adair and Gracie Smith each earned Second Team All-GCC honors. Karolina Hlavata and Rachel Krieger earned spots on the GCC All-Freshman Team.

In 2014, Taylor Adair (First Team) and Gracie Smith (Second Team) earned All-GCC honors while both were named All-Americans. Pacific posted a 14-17 season while All-American goalkeeper Michele Relton sat out to redshirt for 2015. Pacific finished 2-4 in their first season in the GCC, but rallied to take third place at the GCC Tournament with a resounding 11-4 win over No. 17 Santa Clara.

Pacific posted a 16-16 record in Graham's first season at the helm of the women's program, finishing No. 20 in the final CWPA Top 20 poll. The .500 finish was the Tigers' third as program.