Paragon Awards Presented By
Don Holbrook (USA)
2019 Paragon Award / Water Polo
Don Holbrook has worked as a water polo coach, official, supervisor and commissioner for over 40 years. He has worked in these different positions not for fame or glory but for the sport he truly loves.
Holbrook coached boys’ water polo starting in 1972 at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights, California, for well over 10 years and came back to coach the girls inaugural water polo team at Los Altos for five years.
Don became active in officiating at the high school, community college and college level shortly after coaching the boys at Los Altos.
He then became the head referee at the USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics for age groups 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U and worked for over 15 years in this capacity. As the tournament increased in the number of teams allowed to qualify, the tournament increased to over 200 teams for both boys, girls and co-ed for the 12U and Holbrook’s involvement increased as well. They utilized over 25 sites and had well over 100 officials for each session (boys and girls). Holbrook dealt with travel compensation, hotels, ground transportation and the assigning of the numerous games each day. He held clinics each night so the officials from all over the United States could have a knowledge clinic to add to their on-deck mentoring experiences.
On the local level, Holbrook worked as the liaison between the officiating governing BOD and the sports governing board for interscholastic athletics in CIF-SS. He was a member of this Officials Association BOD for over 15 years and he also worked as the representative on this board for the collegiate officials.
Today, Holbrook works with the governing association in dealing with their championship weekend for water polo. He oversees the field of play personnel for this event.
In addition, he is the supervisor of officials for the Southern California Community Colleges, three conferences (excluding San Diego), and has done this for approximately 10 years. Holbrook mentors and evaluates all officials working for these conferences.
He is also the supervisor of officials for the Southern California Interscholastic Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and has held this position for 15 years.
On the high school level, Holbrook also assigns the high school officials in his local area in Southern California.
Recipients of the