Montenegro New VMI Head Water Polo Coach

Danielle Montenegro smiling

Danielle Montenegro, formerly the head mentor at Urbana University (Ohio), was named the head coach of the VMI women’s water polo team this summer.

The VMI women’s water polo team had a record-breaking 2020 campaign before it was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Keydets finished the year 12-1 with a program-record nine-game winning streak. VMI swept all four of their matches at both the Washington & Jefferson University and Grove City College Invitationals and took three of four at the Mercyhurst Invite. Issi French ’20, goalie, earned an honorable mention to the All-American team at season’s end.

Montenegro, a native of Rowland Heights, California, came to Urbana last fall after serving as head coach of the water polo program at Crafton Hills College. She also spent three years as assistant coach at Mt. San Antonio College.

Since 2008, Montenegro has coached and instructed at various high schools and clubs in Southern California, including Kennedy High School, Diamond Bar High School, Rowland and Nogales High School, Rose Bowl Aquatics and Rancho Tsunami Water Polo Club.

A standout water polo athlete, Montenegro earned NCAA Division III All-American status all four years at Occidental College (California). She was named team MVP as a sophomore and was twice voted a team captain. Before college, Montenegro led the Rowland High School team to a pair of league championships while earning league MVP and Player of the Year awards. She was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Montenegro earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Occidental and obtained her master’s degree from Concordia University in applied exercise science, with an emphasis in strength and conditioning. She’s also a certified strength and conditioning specialist and certified physical therapist assistant.

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on