Menlo News September 01, 2022

Knights defeat Skyline; Jack Bowen reaches 500th Menlo win

9.1.2022 – The Menlo Knights boys water polo team defeated Skyline of Utah 19-11 and head coach Jack Bowen landed his 500th victory with the Knights at home Thursday.
Bowen, in his 23rd season, holds a 500-154 record during which time the Knights won 17 league championships and five Central Coast Section titles.

In 2000, Bowen was in the Bay Area with his band (he’s a drummer), teaching philosophy at the community college when a Stanford teammate had asked a favor. His friend had just gotten hired for a full-time job but was set to coach Menlo water polo. Bowen took the Menlo job, and more than two decades later, he is an esteemed, nationally honored coach and philosophy teacher.

“At first after the game, there was an overwhelming feeling, I think because of what this all represents, then there was this gratitude that I got to celebrate with this group of kids,” Bowen said.

From Day One, Bowen has encouraged his players and students to “Be their Best.” He says it all stems from Aristotle and the idea of human flourishing or eudaimonia or the highest good that humans can strive for. Incidentally, the Knights won the first CCS title in program history in 2000. Bowen has never stressed the wins and losses or the titles. At the post-game on the pool deck Thursday night, he toasted years of culture and pledging to be our best.
“We’re just the ones who are privileged to get this win with Jack,” said Menlo senior Jackson Kay, who is a captain with Finn Byrne and Tommy Kiesling. “He’s been a big part of this program and such a big part of the school and we’re just glad to be a part of it.”

Sam Untrecht ’19 learned about his former coach reaching milestone while the Cal attacker was in Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Open. Saturday, he and his Bears teammates will face fellow alumni Jayden Kunwar ’18 and Liam Housenbold ’20 with Johns Hopkins. 

 “Jack was a great coach and allowed me to excel in high school water polo,” Untrecht said. “His 500 wins says a lot about his coaching abilities, but also shows his dedication to not only the sport but his players. He cares more about human development than throwing the ball in the net, and that’s why so many Menlo water polo alumni go on to be very successful in the pool and in life beyond the water.”

In its first game against a team outside California, Menlo School took a quick 5-0 advantage in a 19-11 win over Skyline of Utah at home Thursday. 

Menlo’s Tommy Kiesling posted seven goals and two assists. Senior Ethan Babel led the Knights with five assists and senior Michael Fang led the team with three ejections earned.

On Saturday, Menlo hosts East Bay powerhouse Acalanes.

Menlo School         7  4   6   2  - 19
Skyline                   2   3   3   3 - 11

Scoring – goals: Ethan Babel 2, Michael Fang 3, Patrick Galligan, Tommy Kiesling 7, Jackson Coleman 4, Teddy Meeks. Saves – Finn Byrne 7, Cormac Mulloy 5