Water Polo Standout to Compete in Her Fourth Olympiad in London
At the Farm
Big Splash at Farm
Former U.S. Olympic standout Maureen O'Toole-Purcell joined the California women's water polo team as a volunteer assistant coach in September 2007.
O'Toole-Purcell was Cal's first women's water polo head coach, leading the team for three years from 1996-98. Her squads finished as national runners-up all three years. After combining for an 83-18 overall record, O'Toole-Purcell's .822 winning percentage still ranks tops amongst Cal women's water polo coaches. Named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Northern Division Coach of the Year twice (1996, 1997), she helped produce some of the nation's top players, including league and NCAA Tournament MVPs, MPSF Goalie of the Year, 14 All-Americans and 16 All-MPSF selections.
As a player, O'Toole-Purcell earned countless honors of her own and has been called one of the finest women's water polo players in the history of the game. She is a 15-time U.S National Championship MVP, a six-time World Championships MVP and a four-time national Sportswoman of the Year as named by the U.S. Olympic Committee. After her years at Cal, O'Toole-Purcell rejoined the U.S. Olympic Team in 1997. She was the oldest and only water polo over the age of 30 at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where the U.S. won the silver medal.
O'Toole-Purcell earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii, where she was a top scholar-athlete with 3.65 GPA. In 1990, the Long Beach, Calif., native earned a master's in education from Azusa Pacific. She is currently the head coach and technical director of the Diablo Water Polo Club, and most recently led her team to a gold medal at the 16-and-under Junior Olympics. O'Toole-Purcell resides in Danville with her husband Jim, a three-time All-American at Cal and a key member of the 1975 and 1977 NCAA championship water polo teams. O'Toole-Purcell's daughter, Kelly, is a standout sophomore on the Cal women's water polo team.