By Matt Jenkins
---- — DANVERS — At the same press conference where Dan Letarte was named the new baseball coach at St. John’s Prep, another new head coach was given the reigns to another highly successful Prep athletic program.
Connor Fortin, a 2007 graduate of St. John’s Prep, was named the school’s new water polo coach, taking over for Tony Padvaiskas.
Fortin played four yeas of water polo at St. John’s, as well as participating for four years on the swimming and diving team. As a senior, Fortin captained the water polo team and was named team MVP.
“I’m really excited to teach the kids about rules, regulations and help them build their skills in the water,” Fortin, a Fordham University graduate, said.
Fortin was introduced to water polo by his father, who played throughout high school and college.
“My dad went to Phillips Exeter Academy and Bucknell University and was playing water polo the entire time,” Fortin said. “I started at the Prep and there was a water polo program, and my dad said he thought I should join. I was never really good on the land; hence me being in the water all the time.”
Fortin became an assistant coach for the Padvaiskas with the swim team in 2011, then joined Padvaiskas as an assistant water polo coach in 2012. Padvaiskas will continue to coach the swimming and diving team, and Fortin expects to lean on his experience early in his head coaching career.
“Tony is going to continue to be a mentor and help me out and get along and learn the ropes the first few years,” Fortin said.