Ryan McMillen has 24 years of water polo experience and numerous awards, started playing the game as a joke. Someone signed him up for swimming while he was a freshman on the football team at San Mateo High School and he never looked back. He stayed with swimming and started playing water polo the following summer at the Stanford Water Polo Camp. There he learned to play the game as a field player. During his three years on the high school varsity team, he split his playing time between 2 meter defense and goalie because the coach wanted the best athlete in the cage. He was recruited into college as a goalie or a 2 meter defender. After his first couple of weeks at California State University Fresno, he earned the starting goalie position under the tutelage of Craig Wilson (UCSB Alum and Olympic Goalie). After the program was dropped in 1993 due to Title 9, Ryan transferred to UCSB and fell in love with Santa Barbara.
He has been involved in the water polo community as a player and coach from 1987-present. He has extensive experience as a goalie (7 years) and as a field player (17 years). Ryan remains active in the sport and has played for Santa Barbara Water Polo Foundation – Masters, Bay Area Masters, Newport Water Polo Foundation, New York Athletic Club, and most recently with the Darkside masters group.
Ryan’s love of the game led him to coaching in the Bay Area after college. He was the Menlo High School Water Polo JV coach 1997-1999 (undefeated), the Menlo High School Assistant Varsity Coach 1997-1999 (2nd CCS 1998), and the San Jose State Asst. Women’s Water Polo Coach 1997, 1998. He returned to Santa Barbara in 1999 and began volunteer coaching with the Dos Pueblos High School Boys Water Polo team 1999-2013.
Most recently, Ryan has been a Santa Barbara Aquatics Club -Water Polo Assistant coach for the 16U & 18U during the 2013 season as well as the Assistant goalie coach (boys and girls – all age groups 14,16,18 & under). He is now the Director of Boys Water Polo program for Santa Barbara Aquatics Club, Head Goalie coach, and the 16U-B team coach. Ryan has also recently taken over as the Men’s and Women’s Assistant Coach at the University of California Santa Barbara.
His numerous awards and honors include: High School All-American Goalie 1990, Junior Olympic Silver Medalist 16 & under 1989; All PAL Team 1989 & 1990, PAL MVP 1989, 1990; CCS MVP 1990; Don Dryfus Award – 1990; Captain Fresno State Water Polo 1993; Captain UCSB Water Polo 1995; National B Team 1991, Olympic Festival Silver Medalist (east) 1991; 2nd Team All Big West 1991; San Mateo High School Hall of Fame – inducted in 2003; 3-time Masters Nationals Champion; 7-time Masters Nationals runner-up; Winterfest Runner-up 2012; Fisher Cup Champion 2013 – NYAC; USA Water Polo Masters All-American 15 years as a field player (20’s, 30’s, 40’s).
When not on the pool deck Ryan enjoys spending time with his girlfriend Shanti, traveling, going to the beach, surfing or just relaxing.