|College:||Long Beach State (1998)|
Under his leadership, Eric has guided Chapman's men's and
women's water polo programs to national prominence, including a
number of firsts since 2008. In 2009, the Panthers defeated a No.
1-ranked Division III school (Pomona-Pitzer) for the first time in
school history. And in 2008, Chapman upset a nationally-ranked
top-20 program (Cal Baptist). In 2011-12, Chapman set a school
records for most wins for the men in a single season with 15, while
clinching their first winning season in six years at 14-12.
Of course, moving in to Chapman's state-of-the-art Allred Aquatics Center and new Olympic pool has provided a lot of "firsts", as well as a beautiful venue for NCAA water polo.
Ploessel began his tenure as head men's coach in 2007 and has since guided the Panthers to their first two appearances in the WWPA championships in 16 years in 2008 and '09, including hosting the championship tournament in '09. On the women's side, the Panthers led the nation in team GPA for the first time ever in 2009 with a 3.42 mark. Both of Chapman's men's and women's programs are consistently ranked among the top-10 in NCAA Division III.
The son of long-time aquatics director Dennis Ploessel, Eric
became Chapman's head women's water polo coach in spring 2004 and
helped guide the Panthers to their first top-10 national ranking in
school history with a 17-13 record. In 2005, Chapman ranked as high
as No. 3 in the nation and qualified for the Collegiate III
Championhips for the first time ever and finished fourth in the
tournament. Ploessel's athletes have also excelled outside of the
water as Chapman ranked No. 5 in the nation in team GPA in 2006
with a 3.33 mark.
Prior to becoming head coach of the women, Eric served as men's and women's assistant coach for three seasons. He still serves as an assistant on the men's and women's swimming teams. Eric played collegiately at Long Beach State from 1995-98, scoring 58 career points, including a career-high 20 as a senior. He once notched five goals in an overtime win versus U.C. San Diego.