Athletics News

2nd Annual Steve Heaston Tournament This Weekend To Benefit National Brain Tumor Society


July 6, 2018 The 2nd Annual Heaston Invitational Water Polo Tournament takes place this weekend July 7-8 at Acalanes High School and Las Lomas High School. This tournament honors and highlights the career and influence of Steve Heaston, a legendary coach and teacher. Following Steve’s philosophy on ‘perfect practice makes perfect play,’ this tournament provides an opportunity for beginner water polo players to develop their skills and game tactics.

“Steve advocated teaching the youngsters, the 10 and under, the 12 and under, he was always a teacher more than coach,” said Jesse Figueroa, a tournament organizer and longtime co-worker of Heaston of the University of California, Berkeley. Figueroa added, “he taught these kids to be positive people in their lifestyle, in the community and in the workplace. If you look at a lot of the coaches in Northern California (former Heaston players), even though they work, they are coaching. I was humbled to work with him for the 37 years I was on staff at Cal. He was a great guy, big that he was, he had a very soft heart.”

Coach Heaston was a teacher and water polo coach first at Acalanes High School. He excelled as a coach at the high school, club, collegiate and international level. While at Acalanes High School he won six CIF Water Polo Championships and he received multiple coach of the year awards. He coached Team USA to a Gold Medal at the 1993 World University Games. He went on to win three NCAA Championships as a head coach and four as an assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley. He also was an assistant coach helping Team USA to a Silver Medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1998 and the University of California, Berkeley Hall of Fame in 2009. On top of winning championships Steve invested in the lives of the players that he coached. He wanted to see every player reach the peak of his or her ability as a player. He was committed to building his player’s ethical and moral character and he also pushed his players to succeed in the classroom. Sadly, Steve passed away in 1999 from brain cancer.

The annual Heaston Invitational Water Polo Tournament has a goal to raise funds for brain cancer research and water polo. Profits from the tournament will be donated to the National Brain Tumor Society and the Lafayette Water Polo Foundation. Last year each organization received a $2,000 donation is Steve’s honor from tournament proceeds.

Tournament plays starts on July 7, with champions crowned on July 8. When the action finishes, the winners will raise a perpetual trophy, one that is kept year-round at Acalanes High School.
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