Troy L. Merkel is in his fifth year as Miramar College’s Head Men’s Water Polo Coach.
Merkel is no stranger to building successful water polo programs. As head coach for the Mission Bay HS varsity and jr. varsity boy’s and girl’s water polo and swim teams, he is responsible for building a thriving aquatics program. Under Merkel’s leadership, Mission Bay earned the first banners for water polo in school history. He has led the boy’s team to two Central League championships in 2008 and 2012, and has logged six CIF playoff appearances with an overall record of 91-70. Merkel has also led the girls’ team to six consecutive league championships with seven CIF playoff appearances dating from 2007 to present, and an overall record of 120-76. Merkel was awarded CIF-San Diego Section girl’s water polo ”Coach of the Year” honors in 2010. His players have gone on to play at the collegiate level for institutions like Harvard, Whittier, Cal Maritime, Cal Lutheran and various collegiate club teams.
In his short time at Miramar College, he has already had some of his atheletes move onto the next level in water polo and the majority academically. Starting four years ago with just nine athletes, the Miramar mens team last year had seventeen student athletes. Merkel was awarded Miramar men's coach of the year for 2015-2016.
A multi-sport athlete at Patrick Henry HS, Merkel participated in water polo, basketball, track and field, and swim. After high school he played water polo for Grossmont College in 1995, where the team competed in the CCCAA State Finals, narrowly losing in triple overtime. Merkel was also part of the swim team for Grossmont College in 1996, which was a CCCAA State Meet qualifier. Merkel would transfer to Azusa Pacific University, where he walked on to the track team in 1998 and was part of a relay team that finished fourth in the nation, earning him NAIA All-America honors.
A native of San Diego, Merkel holds a B.S. in Social Science from Azusa Pacific University. He has worked as a manager and area manager in sales, as an assistant director of a business improvement district and is a Realtor. Merkel lives in San Diego.