James E. Smith
Waterpolo Club Director
USA Water Polo named Coach James the 2015-16 Top Development Coach for its national Olympic Development Program. For eight years he was the Southwest Zone Boys’ Head Coach. He helmed the Round Rock High School girls to four TISCA West Region Championships and was Coach of the Year in 2018. Previously he coached at The Priory School and La Costa Canyon HS in California. He played at Long Beach Wilson High School and UC San Diego and earned his MBA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He’s the founder of Total Waterpolo, and co-host of the TXWaterpolo Podcast.
Barbara “Babs” Lanier
Barbara Lanier, is a former varsity player at the University of Michigan, one of the top ranked programs in the nation, and at Acalanes High School in Northern California. She also has significant coaching experience working with Saline High School in Michigan and Diablo Alliance Water Polo in California, where she enjoyed both polo and summer league swim coaching. She coaches all age groups including Swim2Score.
Savannah “Savvy” Ruiz
Assistant & Goalkeeping Coach
Savannah is a current waterpolo player at Texas A&M University. With over 10 years of experience as an athlete she now enters the coaching fray as AquaTex’s lead Goalkeeping Coach.
Savvy played at Jersey Village High School in Cypress, Texas and helped lead the Falcons to four consecutive high school state championship tournament appearances. She also played for CFWPC during the summers, attending Junior Olympics each year of membership. She brings that experience and enthusiasm to AquaTex where she’ll focus on our Age Group athletes.
Kendall has been with AquaTex since she was 14. She played at Austin College after being named Most Valuable Player for TISCA High School Water Polo’s West Region in 2018. Her Round Rock High School team was the first ever to defeat a North Texas HS team that season. She coaches during the summer and winter seasons and is currently a graduate student at Texas Tech.
Samantha “Sam” Smith
One of AquaTex’s most prolific scorers as a player Sam is currently a Texas State student where she plays for their club team. She began swimming competitively for the Hurricanes at age 5, then excelled at Westwood High School as an all-region water polo player. She is the seasonal lead water polo coach for our Swim2Score program.
Alon trained with Stanford and Legacy Water Polo clubs before becoming captain and earning all-league and senior all-star honors while at Carmel High School. Awarded Monterey Bay League’s Best Shooter and Most Valuable Offensive Player in 2010, 2011. An ODP selection, he played with the U20 Italian Champions, Circolo Canotierri Napoli. He also trained with the Israeli Junior National Team and participated in the Berlin Maccabi Game in 2015. A varsity athlete at Fordham University in New York, Alon majored in Math/CS and Italian Studies and works in Pharmaceutical Software in Austin.
Matt joined us in the fall of 2022 after having coached water polo and swimming in the UK. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University where he had a standout career: In 2017 he led the team with 47 goals. and earned All-WWPA Second Team honors. He graduated from Southridge High School in Oregon where he helped the team win a pair of state championships in 2013 and 2014. He is certified to coach swimming and water polo in the United Kingdom and will apply those skills to all age groups at AquaTex.
Coach Matt has been involved in aquatics since his youth in Chicago. He joins AquaTex after playing at New Trier HS and North Beach Water Polo Club, then with the University of Arizona men’s team. He assists at all levels and is AquaTex’s main goalie coach. He led the AquaTex 12U team to a Polar Bear League Winter Championship in 2019 and is an assistant for Round Rock High School. He’s a certified referee and a regular master’s athlete along with training for an Ironman. He works for an IT consulting firm and lives in Austin.
Joining AquaTex in 2021, Dominique formerly coached the 14u girls at Lamorinda in California. At Villanova she earned all Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference honors in 2017 and 2018 and ended her career with 250 goals, third best in program history. She was also named to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Academic All-Area Team after posting a perfect 4.0 grade point average in 2017. A graduate of water polo-powerhouse Miramonte HS she is a Berkeley, CA native and now works in business execution training in Austin.
Shannon is one of AquaTex’s (formerly CenTex) earliest members. A stand-out athlete for Westwood High School in Austin she went on to become one of the area’s first ever varsity water polo athletes. In 2019 she finished her first season at Austin College where she was honored by the school with the Sig Lawson Award, given to those who show great character and work ethic. She coaches youth and high school athletes with a focus on goalkeeping.