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Todd Sprague steps down from coaching La Cañada High boys' water polo

Todd Sprague resigns from coaching La Cañada High boys¿ water polo five days before the team¿s regular season opener, is replaced by Devon Borisoff.

September 04, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Todd Sprague stepped down from coaching the La Cañada High boys' water polo team Sunday for a full-time teaching position at Norwalk High. He is replaced by Devon Borisoff.
Todd Sprague stepped down from coaching the La Cañada… (Courtesy of Craig…)

La Cañada High Athletic Director Craig Franzen said it was “shocking” when he learned Todd Sprague, the Spartans boys’ water polo team’s first-year coach resigned from his position Sunday afternoon just five days before the team’s regular season opener.

Sprague left La Cañada for a full-time social studies teaching position at Norwalk High, which he says is five miles from his home in Whittier. Devon Borisoff, a former All-Area standout boys’ water polo player at La Cañada, replaces Sprague after serving as an assistant coach the past three seasons.

“The opportunity came and for financial reasons I took it,” said Sprague, who added he wasn’t looking for a new position. “You’ve got to pay the bills, that’s the most important thing. Water polo has always been great, I have been able to use it to help make ends meet before, but now I will be making three times as much as when I was coaching.”

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Sprague said it all unfolded over a 10-day span when “an acquaintance” notified him about the open position at Norwalk and he applied. He learned he got the teaching job Friday, notified La Cañada Unified on Sunday and spoke with the team Monday.

“I obviously was kind of surprised and taken aback by it a little bit because we just started the season,” Franzen said. “I wish the guy luck. He got a full-time job, you can’t argue with that too much. The timing is horrible.”

Borisoff, 23, whose brother Chase Borisoff is returning for his senior season as a utility with La Cañada, said it “definitely” feels good to have full control of the team.

“To be honest, nothing on our end is going to change too much,” said Borisoff, who graduated from La Cañada in 2007 and also brought on Wesley Lewis, his former co-captain with the Spartans in 2006, as an assistant coach. “I have kind of been the quote un quote head coach in an unofficial capacity for three years now, so this finally just makes it so I can actually stand up in the middle of a game and yell at referees and not worry about getting tossed out.”

Sprague, whose father Jim Sprague will also stick around as an assistant coach, said one thing that made his decision easier was the competent coaches already on deck at La Cañada in Borisoff, Kristen Dronberger and his dad.

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