Felix Mercado enters his 11th season as the head coach of Brown University’s men’s and women’s water polo teams in 2017-18 having coached 17 all-conference performers and nine All-Americans on the men’s side alone during his time with the Bears.
Mercado led the Brown men’s team to its first appearance in the NCAA Championship since 1990 in 2014 after the team claimed its first CWPA title since 1985. He guided the team to a 27-7 overall mark and its first Northern Division title since 2009. In 2014 he gained both CWPA Northern Division Coach of the Year honors and Dick Russell Coach of the CWPA Tournament accolades while mentoring a pair of All-Americans in Henry Fox ’15 and Will Klein ’16.
In 2016, Mercado guided the Bears to their third straight regular season title, claiming the inaugural NWPC regular season championship. Mercado won NWPC Coach of the Year accolades and coached NWPC Player of the Year Luke Weiser ’17 and a pair of ACWPC All-Americans in Yahel Murvitz-Lahav ’17 and Jake Wyatt ’17.
The 2015 edition of Mercado’s men’s team won a second consecutive CWPA Northern Division title and notched an undefeated 12-0 mark in CWPA Northern Division play during the regular season. Klein earned CWPA Northern Division Player of the Year accolades while he and Matty Gallas ’16 garnered All-American status.
In 2013, Mercado led the men's water polo team to its fourth straight 20-plus win season that culminated in a 15-9 victory over Harvard to earn fifth place at the Collegiate Water Polo Association Eastern Championships. Mercado mentored two CWPA Northern Division First Team picks in James McNamara ’14 and Fox.
Mercado’s men’s side posted a 29-4 mark in 2012 with Svetozar Stefanovic ’13 earning All-America honors for the fourth straight season in addition to his fourth consecutive Northern Division Player of the Year award. Under Mercado, the Bears went 20-12 in 2010 and 21-11 in 2011.
Mercado enjoyed a banner year in 2009 as the men's water polo team won a Northern Division title and the women's team claimed an Eastern College Association Conference (ECAC) championship. Mercado took home CWPA Northern Division Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year at Brown, earning the honor on the women’s side in 2008 and 2009 and on the men’s side in 2007.
Mercado was hired in the summer of 2007 as Brown's men's and women's water polo coach. He spent the two seasons prior to coming to Brown at the helm of the MIT men's varsity and women's club teams after one year as an assistant.
In 2006, he was named CWPA Division III and CWPA Northern Division Coach of the Year after leading MIT's men's team to a second-place finish at the Division III Eastern Championship and the team's third-ever appearance at the Division I Eastern Championship. He posted a 26-34 record in Cambridge, as the Engineers attempted to integrate 12 freshmen into the program in 2006 after a 15-14 record in 2005.
In two years as the coach of the MIT club women's team, Mercado's squads posted a 30-3 record, making back-to-back appearances at the Club National Championships. He was named the North Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year in 2007. Mercado also served as an assistant coach at Hartwick College in the spring, as the Hawks finished fifth at the NCAA Championship.
Before arriving in Cambridge, Mercado spent 11 years coaching at Ransom Everglades School in Miami, Fla. During his tenure with Ransom, Mercado helped guide his squad to three Florida State Championships in the boys division and coached the girls program to six straight Final Four finishes.
In December 2013, Mercado was elected President of the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches, as announced by ACWPC Executive Director Larry Sanders.
Mercado was also the head coach and founder of the Raider Water Polo Club Foundation, and led the program to six Southeast Zone Championships. He has also offered his coaching expertise at numerous national team development camps for USA Water Polo.
Mercado earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Management from American Intercontinental University in 2006. He also has an Associate of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Miami Dade College.
The Mercado File
Awards & Accolades
NCAA Men’s Appearances: 2014
CWPA Men’s Championships: 2014
CWPA Northern Division Men’s Championships: 2009, 2014, 2015
NWPC Men’s Coach of the Year: 2016
CWPA Northern Division Men’s Coach of the Year: 2006, 2007, 2014
CWPA Northern Division Women’s Coach of the Year: 2008, 2009
CWPA Southern Division Women’s Coach of the Year: 2012, 2014
Dick Russell Coach of the CWPA Men’s Tournament: 2014
All-NWPC (4): Luke Irwin (2016), Yahel Murvitz-Lahav (2016), Luke Weiser (2016), Rico Burke (2016)
All-North (15): Mike Gartner (2007-08), Gerrit Adams (2007), Grant LeBeau (2007-08), Gordon Hood (2008-09), Svetozar Stefanovic (2009-12), Kent Holland (2009), James McNamara (2010-13), Henry Fox (2011-14), Michael Hartwick (2011), Nick Deaver (2014), Will Klein (2014-15), Matty Gallas (2015), Luke Weiser (2015), Yahel Murvitz-Lahav (2015), Jake Wyatt (2015)
ACWPC All-American (9): Mike Gartner (2007), Svetozar Stefanovic (2009-12), Kent Holland (2009), James McNamara (2011), Henry Fox (2013-14), Will Klein (2014-15), Matty Gallas (2015), Yahel Murvitz-Lahav (2016), Jake Wyatt (2016)
NWPC Player of the Year (1): Luke Weiser (2016)
North Player of the Year (2): Svetozar Stefanovic (2009-12), Will Klein (2015)
North Rookie of the Year (2): Toby Espinosa (2008), Henry Fox (2011)
Men's Record at Brown