Felix Mercado enters his 10th season as the head coach of Brown University’s men’s and women’s water polo teams in 2016-17 having coached 15 all-conference performers and five All-Americans on the women’s side alone during his time with the Bears.
In 2015, Mercado guided the Bears to a 20-17 record, marking the third time in four seasons that the team finished with 20 or more wins. He coached a pair of All-CWPA and ACWPC All-American performers in Shannon Crowley ’17 and Marisol Dakan ’18. Under Mercado’s tutelage, Dakan set Brown’s single-season saves record with 403 saves in 2015. As a team, the Bears out-performed their seed, placing fifth at the CWPA Championship with an 8-7 win over Harvard. In 2016, Mercado challenged a young team, which included eight freshmen, playing 19 ranked opponents on the season.
The 2014 season marked Brown's second 20-win campaign in three years, during which Mercado earned Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division Coach of the Year honors and steered the Bears to fifth place at the CWPA Championship. Brown battled to its third-straight CWPA Southern Division title game appearance, while Kate Woods ’14 became a three-time Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-American and finished her career as Brown's all-time leading scorer.
Mercado was elected President of the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches in 2013 following a season that saw Brown take fifth place at the CWPA Eastern Championships. Brown posted the nation's fifth-best team grade point average, collecting All-Academic Awards from the ACWPC, while Madison Pepper ’15 and Woods landed on the ACWPC All-American roster. The Bears also contended for the CWPA Southern Division Championship for the second straight year, falling to Princeton in the title game.
In 2012, Mercado garnered CWPA Southern Division Women’s Coach of the Year laurels after leading the Bears to a 21-17 record. He posted a 20-15 record with Brown in 2011 and a 22-15 mark in 2010.
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.
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
CWPA Southern Division Women’s Coach of the Year: 2012, 2014
CWPA Northern Division Women’s Coach of the Year: 2008, 2009
NCAA Men’s Appearances: 2014
CWPA Men’s Championships: 2014
CWPA Northern Division Men’s Championships: 2009, 2014, 2015
CWPA Northern Division Men’s Coach of the Year: 2006, 2007, 2014
Dick Russell Coach of the CWPA Men’s Tournament: 2014
Women’s Award Winners
All-CWPA (2): Shannon Crowley (2015), Marisol Dakan (2015)
All-South (6): Kate Woods (2011-14), Joanna Wohlmuth (2011), Evan Cranston (2012), Madison Pepper (2012-13), Sarah Presant (2012), Emily McNamara (2014)
All-North (7): Alexis Blaxberg (2008), Sarah Glick (2008-10), Lauren Presant (2008-10), Stephanie Laing (2009-10), Katherine Stanton (2009), Joanna Wohlmuth (2009-10), Brittany Westerman (2010)
ACWPC All-American (5): Stephanie Laing (2009), Madison Pepper (2013), Kate Woods (2011, 2013-14), Shannon Crowley (2015), Marisol Dakan (2015)
North Player of the Year (1): Lauren Presant (2009)
South Rookie of the Year (1): Kate Woods (2011)
Record at Brown