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Alumnus Alex Obert `16 was named to the United States men’s water polo roster. Photo by Mari Jo Prlain

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Pacific media sources on Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jul 12, 2016

The following University of the Pacific faculty and staff are available to comment on aspects of the 2016 Olympic Games, from analytics in athletics to the globalization of sports:

Statistical analysis for achieving peak performance

James Graham, head coach for men's and women's water polo at University of the Pacific, was an analyst for the U.S. Men's Water Polo team during the 2012 Olympics. His role was to conduct a statistical analysis of every water polo team competing in that year's games. He was named 2013 Men's National Coach of the Year after using analytics insights to lead the Pacific men's team to a program-best 23-5 record and NCAA National Championship Game. Two players he coached are on Olympic teams for Rio2016, Alex Obert is on the USA Water Polo team and Balázs Erdélyi will represent Hungary. Graham  is co-author of "Measures of tactical efficiency in water polo," published in a 2014 issue of Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, and "The ebb and flow of official calls in water polo," published April 2016 in the Journal of Sports Analytics. The work is used by USA Water Polo to improve team performance. Graham can provide a coach's perspective on Olympic competition, achieving peak athletic performance, and insights into the kind of edge that statistical analysis can provide in international competition. Contact: James Graham, 209.946.2736,

Travel health

Mark P. Walberg, associate professor of pharmacy practice at University of the Pacific, is available to talk about issues related to travel health, including the threat to Olympic athletes and sports tourists of exposure to the Zika virus and other health risks present in Brazil. Walberg holds a certificate in travel health from the International Society of Travel Medicine and is a faculty trainer for the American Pharmacists Association Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certification Training Program. Walberg received his doctor of pharmacy degree and doctorate in pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry at University of the Pacific's Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He teaches courses in travel health and medicine, advanced immunizations and immunology, and the history and future of vaccines. Contact: Mark Walberg, 805.338.5546,

Olympic facilities, globalization of sports

Peter Schroeder, associate professor and chair of University of the Pacific's Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences, has written extensively on sports management. He has taught courses on the London 2012 Olympics, sports in America, global event and facilities management, and sports and globalization. He can provide context and insight on Americans' love for the Olympics, the planning and organization it takes to build Olympic facilities, the long-term value of hosting an Olympiad, and the impact of globalization on sports. Contact: Peter Schroeder, 209.946.2704,

Analytics in athletics

Rick Hutley, clinical professor and director of the analytics program at University of the Pacific, is the former vice president of innovation at Cisco Systems where he focused on how the "Internet of Everything" will drive innovation over the next decade. He can talk about the analytics used to generate and analyze sports statistics to evaluate player and team performance and even forecast injuries. Think "Moneyball," the best-selling book and 2011 Brad Pitt movie, but on an Olympic scale. Contact: Rick Hutley, 678.296.2924,

Athleticism and performance enhancing drugs

Courtney Jensen
, an assistant professor in University of the Pacific's Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences, has written and presented on elite training, performance enhancing drugs, and neuromuscular alterations in the injured athlete. His scholarly interests concern muscle physiology, particularly how the muscle functions as a component of human performance. His academic courses focus largely on exercise biochemistry and human performance physiology. Contact: Courtney Jensen, 209.946.3133,

Media contact:

Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) |

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