Growing Up in O.C.: Water Polo’s Life Lessons for Actor Ted McGinley

McGinley and the water polo team.

Ted McGinley
b. 1958, raised in Newport Beach
Actor, known for roles in “Happy Days” and “Married … With Children”

I’m a proud graduate of Newport Harbor High School. I played water polo for the infamous Bill Barnett. Those were the days when I was transforming from a boy to a man. Coach Barnett was a dedicated, vociferous taskmaster. There was no way but his way, and if you couldn’t do what he demanded, you were off the team. He required us to work hard, be tough, and reminded us constantly that being a part of a team requires continual sacrifice from every individual. When done correctly, the benefits of being on a team that achieves excellence will last a lifetime. I honestly owe a great deal of my success to Barnett for all the difficult years he put me through. I wanted his respect—we all did—and we had to work for it. It remains a great lesson in life for me as I wind my way through this adventure.

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