2013 A Brief Review

Doru Roll
Water Polo Planet
01/01/14

2013 was a fairly eventful year for water polo. With FINA’s World Championship taking center stage as the main event of the year, there was enough excitement and controversy to make it memorable. It started off just as the reverberations from UCLA’s coach epic melt-down at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Championship were waning. Few however seemed to have shared in Mr. Wright’s displeasure with referee Michael Goldenberg: he was selected to officiate at both the MPSF and NCAA Championships this year. Following is a recap of some of the year’s other events.

January

  • The women’s season kicks off with Stanford fielding no less than four returning 2012 Olympians
  • Colorado State announces they will drop women’s water polo and replace it with soccer. Going against the tide, Monmouth University announces they will move both the men’s and women’s water polo to varsity level
  • In other news, USAWP’s sitting BOD votes themselves term extensions, bringing their eligibility to 3 consecutive 4-year terms. A whole generation of players is now going to be blessed with their leadership

February

  • Monmouth University officially adds both men’s and women’s DIII varsity water polo
  • The Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association adds water polo as a high school varsity sport
  • USAWP announces the hiring of Marty Samuels as Chief Operating Officer. His areas of responsibility include: membership growth, event management, club outreach, the USA Water Polo National Teams and their international performance and the Olympic Development Program. Mr. Samuels brings decades of experience in the garment industry to the job. This is the first of only two times he is mentioned in a USAWP press release all year
  • USAWP senior leadership compensation tops $1 million/year

March

  • A month after hiring Marty Samuels for the newly-created COO position, USAWP announces the creation of a new Development Coordinator position, to report to the newly-created COO
  • USAWP announces that, in order to save money, the USA will not field teams at the World University Games
  •  UCLA and Cal send teams to the World University Games at their own expense

April

  • USAWP signs TYR as official outfitter for the national teams. TYR never made water polo gear before
  • Princeton repeats as  CWPA Women’s Champions by defeating Michigan 7-5

May

  • Dejan Udovicic is named the NMT Head Coach, ending months of speculation. The long road to 2020 finally begins
  • Adam Krikorian is reconfirmed as WNT Head Coach
  • Harvard hosts the NCAA Women’s Championship, the first time the event is hosted in the Northeast. USC defeats Stanford 10-9 in the 5th overtime for their 7th win

June

  • USA NWT finishes 3rd at the World League Superfinal in Beijing, losing twice to the Chinese team trained by Ricardo Azevedo
  • USA NMT finishes 4th at the World League Superfinal in Chelyabinsk

July

  • USA NMT loses 6-10 to Spain in Barcelona and is eliminated from the World Championship
  • The Women’s National Team defeats Greece 15-12 and finishes 5th
  • The US men and women win gold at the 19th Maccabiah Games
  • UCLA and Cal finish 5th and 8th for the USA at the World University Games
  • FINA’s TWPC for 2013-2017 is appointed. Nothing new at the old boys club. Gianni Lonzi is reconfirmed as both FINA and LEN TWPC chairs. The term “conflict of interest” is officially stricken from FINA’s vocabulary
  • The new rules for 2013-2017 are published by the Italian National Federation nearly a month before they are official released by FINA

August

  • Hungary and Spain win the FINA World Championship in Barcelona
  • USA junior women win Gold at the World Championships with Priceton’s Ashleigh Johnson in goal. Men finish 5th

September

  • FINA releases additional explanations and interpretations to the new rules to clarify the clarifications
  • Mike Schofield steps down after almost three decades as Navy Head Coach. He holds the record for the most wins in any sport in the entire history of the Naval Academy

October

  • Brad Schumacher keeps promise made six years prior to Evan Cousineau (then 9-yeras old) and donates bone marrow to help save the life of a total stranger
  • USAWP starts recruiting for a High Performance Director. Apparently a new COO and Development Coordinator in one year weren’t enough
  • The NCAA announces the format for the 2013 National Championship. The format is criticized for favoring MPSF teams over competitors from other parts of the country

November

  • Ratko Rudic takes the helm of the Brazilian National Team for 2016. Speculation abounds whether Tony Azevedo will play for Brazil in 2014. No word from Tony, though
  • John Abdou is named USAWP High Performance Director. USAWP leadership's knowledge of water polo instantly doubles
  • University of the Pacific (UOP) ends regular season ranked #1 for their first top-four finish in history
  • St. Francis men win their second straight CWPA championship with a 11-9 win over Princeton, advance to NCAA National Championship finals

December

  • UCLA’s trip to the 2013 World University Games doesn’t seems  to have helped as they finish 4th in the MPSF with a 9-10 loss to UOP and fail to qualify for the NCAA finals
  • The USC-UCLA game ends in controversy as both referees omit to whistle the winning goal and the end of the game
  • USC defeats Stanford 10-8 to win their 9th MPSF Championship
  • USC repeats as NCAA Men’s National Champions for the 6th consecutive time, narrowly defeating newcomer UOP 12-11 in overtime
  • Jack Kocur is appointed NMT Senior Assistant Coach
  • USA women defeat Australia 12-10 in shoot-out to win Canada’s Cup            
  • 2014 FINA World Cup zone qualifications take place in Santa Ana. Both the US men and women qualify
  • In 2013 USAWP publishes more press releases than in 2011 and 2012 combined. At this pace the rain forest will likely be depleted by decade’s end