Huntington Beach, Calif. (January 8) - USA Water Polo recently announced that MIT water polo head coach Bret Lathrope was recognized as the Monte Nitzkowski Distinguished National Men's Coaching Award Winner for 2018.
Lathrope is the first coach in program history to be named as the Monte Nitzkowski National Men's Coach of the Year in program history. He is just the second Division III head coach to win the National Award over the past ten years and is one of three coaches from the East to take home the prestigious honor in that span.
The award is named after Monte Nitzkowski, who served as the head coach of the USA Men's Olympic Team three times (1972, 1980, 1984) and led Team USA to a bronze medal in 1972 and a silver medal in 1984. Nitzkowski also served as an assistant coach with the 1968 and 2000 Men's Olympic Teams.
"I am deeply honored to be named as the Monte Nitzkowski Award winner for 2018," said Lathrope. "I believe it is largely a reflection of the student-athletes at MIT, their dedication to the program, and the achievements they made this past season."
This season, Lathrope led the Engineers to the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Eastern Championship title and they concluded the season ranked No. 2 in the CWPA National Division III Rankings. On top of this award, Lathrope was also named as the CWPA Division III Eastern Championship Coach of the Year and as the Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) Coach of the Year. Additionally, in 2018 Lathrope coached two All-Americans in first-year Miller Geschke (Los Altos, Calif.) and sophomore Evan Kim (Irvine, Calif.) and guided MIT to its first NWPC Tournament win in program history.
"It is a great honor for Bret to be named as the Monte Nitzkowski National Men's Coach of the Year in just his first year as the head coach at MIT. Bret has done a great job with the program and we look forward to seeing the program continue to succeed and grow under his leadership," said John Benedick, Senior Associate Director of Athletics at MIT.
The 2018 award winners will be recognized and presented with their awards on Saturday, January 26, 2019 during the USA Water Polo Gala in Newport Beach, California.
Past Ten Award Winners
2018 - Bret Lathrope, MIT
2017 - Adam Wright, UCLA
2016 - Ted Minnis, Harvard
2015 - Daniel Leyson, UC Davis
2014 - Adam Wright, UCLA
2013 - Jovan Vavic, USC
2012 - Alex Rodriguez, Pomona-Pitzer
2011 - Luis Nicolao, Princeton
2010 - James Graham, University of the Pacific
2009 - Jovan Vavic, USC
About USA Water Polo
USA Water Polo, Inc., is the national governing body for water polo in America, overseeing our United States Olympic program as well as 20 different championship events annually, such as Junior Olympics and Masters National Championships. With more than 45,000 members, USAWP also is the sanctioning authority for more than 500 member clubs and more than 400 tournaments nationwide. USAWP is committed to the development of the sport throughout the U.S., fostering grass-roots expansion while providing a national system of affiliated clubs, certified coaches, and officials.
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