A lightning bolt from San Jose State which has announced that after a multi-decade hiatus it will reinstate varsity men’s water polo in 2015. The Spartans played a major role in the sport
through until the 1980s producing such stars as Steve Hamman and coach Art Lambert. More info to come.
The entire release:
After a 34-year hiatus, the San José State University athletics department is reinstating men’s water polo to its NCAA Division I sports offerings beginning in the 2015 fall semester. Gene Bleymaier, the Spartans director of athletics, made the announcement.
San José State discontinued its men’s water polo program as an intercollegiate sport in 1981 after 45 years. The Spartans fielded one of the top teams in the country in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. San José State appeared in four NCAA Championship tournaments finishing second in 1971, fourth in 1970 and 1972 and fifth in 1973.
“In our research and discussions with alumni and friends of Spartan athletics, we found tremendous support to bring back men’s water polo,” says Bleymaier. “With the interest in the sport, being centrally located in a recruiting hotbed, and plans for a new Olympic-size pool on the main campus for competition and recreation, we believe San José State can be successful in men’s water polo again.”
The university’s best known men’s water polo player is former Los Angeles Olympics Organizing Committee chairman and Major League Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, a current co-owner of the Pebble Beach Corporation. Ueberroth played on the 1956 through 1958 Spartan teams. His San José State teammate Art Lambert was the coach of the 1968 and 1972 U.S. Olympic teams.
In the coming months, San José State plans to name a coaching staff and begin recruiting Division I-caliber student-athletes in the sport.
When men’s water polo returns, San José State will be sponsoring 20 NCAA Division I sports – seven men’s and 13 women’s sports.
Courtesy San Jose State University Athletics Media Relations