Our inspiring founder Greg Hind was a three-time All-American water polo player at San Jose State University (SJSU). His SJSU coach, Lee Walton, calls Greg “the best all around player I coached.”
We are proud to see men’s water polo reinstated at SJSU and are cheering on the Spartans from San Luis Obispo! Below is an article about their new beginning.
San Jose State reinstates men’s water polo (source)
By Jon Wilner | email@example.com
In a time of rising costs and expanding deficits, San Jose State is taking the unusual step of adding a sport — a men’s sport, no less.
The Spartans water polo program, once one of the best in the nation, has been reinstated after a 34-year hiatus. The first match of the season is Saturday against Santa Clara at the SJSU Aquatics Center.
The sport won’t adversely impact SJSU’s compliance with Title IX regulations because of the recent additions of women’s track and field (indoor and outdoor) and women’s beach volleyball, and it will be self-funded so as not to add to athletic department expenses.
The university required supporters to raise $1.75 million to cover projected costs for five years. To date, $1.6 million is in hand — the majority has been placed in an endowment fund set up specifically for water polo — and an additional $2 million has been pledged, according to athletic director Gene Bleymaier.
“I’ve sat down with past San Jose State athletic directors and talked about getting the team going, and they’ve all said, ‘Good luck,’ but Gene was receptive,” said Bill Simpkins, who helped lead the charge to reinstate the program.
Simpkins, the son of the late SJSU benefactors Phyllis and Alan Simpkins, played water polo at Stanford. More than half the members of the support group are former players from schools other than SJSU.
“There are people from Cal and Stanford and UCLA and Santa Clara and Santa Barbara,” Simpkins added. “But they all understand that adding water polo at San Jose State helps grow the sport.”
The Spartans had one of the top teams in the country, finishing in the top five nationally four times in the 1970s. The program was discontinued in 1981.
One former player is said to have made a significant contribution: Peter Ueberroth, the ex-commissioner of Major League Baseball and Olympic committee chairman.
SJSU has been conducting tryouts. When players are introduced at the season opener, they’ll be accompanied by a member of the team from its previous existence, Simpkins said.
In a testament to the fragile state of collegiate men’s water polo, the Spartans are No. 16 in the coaches’ preseason poll.
The head coach is Bruce Watson, a former SJSU player who led West Valley College to six state community college championships