Occidental College Head Water Polo Coach Dennis Fosdick Named to USA Water Polo Hall of Fame
Dennis Fosdick, head men’s and women’s water polo coach at Occidental College, has named to USA Water Polo’s Hall of Fame. The Glendale resident was selected by the organization’s Hall of Fame Committee for his more than three-decade commitment to boost the popularity of the sport at the high school, college and university levels.
Fosdick will be enshrined during induction ceremonies scheduled for Sunday, June 30 at USA Water Polo’s national training center in Los Alamitos.
Colorado Springs-based USA Water Polo is the national governing body for water polo in the United States. It is overseen by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Fosdick, who is being enshrined with 10 other members from the Class of 2000, was selected for the honor by USA Water Polo’s Hall of Fame Committee. He is the only Division III coach represented among the hall’s 160 members.
“I’m certainly proud of this,” Fosdick said. “Who would ever think of themselves in the Hall of Fame? I thought maybe someday I’d do enough to deserve this, but I didn’t know that someday would come so soon. This is a tremendous honor, but most importantly, I’ve had the good fortune to spend my career developing young athletes and coaches.”
“Dennis has lived and loved water polo and he’s very well liked,” said Charles W. Schroeder, chairman of USA Water Polo’s Hall of Fame/Awards Committee. “He’s been good for the game.” In addition to his enshrinement, USA Water Polo has appointed Fosdick to the 12-member committee.
Fosdick, known as “Fos” to players and colleagues, has been Occidental’s water polo coach since 1992. Since then he has been named coach of the year six times by various organizations. In 1996, he was honored as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s development coach of the year and, in 2000, he was named Division III coach of the year after Oxy women beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 7-6 to win the national title.
Fosdick has forged an equally impressive reputation at the high school level. In 1971, when he was head swimming and water polo coach at Texas A&M University, Fosdick started the Texas State Water Polo Tournament for high school teams. He refereed and organized all of the championships through 1979, also promoting clinics at the College Station campus that helped high school water polo flourish in Texas.
The annual novice tournaments and clinics that Fosdick sponsored at Texas A&M helped high school water polo become one of the most competitive and respected sports programs in the United States. In 2000, the Texas Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association recognized his pioneer legacy by naming the top player prize in Texas’ high school water polo tournament the “Dennis Fosdick MVP Trophy.”
As head coach at Texas A&M through the 1970s, Fosdick compiled a 189-32-1 record with national championship appearances in 1975 and 1977. Fosdick started the university’s women’s program in the mid-1970s and enjoyed similar success.
Fosdick moved to California in 1980 to work with the men’s national program. He was the U.S. team leader for the 1981 World Junior Championships, the 1987 Pan American Games, and the 1988 Olympic Games. He continued to support all high school water polo as chairman of the U.S. Water Polo National Development Committee from 1978 to 1996. Fosdick earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Jose State University.