Texas Trophy Named After Occidental College Water Polo Coach Dennis Fosdick
A trophy to honor the most valuable player in Texas’ top high school water polo tournament has been named after Dennis Fosdick, the Occidental College head water polo coach who this year led the Oxy women’s team to its first-ever national championship.
It’s an honor to be recognized for impacting athletes during their most formative years,” said Fosdick, a 61-year-old Glendale resident. “I never dreamed a trophy would be named after me. Teaching has always been the most rewarding aspect of the game, and watching the athletes hone their skills in the water is a tribute all by itself.”
Fosdick 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, earlier this year, he was named Division 3 coach of the year after Oxy women beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 7-6 to win the national title.
“I’ve worked at a lot of different levels, but this is the most fun,” Fosdick said. “The athletes here are super. They want to listen and learn. A lot of them never had the opportunity to learn the intricacies of the sport until arriving at Occidental.”
Fosdick , known as “Fos” to players and colleagues, has forged an equally impressive reputation at the high school level. The Texas Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association named the MVP prize the “Dennis Fosdick MVP Trophy” in recognition of his pioneer legacy.
In 1971, when Fosdick was head swimming and water polo coach at Texas A&M University, he started the Texas State Water Polo Tournament for high school teams. Fosdick 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 organized at Texas A&M helped high school water polo become one of the most competitive and respected sports programs in the United States.
As a head coach at Texas A&M throughout 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.
The inaugural Fosdick MVP trophy went to Brett Peterson of Clear Lake High School in Houston. Many of Fosdick’s Oxy players have gone on to coach their own high school teams.