Bucknell University Names John McBride Head Men's & Women's Water Polo Coach

John McBride
John McBride

LEWISBURG, Pa. – John McBride, who served as an assistant coach at Brown the last seven years, has been named the head men’s and women’s water polo coach at Bucknell, director of athletics and recreation John Hardt announced Wednesday. McBride, a 1992 graduate of Rhode Island who was a four-year starter in goal as a member of the water polo program, also has an extensive background with the U.S. National Team, serving as head coach of the men’s Northeast Zone Olympic Development Team since 2009.

"I am very pleased that John McBride will be assuming the leadership of the Bison men’s and women’s water polo programs," said Hardt. "John is extremely passionate about the sport of water polo, and over the last decade he has coached many of the best and brightest in the sport through his work both at Brown University and with the U.S. National Teams. Having recruited at an Ivy League institution, he obviously knows what it takes to find top-quality scholar-athletes. John’s coaching and recruiting background, combined with a superior aquatics facility in Kinney Natatorium, lends to extremely bright future for Bison Water Polo."

While at Brown, McBride helped guide the Bears to unprecedented success. The men’s squad captured the 2009 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division title, its first conference crown in nearly 25 years. Additionally, the team went undefeated in regular-season conference play in 2008 and finished as high as fourth at the CWPA Eastern Championship.

On the women’s side, McBride led the Bears to back-to-back Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship titles in 2009 and 2010 and a fourth-place finish at the CWPA Eastern Championship, the best showing at Brown since 2001.

Both the men’s and women’s squads appeared regularly in the national top-20 rankings during McBride’s tenure, which also featured 43 All-Northern Division selections and 22 All-East players. Additionally, three Bears earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.

Brown’s men’s team has had the highest team grade-point average in the nation for four years, while the women have ranked in the top three nationally four times.

"I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to be the head coach of the men’s and women’s water polo programs at Bucknell," said McBride. "I am looking forward to settling into Lewisburg and getting started with the 2011-12 seasons. Bucknell prides itself on balancing academics and athletics and having coached in a very rigorous academic environment for the last seven years should make the transition much easier. I am very anxious to get on the pool deck and begin coaching the talented student-athletes that are members of both the men’s and women’s programs at Bucknell."

A goalie on the U.S. National "B" Team in 1993, McBride has become a recognizable face in National Team circles. In addition to his duties as the men’s Northeast Zone Olympic Development Team head coach, he was recently named the head coach of the Southeast Zone Olympic Development Program. McBride has also served as an evaluator and coach at the women’s Speedo Top 40 Camp at Harvard University.

Among his many responsibilities with the National Teams, McBride evaluates and coaches the top 16 men from the East Coast to compete for spots on the U.S. National Team. He has also coached regional teams comprised of the best Northern California collegiate players and helps the U.S. Junior National Team Coaches bring the best players to represent the U.S. in international competitions.

An accomplished goalie during his playing days at Rhode Island, McBride was a three-time First Team All-New England selection and was twice a First Team All-East honoree.

Following his graduation from Rhode Island with a degree in speech communications, McBride attended the Rhode Island Department of Corrections Academy and the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility Corrections Academy and eventually graduated from the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy in 1996. He then served as a patrolman and SWAT officer for the North Providence Police from 1996 to 2004.

McBride got his start in coaching in 2001 when he founded the Newport Lady Tritons Water Polo Club. He proceeded to coach the club, which was made up of high school-aged players, until 2003. At that time, McBride founded the Ocean State Masters Swim Team, which featured more than 100 athletes who competed in master’s swim meets and triathlons all over the world.

McBride’s most recent start-up project was the Bruno Water Polo Club, which he began as a non-profit organization in Providence, R.I., in 2007. The club gives inner-city youth an opportunity to enjoy the sport of water polo.

McBride and his wife, Sam, have two daughters, Grace (11) and Lily (9).

Bucknell’s men’s team, in 2010, posted a 13-16 record while playing a schedule that featured 13 nationally ranked opponents. The Bison advanced to the title game of the Southern Championships for the first time since 1998 and the semifinals of the Eastern Championship. Bucknell’s women’s program registered a 13-18 mark this past spring. The Bison faced eight ranked foes in the second half of the season and finished in seventh place at the Eastern Championship.

Release courtesy Bucknell Athletic Communications

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