LEWISBURG, Pa. -- John Abdou, an assistant coach for both the men's and women's water polo programs at Bucknell the last two years, has been promoted to associate head coach, it was announced Tuesday by Bison head coach John Zeigler. In his new role, Abdou will see increased responsibilities with both Bison teams.
"John has done an exceptional job in his two years with us and the promotion is a natural transition," stated Zeigler, who is about to embark upon his ninth season as the head mentor of both Bison teams. "He has earned his new status and his new role allows us to be more effective as a staff. Our ability to look at the big picture will be improved, as will our recruiting."
Since arriving at Bucknell in the summer of 2005, Abdou has helped the men's team to a pair of fourth-place finishes at the Eastern Championship and a No. 18 national ranking at the conclusion of the 2006 season. On the women's side, the Bison equaled the program record for wins with 23 in 2006 and have posted a 38-26 record during Abdou's two years on the sidelines.
A native of California, one of Abdou's many strengths is his recruiting. He serves as the primary West Coast recruiter for both the men's and women's programs and has brought a wealth of talent to Lewisburg. Over the last two years Abdou has helped the Bison men's team ink five players from his home state, while seven freshmen and sophomores who hail from California will dot the women's roster next spring.
Abdou is a 2001 graduate of UC Irvine and served as the director and head coach of both the men's and women's water polo programs at Burbank High School in Burbank, Calif., from 2001-05, immediately before joining the Bucknell staff.
The area's Girl's Water Polo Coach of the Year winner in 2004 and 2005, Abdou took a pair of programs with losing records and transformed them into perennial winners, participating in the league playoffs each of the last three years.
Along with handling his coaching duties at Burbank, Abdou was a social science teacher. He was voted one of Los Angeles' Most Inspirational Teachers in 2005 and was chosen to pioneer the school's first advanced placement course in psychology. He also handled duties as the advisor for the senior class in 2005.
Recently, Abdou organized and conducted district tryouts for United States Water Polo as the Wilshire District boy's cadet coach. He also worked with United States Water Polo as the C.C. Zone girl's youth assistant coach. Since 2002, Abdou has been part of the coaching staff at the Naval Academy Water Polo Camp.
Abdou got his start in coaching when he was the head assistant boy's water polo coach at his alma mater, Temple City High School in Temple City, Calif., in 1998. As a player at Temple City, Abdou earned all-league and team MVP honors while serving as team captain.
Abdou, who was named coach of the Northeast Zone Women's National Team last year, played for the U.S. Junior National Team during his freshman year at UC Irvine.
A P.A.D.I. certified and professional Divemaster who instructs SCUBA diving certification courses, Abdou was a member of the water polo team at Irvine from 1997-2000 and helped lead the Anteaters to 58 wins and three NCAA Tournament berths during his four campaigns.
Release courtesy Bucknell Athletic Communications