Bucknell University Names Paul Rave Assistant Coach

Paul Rave
Paul Rave

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- New Bucknell head men’s and women’s water polo coach John Abdou announced the hiring of former UC Santa Barbara standout Paul Rave as assistant coach for both Bison squads. Rave was the interim head women’s water polo coach at his alma mater this past spring, leading the Gauchos against a schedule that featured 22 nationally ranked teams.

Rave was an assistant coach with UC Santa Barbara’s men’s and women’s water polo teams since the fall of 2006. He was elevated to interim head coach in March and took over all duties of the head coach position, including budgeting, recruiting, practice scheduling and planning while continuing all responsibilities associated with the men’s squad. UC Santa Barbara had three all-conference selections in the difficult Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in 2008.

“To say that I am excited to have Paul Rave join me in leading the Bucknell water polo programs would be an understatement,” commented Abdou, who was recently named the head coach of the Bison. “He brings a wealth of experience from working with and playing for one of the best collegiate programs in the country. He will raise the level of play for all of our student-athletes in the program and is a significant addition towards achieving our competitive goals. Paul will be involved in assisting in all aspects of the programs and will be a huge asset in our continued success.”

As an assistant coach with UC Santa Barbara, Rave helped the men’s squad to its first 20-win season since 1990 in his first year on staff. The 2001 graduate of UCSB focused much of his efforts on goalie instruction and saw the men’s team finish the campaign No. 6 in the nation twice during his tenure.

Rave was a member of the Gauchos men’s water polo team from 1997-2000. During his senior season he not only served as the team captain, he was also named Most Valuable Player and the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Men’s College Water Polo Athlete of the Year. Rave was also the recipient of the Tim McCormick Leadership Award in 2000.

Prior to his playing career with the Gauchos, Rave was a goalie for the U.S. Water Polo National Youth Team and was named the MVP in the 1996 Eastern High School Championships. He was also the starting goalie for the Navy Aquatics team that won the goal medal at the 1995 Junior Nationals and finished second at the National Junior Olympics.

Since graduating from UCSB with a bachelor’s degree in art history, Rave has spent extensive time on the pool deck as a coach for the Santa Barbara Water Polo Foundation. As the co-head coach for the 18-and-under boys team, Rave helped lead his team to a goal medal at the 2006 National Junior Olympics. His 18-and-under squad also captured second place at the National Club Championships and the Winterfest Tournament, both in 2006.

At Bucknell, Rave joins a pair of successful programs. The Bison men’s team went 20-13 in 2007, its first 20-win campaign since 2001. It finished the season ranked 19th nationally and took fifth at the Eastern Championship. The Bucknell women’s team posted the best season in program history, going 26-10 in 2008. It was ranked nationally for six weeks and climbed as high as No. 19 nationally.

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