As the first commissioner hired for the conference, Dan Sharadin has been with the Collegiate Water Polo Association since 1990.
Involved in the sport since high school, he graduated from West Virginia University in 1979 with a Bachelor’s in Commercial Recreation and a Masters in Business Administration in 1981.
Following graduation he founded the non-profit organization, Young Athletes of America (YAA) to give the less athletically gifted an opportunity to play organized sports. One of the programs created through YAA was the Eastern Water Polo League (EWPL), a large multi-division structure that included teams from all over the eastern seaboard. Its success led coaches to question whether a similar structure would work within the collegiate ranks. Sharadin was asked if he would serve as part-time Commissioner of a small group of college teams known then as the Mid Atlantic Conference, for the purpose of providing basic services including scheduling and publishing a league program.
He began his duties with the CWPA in an age when fax machines were the newest development in office efficiency. Since that time many changes have taken place, including the merger of the New England and Southern Conferences in the early 90’s, the addition of women’s water polo in the mid 90’s, and the merger of the Southeast Collegiate Club Conference in 2000. During a portion of this period he worked with United States Water Polo for the purpose of collegiate development and was able to see programs added for men and women throughout the country.
Since its inception, the CWPA has grown in size to become the largest water polo conference and the third largest collegiate athletics organization in the country. Today over 80% of all collegiate contests are played under the auspices of the CWPA. Sharadin now oversees a staff that has evolved from a part-time commissioner to five full and part-time employees and an organizational budget of nearly a million dollars.
Currently he resides in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania with his wife.