LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University Senior Associate Director of Athletics, External Affairs and Bison Club, Todd Newcomb talks with current Bison head coach John McBride, current goalie Jack Otto (Jr., Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville), David Kennedy ’02, Mark Masterson ’07, Jason Rechel ’08 and Johnny Stupp ’10 about Bison water polo from 2000-to-2009.
Kennedy was a standout goalie who still owns the Bucknell single-season (393) and career (1,002) saves records. Masterson was an Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) Honorable Mention All-America selection as a senior, and he was a two-time All-Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division honoree. Rechel was also an Honorable Mention All-America during his senior season in 2007, and he earned a pair of All-CWPA Southern Division honors. Rechel ranks second all-time in Bucknell in sprints won (169) and games played (123). Stupp set a school record with 33 games started in 2008, and he was an ACWPC All-Academic selection as a senior.
The decade of the 2000’s featured a major landmark in the history of the Bucknell water polo program. In the fall of 2002, the beautiful new Kinney Natatorium opened, and the Bison were able to leave behind the intimate, albeit dated Freas-Rookie Pool and begin practicing and competing in a modern, spacious aquatics facility. Kinney Natatorium played host to the Southern Division Championships for the first time in 2003, the Eastern Championships returned to Lewisburg a year later, and in 2005 Bucknell was awarded the high honor of hosting the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship. It was the first NCAA championship game ever played on the Bucknell campus in any sport, and Bucknell became just the fifth non-California school to host the championship and the first from Pennsylvania. For the Bison, the decade started with a coaching change, as Bucknell water polo alum John Zeigler ’91 returned to his alma mater as head coach. When Zeigler returned to his law practice following the 2007 season, his assistant coach John Abdou helmed the squad from 2008-10. The Bison posted two 20-win campaigns in the 2000s, those coming in the first and last seasons of Zeigler’s tenure, and the team finished as high as third at the Eastern Championships in 2009. Bucknell claimed seven Honorable Mention All-America citations in the 2000s, including two from Richie Hyden ’11, who would add a third All-America honor as a senior in 2010.