LEBANON, Ill. — McKendree University Director of Athletics Chuck Brueggemann announced the appointment of Colleen Lischwe as the head coach of the men’s water polo program at McKendree University. Lischwe is the only current female head coach of a men’s water polo program at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) level.
Lischwe has served as the women’s water polo head coach at McKendree since February 2017. She helped lead the Bearcats into their first season as member of the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) this past Spring, guiding McKendree to a seventh-place finish in the league’s post-season tournament. She has also spent the last two seasons as the assistant coach for the McKendree men’s water polo team.
“Colleen is very familiar with our men’s water polo program, having served as its assistant coach over the past two seasons,” said Brueggemann. “She has done a wonderful job of bringing the women’s program at McKendree into the NCAA ranks and helping the program grow since her arrival. I have no doubt that Colleen’s coaching talent, enthusiasm and passion for the sport will be evident for all who follow the men’s water polo program.”
After taking over in an interim capacity during the 2017 season, Lischwe coached the McKendree women’s water polo team during its first season of NCAA competition in 2018. The Bearcats won nine contests and defeated Gannon University, 15-12, for Seventh Place at the WWPA Championship.
“I am thrilled to be stepping into the position of head men’s water polo coach at McKendree,” said Lischwe. “Having spent the first two years of the program as an assistant to the men, I already feel at home coaching this talented group. Between our returnees and an incredible group of incoming student-athletes, I have high expectations for the upcoming season.”
The McKendree men’s water polo team registered an overall record of 7-17 during the 2017 season, which was the Bearcats’ first as an NCAA varsity sport. McKendree competed as members of the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Association Conference (MAWPC) in the Western Region. The Bearcats placed fifth in the season-ending MAWPC Western Region Championships.
A 2007 graduate of Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Mo., she served as her high school co-ed program’s varsity captain during her senior season. The Missouri Female Water Polo Player of the Year from 2005-2007, she was named to both the All-Conference and All-State teams in 2007.
Following high school, Colleen played Division I water polo at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where she helped the Red Foxes to a pair of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) titles along with Seventh (2009) and Eighth (2008) place finishes at the NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championship prior to graduation in 2011.
Prior to joining the McKendree staff, Lischwe served as assistant varsity coach at Kirkwood High School for four years before taking over as head coach in 2014. In addition to coaching high school, she acted as the Midwest Zone Women’s Cadet Coach for six years through USA Water Polo’s Olympic Development Program. She currently coaches both women and men for the SLAP (Saint Louis Area Polo) club team in St. Louis.
Release courtesy McKendree University Athletics Communications