BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) mourns the loss of Queens College water polo founding member Robert Koehler who recently passed away.
A graduate of St. Francis Prep in Brooklyn, N.Y., who entered Queens in 1947, Koehler was a multiple Eastern Collegiate Conference All-Star Team and AAU All-America Indoor Team selection. He served as head coach at Queens from 1948 until 1956.
A member of the 1952 United States Olympic team, he helped Team USA fourth at the Helsinki Games with contests against Sweden (5-1 L), Romania (6-3 W), Great Britain (8-3 W), Italy (5-4 L, 5-4 L), Austria (4-1 W), Belgium (4-2 W), Spain (6-4 W), Yugoslavia (4-2 L) and Hungary (4-0 L). Hungary, Yugoslavia and Italy received the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals after defeating the United States by an average of only two goals per game.
A longtime member of the New York Athletic Club (NYAC), Koehler won AAU Sr. National Championships Outdoor (1954, 1956, 1958) and Indoor (1952, 1954, 1960) following an AAU Junior Indoor National Championship (1950), helped his team finish second (1952) and fourth (1954) at the US Olympic Trials and collected a 1954 Mid-Ocean Championship in Bermuda.
The 1956 NYAC team captain and an AAU Indoor All-America selection from 1952-to-1955, he served as Treasurer of the NYAC Swimming and Water Polo Club to accompany service as a member of the organizing committee for the Eastern College Water Polo Conference (ECWPC), the forerunner of today’s CWPA.
A collegiate official from 1972-to-1982, he was elected to the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1982 and is a member of the Queens College Hall of Fame.