ERIE, Pa. — Retired Golden Knights’ men’s and women’s water polo and swimming head coach/Associate Director of Athletics Don Sherman is among eight individuals selected for the Gannon University Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
The class of 2023 will be inducted at an awards banquet on Saturday, January 28, at Gannon’s Yehl Alumni Ballroom in the Waldron Campus Center.
The 2023 Hall of Fame inductees include:
- Frank Brown, Men’s Soccer
- Samantha Brueckner, Women’s Soccer
- Calvin Graham, Men’s Basketball
- Loren Marz, Baseball
- Frank McGrath, Men’s Wrestling
- Diana Munoz, Women’s Golf
- Diana Rocco, Women’s Diving
- Donald Sherman, Women’s/Men’s Water Polo Head Coach
Registration for the event and more information on our inductees will become available in mid-November.
About Don Sherman: Among the founding fathers of Division II water polo on the East Coast and an instrumental force in the sports on the collegiate level, Don Sherman retired from Gannon in July 2018 following a 22-year tenure in the Golden Knights’ Department of Athletics.
Sherman, who served 14 years as Gannon’s Associate Director of Athletics after becoming the first to assume the full-time position in 2004, spent 22 years at Gannon in a variety of administrative and coaching roles. In a dual position as the Associate Director, he also served as the head coach for both water polo programs until 2015. Sherman was the pioneer of Gannon water polo, starting both the women’s and men’s programs from scratch and moving them from club status to the varsity level in 2001. He coached the women’s program for 14 seasons and the men’s program for 12 campaigns. Of the two programs’ combined first 29 years of varsity-level existence, Sherman had been the head coach for 26 of those years.
Sherman accumulated 312 career water polo victories, finishing with 175 wins as the women’s head coach and 137 for the men. He reached double digits in victories 11 times with the women and nine times for the men. Sherman was named Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Western Division Women’s Coach of the Year twice, receiving the honor in 2002 and 2007. He earned CWPA Division II Men’s Water Polo Championship Coach of the Year for the first time in 2014.
One of only three coaches in the history of the Gannon water polo programs, Sherman guided his teams numerous times to the CWPA Eastern Championship which are the equivalent to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regionals in other sports. The women’s program was 9-1 all-time in the CWPA Division II Championships, winning the first three titles.
Sherman was at his best during local rivalries. His water polo programs were 49-0 all-time against Penn State Behrend (Men 30-0 / Women 19-0) and 32-33 all-time against Mercyhurst University (Men 16-18 / Women 16-15).
Sherman began his career at Gannon as an assistant swimming and diving coach under former Gannon head coach Rick Goerlitz. Sherman was appointed head women’s and men’s swimming coach in the summer of 1997. The men’s program had four consecutive winning seasons while the women’s program produced winning records in four of Sherman’s last five campaigns. Both squads went 10-1 during Sherman’s last season in 2004-05.
The Erie, Pa., native has 30+ years of involvement with aquatics and pool management as a coach, instructor, swimmer and lifeguard. He served as the Financial Director for the Downtown Erie YMCA prior to coming to Gannon.
Sherman was standout in both swimming and water polo for Tech Memorial during his high school career before graduating in 1980. He then moved on to become a member of the Slippery Rock water polo team that finished eighth at the NCAA National Championships in 1984. Sherman later served as an assistant student coach for the Slippery Rock men’s swimming team, and also has experience as the Cathedral Prep assistant swimming and water polo coach.
His career accolades and accomplishments resulted in an induction into the Erie County Aquatics Hall of Fame on April 30, 2017. He was one of seven individuals and one team to be part of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class.
Sherman graduated from Slippery Rock University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and sports management. He and his wife Chrisie have three children, Cara, Kimmy and Cody. All three children are graduates of Gannon University. In addition, Kimmy spent time as the University’s gameday cheerleading coach and Cody was a four-year letterwinner for the men’s water polo team.