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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Ted Minnis, the Friends of Harvard Water Polo Head Coach, has elevated Jackie Puccino to Associate Head Coach of the Harvard University water polo programs.

“I’m very excited to elevate Jackie to Associate Head Coach,” said Minnis. “Over the last five and half years, she has worked tirelessly with our men’s and women’s programs, and has been a tremendous asset to myself and our student-athletes.”

Since Puccino’s arrival, both the men’s and women’s programs have experienced unprecedented success over her six seasons. 

In her first season as assistant coach in 2018-19, Puccino guided the men’s team to a 22-8 overall record and the program’s first victory over a top-three opponent when the team defeated then-No. 3 the University of California in triple overtime. On the women’s side, she helped the Crimson to its first varsity program shutout while collecting a 21-8 overall record, which marked the team’s fifth season of 20-plus wins.

In a shortened 2020 season, Puccino helped guide the women’s program to a 12-2 overall record, including victories over three ranked opponents. The team saw three players win Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) weekly honors on four separate occasions and reached a season-high national ranking of 17.

Over the past two seasons, both the men’s and women’s programs have had historic seasons, breaking multiple team records. Puccino helped the men’s program amass 26 wins in 2021, and 21 wins in 2022 – the most over any two-year stretch in program history. The women’s program, meanwhile, has made the CWPA Championship title game in back-to-back seasons and in 2023, defeated two top-10 teams for the first time in program history.

Before coming to Harvard, Puccino spent five years coaching at her alma mater, Palomar College, helping the Comets to a pair of conference championships and four So-Cal regional appearances while earning the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) Coach of the Year Award in 2014 and 2016.

As a player, Puccino was named a first-team All-America selection at Palomar and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marist College before earning a master’s degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific University.

Release courtesy Harvard University Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association