BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Hall of Fame member Lynn Kachmarik talked about Character Development through Sports in a Google Hangout with United Soccer Coaches Communications Manager Monique Bowman back in October 2013.
Kachmarik was inducted into the CWPA Hall of Fame in 2003 following a career as a player and coach that laid the foundation upon which the success of today’s Women’s National Team and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s water polo is built.
Lynn Kachmarik (Comer) began her collegiate water polo career in 1976 as a freshman on Slippery Rock University women’s water polo team. She garnered All-America laurels in water polo for all four seasons she played at Slippery Rock while also earning All-America status on the SRU swim team. From 1978-80 she also served as assistant coach of the university’s men’s water polo team under CWPA Hall of Fame member Richard Hunkler. In 1991 Kachmarik was inducted into the Slippery Rock University Hall of Fame.
Her success as a player was not limited to collegiate water polo. Kachmarik was a member of the United States Women’s National Water Polo Team from 1976-86, serving as captain of the squad for six years. She was selected to the All-World Team in 1978. As a member of the U.S. team she competed in three World Championships and seven FINA World Cup tournaments. She also was an assistant coach of the U.S. national team from 1989-92, including the squad that finished third at the 1992 World Championships in Ecuador.
While playing water polo on the international stage, Kachmarik began a coaching career in the college ranks. In 1982 she was named women’s swimming coach at Bucknell University and in 1984 was appointed assistant coach of the university’s men’s water polo team. Kachmarik was named head coach of the Bucknell men’s water polo team upon CWPA Hall of Fame member Dick Russell’s retirement in 1986. In assuming her new position, she became the first woman to serve as the head coach of an NCAA men’s water polo team. In 1987, her first year on the job, she was named Eastern Water Polo League Coach of the Year. She served as the men’s water polo coach at Bucknell from 1987-90 and from 1994-98.
In 1998, Kachmarik relinquished her duties as Bucknell’s swim coach to start up a women’s varsity water polo program . The university had featured a successful women’s water polo club team since the 1980’s and she considered it both a personal and professional success to see the sport elevated to varsity status.
In addition to her playing and coaching, Kachmarik contributed to the sport as an official in the Southern Conference from 1980-83.