BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Former Hartwick College/Florida Atlantic University/Slippery Rock University/Bucknell University head coach Alan Huckins continues to instruct as the Hall of Fame caliber coach is currently an assistant men’s water polo coach at the United States Air Force Academy and collegiate official.
Entering his second season as an assistant at Air Force. Huckins spent 15 seasons as the head coach of the Hartwick women’s water polo team, prior to the program being discontinued after the 2018 season.
In 14 of his 15 seasons as head coach, Huckins led the team to 20 or more wins. He is one of the leaders in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I water polo coaching wins over the past two decades with an overall record at Hartwick of 396-173. Under his guidance, the Hawks qualified for the NCAA Championships three times and captured three Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championships. He also coached four Olympians, Bronwen Knox (2008, 2012 and 2016), Sophie Smith (2012), Lisa Gibson (2012) and Marina Zablith (2016).
During his tenure at Hartwick, Huckins coached 11 players that earned All-America accolades. Kirsten Hudson, the program’s all-time leading scorer, was Hartwick’s only four-time Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-America selection. Sheri Johnson, Kate Chambers, Bronwen Knox, Jessica McKee, Sami Capparelli, Jemma Dendy Young, and Zsofia Polak were all two-time ACWPC All-America selections. Knox, the nation’s leading goal scorer with 129 markers in 2006, left the Hawks following the 2006 season to train with the Australian National team in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Huckins, the 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010 CWPA Northern Division Coach of the Year, spent the 2002-2003 academic year as head coach of the women’s water polo team at Florida Atlantic, where he recruited for what would have been the program’s inaugural season in 2004. However, FAU decided to cut the program, which paved the way for Huckins to take over at Hartwick.
A 1992 graduate of Slippery Rock University, Huckins is an experienced coach on the international, collegiate, high school and club levels.
Huckins served an assistant coach for the United States Women’s National Water Polo “A” Team from 1995-1998. He helped guide the team to a sixth-place finish at the FINA World Championships in January of 1998 in Perth, Australia. Huckins also worked as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National “B” Team from 1993-1995.
Before his arrival at Florida Atlantic, Huckins spent four years (1998-2002) doubling as the aquatics director and head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at The College of Saint Rose in Albany. In addition, he also served as head coach and president of the Adirondack Water Polo Club while at St. Rose.
Huckins, a native of San Martin (Calif.) began coaching collegiate water polo as a graduate assistant at Slippery Rock, where he worked with the men’s and women’s teams during the 1992-1993 academic year. He left Slippery Rock after 18 months to accept the men’s and women’s head coaching position at Bucknell.
While at Bucknell, Huckins led the men’s squad to a 20-10 record and was named 1993 CWPA Coach of the Year at the Eastern Championships. In 1994, he guided the women’s team to a 20-4 record and was named CWPA Coach of the Year at the Eastern Championship.
Huckins, after his experiences at Bucknell and with the U.S. National “B” Team, moved back to California to coach the water polo and swimming and diving teams at Beyer High School from 1995-1997. In addition, he also coached the Modesto/Stanislaus Swimming and Water Polo Club teams.
He returned to the collegiate ranks in January of 1997, and spent 20 months as the co-head coach of the men’s and women’s teams at Slippery Rock.
A three-time All-American water polo player at Slippery Rock, Huckins gave back to the sport as a member of the Women’s Water Polo Top 20 Poll Committee (1993, 1994, 1997,1998, 2003-2018).