BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Former Washington & Jefferson College men’s and women’s water polo head coach Vaughan Smith continues to be involved in the sport of water polo as aquatics director and head coach at the Gilman School, a private preparatory school for boys located in the Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore, Md.
Appointed head water polo coach at Gilman during the Summer of 2011 after serving as an assistant coach to Laura Coffman during the 2010 season, Smith led W&J from the Fall of 2007 until following the men’s season in the Fall of 2009.
Smith experienced a unique path to the collegiate coaching ranks.
As an athlete, he was a swimmer for his native country, Zimbabwe, during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. A 1991 graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology, he was a standout swimmer for the Flames by finishing undefeated all four years on the squad in the 200-meter freestyle against the best-of the-best in the ranks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Smith became the fifth swimmer inducted into the UIC Hall of Fame in 2003.
Further, he was Most Valuable Player of the 1987 International Youth Water Polo tournament in Berlin, Germany, and was a member of the International Rugby Tour teams in Northern Ireland and Wales the same year.
Following college, he worked as a clerk for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and became a Futures Index floor trader and a day trader for Barclay Trading, LLC. He returned to athletics in 2003 as an assistant water polo coach at The Latin School of Chicago and eventually took over the program as head coach in 2005. His 2006 squad finished as the Illinois State Championship runner-up and his teams consistently ranked among the state’s top eight programs.
He left the Latin School and was named head men’s and women’s water polo coach at Washington & Jefferson prior to the 2007 men’s season.