BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Former George Washington University men’s water polo athlete/coach and women’s swimmer Callie Flipse holds a rare place in the history of the sport.
A men’s water polo and women’s swimming standout for four years (1985-88) and a 2000 inductee to the George Washington Athletics Hall of Fame, Flipse had a historic career becoming the first woman in Colonials’ athletic history to compete on a men’s varsity team in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognized sport. Flipse not only competed on the men’s team, she excelled. As a four-year water polo starter, she scored 50 goals and was named co-captain and most valuable player (MVP) of the squad in her senior season of 1987.
As an international water polo competitor, she competed on three U.S. national women’s water polo teams, traveling to France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Also a veteran of six U.S. Olympic Festivals, she collected gold medals in 1987 and 1989, and silver medals in 1985 and 1991 while playing for U.S. East teams.
After graduating from GW with her bachelor’s degree in personnel management in 1988, Flipse then coached the men’s water polo team for four seasons (1988-91) and in three of the four years (1988, 1990, 1991) was named Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Coach of the Year. She is one of very few women to coach a men’s team – particularly one at the NCAA Division I level – and joins former Bucknell head coach Lynn Kachmarik in the exclusive ranks.
During her team on the GW bench compiling a 53-36-1 record, she led the team to a 15-9-1 record in 1988, including a 6-2 mark in league competition, as the squad placed fourth at the Mid-Atlantic Championship. Following a 6-13 record (4-4 league) to place fifth at the Mid-Atlantic Championship in 1989, she directed the team to 16-7 marks in both 1990 and 1991 as the Colonials finished 6-2 and 10-1 in league competition, respectively, and garnered runner-up finishes at the league championship.
The native of Coral Gables, Fla., Flipse earned her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at GW in 1991 and returned home in 1992 to serve as boys and girls water polo coach at her high school alma mater, Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Fla. She also served as Director of Athletics at Ransom Everglades during her time at the school.