The Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems, are presented for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.
YMCA National Championship Coach / Player & Author
2013 Paragon Award / Water Polo
In 1956 Chuck began his aquatic career with the YMCA. In 1958, he assumed the position of Director of Aquatics at the Minneapolis YMCA. He continued throughout his professional life as director of three cities, Minneapolis, Des Moines and Asheville, retiring after 40 years in 1996.
He started playing water polo in 1958, at age 25, shortly after becoming the Director of the Minneapolis Y and continued as player/coach at the Des Moines YMCA in Iowa from 1962 to 1966.
He was named “Y All-American” player two times and an A.A.U. Honorable Mention All-American player once.
Chuck served as Director of Aquatics at the Asheville YMCA from 1969 to 1996, starting from scratch in a small dilapidated 40 year old basement pool with one ball, no goals and a bunch of young kids who had never heard of water polo. He developed a program that in the 1970’s won ten national A.A.U. and YMCA tournament titles and posted an 80 – 8 - 1 record in dual swim meets.
Chuck discovered and developed water polo expert Bob Helmick, who went on to serve as President of FINA. He also coached six high school All-American players and won the 1966 YMCA Junior National Water Polo Championships. In April 1977, his Y girls were selected to represent the East Coast in the initial World Woman’s Water Polo Club Championships at Montreal and Quebec City in Canada, being the first U.S. team to take on the number one women’s team in the world from Holland. In July of that year, he hosted the International Women’s Tournament with his team taking second place.
In 1961, Chuck started publishing a bimonthly water polo newsletter that went out to subscribers coast to coast. In 1962, he used the newsletter to announce the first-ever High School and College All-American Teams. This was done annually until the newsletter was taken over by the American Swimming Coaches Association.
During the 1960’s, working with Al Schoenfield, he served as the water polo editor for “Swimming World” magazine and also wrote several coaching articles for “Swimming Technique”. During this time period, he served as Chairman of the A.A.U. National Woman’s Water Polo Committee and as Vice Chairman of the A.A.U. National Men’s Water Polo Committee. In the late 60’s, he served as Secretary Treasurer of the American Swimming Coaches Association and as editor of the ASCA newsletter. He was Chairman of the ASCA Water Polo Committee, when it conducted the first World Swimming Coaches Conference at ISHOF in 1969.
Chuck served on the U.S. Olympic Water Polo Committees for the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Games, which included a term as Secretary of the U.S. Men’s Team, which brought home a bronze medal in 1972 - Munich. He continued to serve as Chairman of the A.A.U. National Women’s Water Polo Committee through 1976 and was elected Chairman of the inaugural International Women’s Water Polo Committee in 1977. During this time, he continued to serve as Chairman of the YMCA National Water Polo Committee.
His 230 page book titled “Water Polo, The Y’s Way” was published on the evolution of the sport. Working with “Water Polo Planet”, he organized and chaired a committee that developed the U.S. Women’s Water Polo Hall of Fame.
Chuck has been serving as historian for “American Water Polo” magazine, writing over a dozen history articles about the sport that have been posted on the internet as well as editing another dozen articles.
He has received numerous major awards for water polo coaching and other endeavors, including the YMCA Coach of the Year in 1969 and 1973 and YMCA Distinguished Director of Physical Education Award.
He coached ten national championship teams and more than 20 All-American players.
Recipients of the