Paragon Awards Presented By
Dr. Bob Corb (USA)
2018 Paragon Award / Water Polo
A former water polo official who is now responsible for the education of all varsity officials working for the NCAA. Dr. Corb completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Massachusetts and holds both a master’s degree in athletic administration, and a Masters and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Corb has been involved in the sport of water polo since 1973. A native of Massachusetts, he began playing water polo in college, first at Northeastern University and later at the University of Massachusetts. A past coach, player, referee and now an administrator, he started the New England Water Polo Referees’ Association (NEWPRA) in 1978. Also, in 1978, Corb received his first NCAA Championship experience as he officiated in the NCAA Championship play-in-game between Brown University and Texas A & M University with CWPA Hall of Fame coach Russ Yarworth.
Following graduation, he traveled around the country for six months prior to coming back to Massachusetts and working for several years before making the move in 1980 to Southern California. A member of the Olympic Committee staff for the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, he continued his water polo officiating role from the East Coast in his new home in California. Moving up the ranks both in USA Water Polo and on the high school and college levels, he became a FINA referee, and traveled to over ten different countries to officiate water polo. The President of the Southern California Aquatics Federation (SCAF) for three terms, and active in the USAWP referee organization, Corb was invited to officiate the first ever women’s NCAA Water Polo Championship in 2001.
Away from the pool deck, his academic career and accomplishments are equally impressive. After teaching for four years in the psychology department at Pomona College in Claremont, California, he went to work at the University of California, Riverside in their counseling center where he created and ran a successful sports psychology program for ten years. In 2008, he was recruited to return to the counseling center at the University of California-Los Angeles, where he had completed his pre-doctoral internship, to become their first ever Sports Psychology Program Director. In that capacity, he was responsible for ensuring that the behavioral health needs of the 670+ student athletes of UCLA were being met prior to his retirement.
For the past ten years, Dr. Corb has used his background as an official, training as a psychologist, and his education in athletic administration to create a national program whose goal is to improve the overall quality and consistency of officiating throughout the country. As the NCAA national coordinator of officials for both the men and women’s water polo, his initiatives in support of this goal has included the development and growth of the National Evaluator Group (NEG), currently consisting of twenty members across the US with a combined 750+ years of water polo experience. This group includes former elite level referees, coaches, and players, including two previous recipients of the Paragon Award. In addition to attending weekend training sessions funded by a grant from the NCAA to Dr. Corb, this group conducts hundreds of in-person formal evaluations each year, using a standardized online evaluation form developed by the NEG. Dr. Corb has also created the ADVANTAGE website, which is the platform for referee training, coach education, and increased communication between all the stakeholders in intercollegiate water polo. In 2016, he and the NEG created and presented the inaugural mandatory national referee school, which will be offered again in 2018, coinciding with the new two-year NCAA Rulebook. Additionally, Dr. Corb has been instrumental in increasing the collaboration between the NCAA and USAWP in the area of referee training, working toward one unified set of playing rules for all levels within the US, introducing the use of radios for officials in both game situations and training opportunities, and creating an environment where assignments for both men and women are linked directly to performance. His mantra remains, “Referees should be rewarded for applying the rules as written.”
Recipients of the