Legendary Water Polo Coach Monte Nitzkowski Passes Away

Monte Nitzkowski passed away Thursday night. The legendary water polo coach at Long Beach City College and with the U.S. National Water Polo team was considered the most innovative coach in the sport’s history.

Nitzkowski coached the 1972 Olympic team to a bronze medal and the 1984 squad to a silver. In 1980, the U.S. men’s Olympic team was a gold medal favorite but was stymied by the Jimmy Carter boycott of the Games.

He also swam the 200 breaststroke in the 1952 Olympics.

In recognition of his successes, Nitzkoski has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame. Later this summer, he will also become an inaugural member of the Aquatic Capital of American Hall of Fame.

USA Water Polo’s annual Distinguished Men’s Coaching Award (Elite) is also named in Nitzkowski’s honor.

His recognition to the International Swimming Hall of Fame notes, “His love and support for water polo has made an impact on every player with whom he has come in contact.”““

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