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Pepperdine Athletics Announces Return of Terry Schroeder in 2013
Pepperdine Athletics has announced that water polo icon Terry Schroeder will return to Pepperdine as its head men’s water polo coach in the 2013 season. Schroeder, who was previously in charge of the program for 20 years and led the Waves to the 1997 NCAA championship, is currently the head coach of the USA men’s water polo team that is headed to the London Olympics.
Schroeder will officially begin his duties as head coach on January 1, 2013. While firmly focused on leading the U.S. National team in the 2012 Olympic Games, Schroeder will serve in a volunteer coaching capacity at Pepperdine this fall. Gary O'Brien, an assistant coach for the past four seasons, will continue to serve as the interim head coach for the 2012 season.
"We are so excited to welcome Terry Schroeder back home to lead our men's water polo program," says Steve Potts, director of athletics. "Terry is one of the most accomplished student-athletes in Pepperdine history, led our team to an NCAA National Championship as head coach, and has distinguished himself as head coach of the USA National team. Most importantly, Terry strongly supports the University's Christian mission and he will be a great role model for our student-athletes.
"Gary O'Brien will continue to serve as our interim head coach until Terry joins us on a full-time basis," Potts added. "Gary has done a great job in this capacity and we are looking forward to a successful fall season."
Schroeder stepped down as Pepperdine's coach after the 2005 season to join the USA men's national team as an assistant coach. A year later he was elevated to head coach, and he led an unheralded group to the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Schroeder agreed to stay on for another four-year stint, and his team qualified for the 2012 Olympic water polo competition, which will be held July 29 to August 12.
"I am very excited to be coming back to Pepperdine," Schroeder shares. "I am looking forward to many more years here. Pepperdine is a very special place to me."
Schroeder is a legend in the sport, both as a player and as a coach. As a Pepperdine student-athlete, he earned All-American honors in 1977, 1978 and 1980 and is the school's all-time leader in goals scored in a career (392) and a season (138 in 1978). The Waves finished fourth at the NCAA Championships three times with Schroeder. He graduated with honors from Pepperdine in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in sports medicine.
Regarded as one of the world's all-time outstanding players, Schroeder was the U.S. National Team's captain from 1983-92 and was part of the team for 16 years. He was a four-time Olympian for the U.S. team, which won silver medals in 1984 and 1988 and placed fourth in 1992. He helped the U.S. win its first-ever major international competition in 1991, as the Americans captured the FINA Cup in Barcelona by beating longtime nemesis Yugoslavia in the title game.
The Waves enjoyed tremendous success under Schroeder, posting a record of 340-220 (.607) in his 20 seasons from 1986-2005. Pepperdine earned eight NCAA Championships berths and claimed the program's first-ever national championship in 1997.
Not only was Schroeder the 1997 National Coach of the Year, he also earned Mountain Pacific Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 1998 and was the Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 1989. He also led the Waves to a third-place NCAA finish in 1991, fourth place in 1989 and fifth place in 1987, 1990 and 1992.
Noted as a leading spokesman for water polo, Schroeder has been featured in numerous national publications, including Sports Illustrated and the New York Times. He modeled for a statue that was unveiled prior to the 1984 Olympic Games, which sits outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He also carried the U.S. flag at the closing ceremonies of the 1998 Seoul Olympics.
Schroeder was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005, the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1998, and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in 1985.