May 31, 2013
BERKELEY - Russ Hafferkamp has been named assistant men's water polo coach at the University of California, it was announced today (May 31) by Golden Bear head coach Kirk Everist. Hafferkamp brings over 35 years of coaching, management and leadership skills with him to Cal, which will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Bears first NCAA water polo championship in 1973, this fall.
"Russ brings with him a tremendous depth of experience as a leader and coach," said Everist. "His addition to our team comes at a time when we look to reestablish our program and continue to build on our championship legacy. Russ has been extremely successful in every aspect of his life. Be it as a player, coach, CEO, entrepreneur, or author, Russ is a proven winner with championship pedigree and he knows how to impart that wisdom."
"The Cal water polo program is an important franchise within our sport," said Hafferkamp. "Throughout my long association with college water polo as a competitor and coach, I've witnessed first-hand the incredible synergy of Cal, from its always talented student-athletes to its bonded alumni. There is uniform expectation to excel. I'm excited to add value to a great program and assist Kirk in ways that will compliment his many strengths."
Hafferkamp, who will begin his duties June 17, comes to Cal after serving as Managing Director/Founder of Career Athletes, a career development and networking company that provides counseling to a half-million student athletes and over 1,200 athletic departments across the country. He is the author of CareerBall and the CareerBall Student-Athlete Career Guide.
No stranger to elite water polo, Hafferkamp was a first-team All-American at UC Santa Barbara, a member of the U.S. National Training Team for the 1980 Olympics and represented the United States at the Ninth World University Games in Sofia, Bulgaria. A member of the Olympic Club and International Swimming Hall of Fames, he is a three-time US Water Polo Nationals MVP, a 20-time Open or Masters All-American and has been a member of eight medal-winning teams at the FINA Masters World Championships.
With over 20 years of coaching experience, Hafferkamp has been both a head coach (UC San Diego and Cal Poly men) and an assistant (UC Santa Barbara men, Cal women) at the collegiate level. He was player/coach for the Tasmanian State Team in Australia and is the current women's coach for The Olympic Club of San Francisco. Hafferkamp has also served as a member of the U.S. Water Polo Executive Committee, and as a member of the U.S. Water Polo Board of Governors and Board of Directors.
"Russ and I have a long relationship," said Everist. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a person, coach and leader. He will be an amazing role model for the student-athletes at Cal. I am very excited about the opportunity to work with him."