2004 - John Barrett - Slippery Rock University, University of Maryland
John Barrett began his collegiate water polo career as a two-meter
player for Slippery Rock University, serving as a starter all four
of his seasons there. He was a member of the first Slippery Rock
men’s team to qualify for the National Championship. While at
school, Barrett started his coaching career as an assistant coach
for the Slippery Rock women’s team. During his five seasons
assisting Dick Hunkler (CWPA Hall of Fame, 2002) with the program,
the team never finished lower than fourth place at the National
Barrett left Slippery Rock in 1988 and began coaching as a volunteer for the University of Maryland men’s club team. Under his tutelage the Terrapins won the Eastern Collegiate Club Championship in 1990 and repeated the feat in 1992. The next season Maryland finished third at the Eastern Championship and advanced to the first ever National Collegiate Club Championship, where it placed second. The Terps followed up that performance with a third place finish at Easterns and a fourth place finish at Nationals in 1994.
In 1990 Barrett began coaching the
University of Maryland women’s club team and helped to
elevate it among the elite teams on the east coast. From 1992-1996,
Maryland finished either second or third at the Eastern
Championship and qualified for the National Championship each year,
achieving sixth place once, seventh place three times and tenth
place once. His development of the program laid the foundation for
a team that gained varsity status this season.
Barrett received several honors for his coaching while at Maryland. In 1990 and 1991 he was honored as Division II Coach of the Year. He received the Sport Club Coach of the Year award in 1994.
Barrett’s coaching career was not limited to the collegiate ranks. He served as an assistant coach for the East squad at the 1991 Women’s Olympic Festival. In 1992 he led his men’s team to a fourth place finish at the Junior National Championship and received Junior National Championship Outstanding Coach honors for his efforts at the tournament. He returned to the Women’s Olympic Festival in 1993, this time as the head coach of the East team.