Wolf Wigo to be inducted into USA Water Polo Hall of Fame

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara’s Director of Water Polo, Wolf Wigo, will be inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame at a benefit dinner on September 17 in Los Angeles it was announced by the organization this week.

Wigo, a three-time Olympian, will be inducted alongside two-time Olympic Medalist Robin Beauregard, Masters Water Polo pioneer Michael Garibaldi, women’s water polo advocate Jennie Jacobsen-Huse and two-time Olympian Kyle Kopp.

A prodigy of the New York City water polo scene, Wigo’s accomplishments could fill a small village. Never the biggest player in the pool he emerged on the national scene at the age of 13 playing with the senior team of the New York Athletic Club. A standout in swimming and water polo for Bronx Science High School Wigo’s 17 and under club team is still the only non-California team to ever win a Junior Olympics.

At Stanford University, he rolled up two NCAA Championships, including his senior season that saw a 27-1 record, MPSF Player of the Year and NCAA Player of the Year honors. Additionally, Wigo is only one of nine athletes in Stanford history to be named an All-American four straight years.

As his college career wound to a close, his Senior National Team experience began to take off. The top scorer at the 1993 and 1995 World University Games, Wigo earned a spot on the 1996 Olympic squad in Atlanta becoming the first player hailing from east of the Rockies to make the team since 1956. This was the first of three straight Olympic Games he would play in, including the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics.

A member of the 1997 FINA Cup Gold Medal winning squad, Wigo served as team captain from 2001-2004, was named USA Water Polo Male Athlete of the Year on three occasions, and in 2000 was named to the All-World First Team by NBC Sports following the Olympic Games. A member of the New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame, Wigo starred in Greece for three seasons.

Since retiring internationally, Wigo has given back to the water polo community helping to form SET Water Polo of Orange County, co-founding Kap7 International and currently heading the UC Santa Barbara men’s and women’s teams while also assisting with the Santa Barbara Water Polo Club. Still an active participant with the New York Athletic Club winning numerous National Championships, Wigo also serves as a color commentator for NBC Olympics, most recently at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Inductees were chosen through a process, which included open nominations by their peers, evaluation of their candidacy by the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame Committee, and final ratification of the committee’s recommendations by the USA Water Polo Board of Directors.  The Committee is co-chaired by Brent Bohlender and Chris Dorst, and includes Jody Campbell, Dion Gray, Maggie Kelly, Charles Schroeder and Scott Schulte. USA Water Polo inducted its first Hall of Fame class in 1976. More details on the 2011 Hall of Fame induction including ticket information will be available in the coming weeks visit usawaterpolo.org.