Gaucho family mourns loss of water polo great

Larry Mouchawar

Larry Mouchawar

Generations of Gauchos and water polo enthusiasts mourn the loss of Larry Mouchawar, who passed away last week. Larry was UCSB?s only four-time All-American from 1980-84, where his teams made three appearances in the NCAA tournament. His 244 goal scoring record stood from 1985 to 2010. Larry trained with the U.S. National Team from 1985-1994. Mouchawar?s outside shot was among the best in the nation during his college years. Larry?s game evolved afterward when he established himself as an elite center forward during the 1990s and beyond. He trained with Coach Pete Snyder?s Santa Barbara Water Polo Club for many years after college and led the team to numerous appearances at Outdoor National Championships. Larry graduated in 1985, obtained a Certificate in Accounting from UCLA in 1995, and was part owner of the Aviara Real Estate Group, headquartered in Westlake Village.

Larry?s training and playing regime was remarkable?he competed with Santa Barbara Water Polo Club, Sunset Water Polo Club, Santa Barbara Masters, Bay Area Masters, The Dark Side, and several other clubs up until his death. Larry appeared in countless national club championship tournaments and was named All-American virtually every year from the 1980s to the present. In 2012, Larry led the Santa Barbara Masters to a Bronze Medal in the competitive 35-plus Division at the FINA XIV World Masters Championships in Riccione, Italy. Larry played every minute at center forward?he was 50 years old.

Larry Mouchawar was inducted into the Gaucho Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. On that occasion he remarked ?The relationships I built at UCSB have carried on to this day and will last for a lifetime.? Larry bonded with players from the great 1979 National Championship Team and with generations of Gauchos extending to the present day. Falling into Larry?s grasp, some 25-years after he graduated from campus pool, was a ?who?s your daddy? moment for many a young freshman unfamiliar with this enormous, ageless, center forward. Olympian, All-American, and fellow Gaucho Greg Boyer noted that ?Larry looked ten years younger and played polo better than guys twenty years younger.? He was a Gaucho great whose competitive drive and love for water polo was an inspiration for generations of UCSB water polo players.

Larry is the third of Camille and Helga Mouchawar?s four sons in one of water polo?s most storied families. Maurice, Alan, Larry, and Marvin Mouchawar all excelled at Long Beach Poly High School and afterward in college, club, and national team play. Maurice (UCLA/Stanford ?81), Alan (Stanford ?82), and Marvin (Stanford ?87) won multiple national championships for Coach Dante Dettamanti at Stanford University. Alan was a Silver medalist for Team USA at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.

Larry Mouchawar took his own life after a lengthy battle with anxiety and insomnia. Larry?s Gaucho family is universally sad that we were unable to help him in his time of need?we lost a friend, a warrior, a huge personality and one of the greatest water polo athletes ever seen in the U.S. Larry Mouchawar was a water polo icon whose achievement and longevity in the sport will never be replicated. Larry was a great father and husband who deeply loved spending time with his wife and children. Our hearts go out to Larry?s brothers, family, and particularly his wife Andrea, daughter Kaylin, and son Jake.

Services for Larry Mouchawar are to be August 14, Wednesday, 10:00 AM at the Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village. Address: 5495 Via Rocas, Westlake Village, CA 91361.

The family is asking, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the ?Boston University School of Medicine CSTE?. The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) was established to support research for athletes who sustain brain injuries during their lives. ?(online donation link?-?please designate “CSTE Fund” in the Comments section)