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 Good News: USA Water Polo honors former SRU coach Doc Hunkler 



SRU Good News for Feb. 3, 2010


USA Water Polo honors former SRU coach Doc Hunkler

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Richard "Doc" Hunker, professor emeritus of computer science at Slippery Rock University, was honored Saturday by USA Water Polo with the establishment of the Doc Hunkler Distinguished Women's Coaching Award. The award will be presented annually to the top scholastic coach in the nation.

The award, named in honor of former SRU water polo coach was one of 14 awards established by USA Water Polo to honor those who have made extraordinary contributions to the sport.

Hunkler, who retired from SRU in 1998, earned three "National Collegiate Coach of the Year" awards during his coaching career at The Rock.

USAWP noted that Hunkler "was a visionary for women's water polo who fought to have a true national women's collegiate championship and helped guide [The Rock] to unprecedented heights spanning three decades, including 10 top-three finishes and a national women's collegiate championship in 1995. Hunkler also holds the distinction as the only coach to win both a Men's and Women's Olympic Festival Gold Medal."

Hunkler initiated water polo as a club sport at SRU in 1972. In 1991, the program achieved varsity status and went on to win the Eastern Championship and finish seventh at the NCAA Championships, with a record of 26-7. SRU also finished as Eastern Championships runner-up twice.

His 1995 Rock women's team was the first and is the only eastern team to win a National Collegiate Championship. Under Hunkler's leadership, the SRU women posted three national third-place finishes from 1990 to 1992.

Hunkler ended his career with a 102-42 record with the men's team through seven varsity seasons and a 142-11 record with the women's team in six varsity seasons.

He also held posts on the national level. He was an assistant for the 1982-83 national women's team which finished second at the World Cup Championships. As a coach at the U.S. Olympic Festival, he became the only person to ever direct both a men's and women's squad in water polo to the gold medal. Again, those teams were the first from the east to capture the gold.

He was also instrumental in the administration of the Mid-Atlantic Conference, now known as the Collegiate Water Polo Association, in its early years. In the 1970's, he served six years as president and several more as secretary.

Hunkler was inducted into the CWPA Hall of Fame in 2002.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


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