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    Coach Graham Receives Nitzkowski Award

    Jan 12, 2011

    Head Coach James Graham of Pacific's men's water polo team has been named the recipient of the 2010 Monte Nitzkowski Distinguished Men's Coaching Award as announced by USA water polo.

    The award is named after Monte Nitzkowski who was synonymous with men's water polo in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. He served as the head coach of the Men's Olympic Team in 1972, 1980, and 1984. Nitzkowski led Team USA to a bronze medal in 1972 and a silver medal in 1984. Additionally Nitzkowski served as an assistant coach with the 1968 and 2000 Men's Olympic Team.

    An excerpt from USA Water Polo's official release is available below. The complete list of Water Polo Awards for 2010 is available on the USA Water Polo website.

    Monte Nitzkowski Distinguished Men's Coaching Award (Elite): James Graham, University of the Pacific - Graham piloted the University of the Pacific Men's Water Polo team to a breakout season that saw them among the elites in men's collegiate water polo. Building off a top ten pre-season ranking Graham led the Tigers to victories over 6th ranked LMU and 11th ranked UC San Diego before pulling off perhaps a program defining victory toppling 3rd ranked Stanford in Palo Alto. The squad rose as high as fourth in the CWPA rankings, a first in the program's history before finishing seventh at the MPSF tourney.

    "It is an amazing honor to receive this award, but could not be possible without all of the people that help make up the Pacific Tiger family," said Graham on receiving the award. "I would also like to thank my wife and daughter for being my daily inspiration."

    USA Water Polo's Annual Awards dinner is set for January 15 at the Hilton Costa Mesa in Costa Mesa, Calif.