SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mark Massari is pleased to announce the re-organization of the leadership in the Gaucho women's water polo program for the 2011-12 season.
Cathy Neushul, who has served as the assistant women's water polo coach for the past three seasons, will become the head coach and lead the Gauchos into their 16th season as a Division I program.
Wolf Wigo, who directly coached the team for the past three seasons, will continue in a top level leadership role for the women's program as Director of Water Polo with a focus on fundraising efforts, particularly for the new intercollegiate aquatics center, which will replace the 70-year old Campus Pool.
"I look forward to expanding my role within the program to help raise funds for the new intercollegiate aquatics facility," Wigo said. "I have complete confidence Coach Neushel and myself will continue to move the program successfully forward."
UCSB won two national championships – in 1987 and 1989 – prior to the NCAA's sponsorship of women's water polo. Those Gauchos paved the way for the sport to become a varsity intercollegiate program at UCSB and inducted as a sponsored sport by the NCAA.
During her three seasons as an assistant coach, Neushul has helped Wigo guide the Gauchos to a 51-37 record.
Neushul's history with Gaucho water polo dates back to her own playing days when she was an All-American for UCSB's club team. In 1986, she was a member of the United States National Team. Neushul also served as a player and coach for UCSB from 1986-89 and then became the head coach of the Gauchos from 1991-92, while it was still a club program.
"I am looking forward to continuing the tradition of excellence set forth by Wolf in his leadership of the women's program," Neushul said. "We have an outstanding freshman class and a wealth of experience in our returning upper classmen. I am excited to lead this fine group of women and to uphold UCSB Athletics' tradition of developing outstanding students and athletes."
The fundraising effort for the new intercollegiate aquatics facility is well underway. To see the plan for the project, click here.
To help strengthen UCSB water polo, please give to the Gauchos Fund, a tax-deductable way to help support opportunities for Gaucho student-athletes.