TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 22 ROBBIE Bova has been hired as the assistant coach of the Arizona State University water polo program, head coach Todd Clapper announced Monday. Bova, a three-time collegiate All-American at Slippery Rock University, and a 2006 Collegiate Water Polo Association Hall of Fame inductee, comes to Tempe after building a successful youth water polo program in Albuquerque, N.M.
“I am very excited to have such a high-caliber coach join our program,” Clapper said. “Robbie and I have known each other for about 13 years, since our Slippery Rock days, so the transition has been very smooth. She brings with her a wealth of coaching and playing experience. Her coaching abilities are only overshadowed by her enthusiasm and determination to help ASU get to the NCAA Championships. I look forward to having her work with our program as we strive to reach our goals.”
“I am very excited to be a part of the ASU coaching staff,” Bova said. “I look forward to working with such a dedicated and motivated group of student-athletes and with such a talented head coach. This particular group is going to make history as they work hard toward their team and individual goals, both athletically and academically, and I happy to be able to be a part of the program.”
Bova first jumped into coaching in 1999 as the founder and head coach for the Albuquerque Water Polo and Swim Team, a program that has produced many athletes currently competing on the collegiate level in both disciplines. One year after founding the Albuquerque program, she also founded the New Mexico High School Water Polo league. Most recently, Bova served one year as the head coach of the swimming and water polo programs at Duke City Aquatics before coming to Tempe.
While working with both programs, Bova took on zone team responsibilities as well, beginning in March of 2001 when she was named the head coach of the Women’s Youth Water Polo team for the Mountain Zone, leading the team for six seasons. Then, in March of 2006, she assumed duties as the head coach of the Women’s Cadet Water Polo Team for the Mountain Zone. For her efforts, she was selected by USA Water Polo as its Women’s Mountain Zone Developmental Coach of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2004. In those same three years, Bova also served as a coach at the US Women’s National Team Top 40 Festival.
Prior to picking up the whistle as a head coach, Bova was a standout player in the pool as she was a member of the Slippery Rock team for four seasons (1994-97) while also competing on the US Women’s Junior National Team for six years (1990-96). While playing for the Rock, Bova was instrumental in the success of the varsity program as she helped the program win the 1995 National Collegiate Championship, making SRU the first, and still only, non-California team to win the national crown.
A team captain for the Rock in both 1996 and 1997, Bova also attained All-America honors in 1995, 1996 and 1997. In her first season in Slippery Rock, Pa., she helped the team to national runner-up finishes before taking the gold in 1995. As a sophomore in 1995, she was selected as the MVP of the national tournament and then helped the team to fourth place in 1996 and sixth place in 1997. She also earned a place in the SRU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.
Internationally, Bova has competed in several events for the Red, White and Blue. She competed in numerous international games, including the Junior Pan-American Championships (gold) and the Junior World Championships (bronze). She also competed with the national team at events in Havana, Cuba, in 1995 and Montreal, Canada, in 1996.