Gold Medalist Kiley Neushul Leads Four Inductees to USA Water Polo Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Gold Medalist Kiley Neushul Leads Four Inductees to USA Water Polo Hall of Fame

USA Water Polo on Monday announced the four members of its 2024 USA Water Polo Hall of Fame Class, led by Olympian Kiley Neushul.

Neushul, of one of the sport’s most prolific families, will be joined by Chris Oeding, Doug Peabody and Ken Smith.

The class will be inducted on June 7 at a luncheon at the DoubleTree in Claremont, California. Tickets are available on USA Water Polo’s website.

Neushul won Olympic gold and three World Championships with the U.S. women. The Santa Barbara native was a prodigy, as a four-time state champion at Dos Pueblos High School and a five-time Junior Olympic champion with Santa Barbara Water Polo Club. She won three NCAA titles at Stanford, where she won the Cutino Award as the nation’s top player in 2012 and 2015.

She trained with the team that would win gold at the 2012 Olympics before winning world titles in 2015, 2017 and 2019. She was part of the team that won gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and won a World Junior title in 2013. In club water polo, she won three Spanish League titles with C.N. Sabadell. Neushul’s sister Jamie Neushul won Olympic gold in 2021, and youngest sister Ryann Neushul is vying to be part of the 2024 U.S. team.

Oeding was a three-time All-American in high school, winning two CIF Championships with Corona del Mar High School, where he was the 1988 CIF Player of the Year. He led the University of California to three titles in the early 1990s and was the 1992 co-Player of the Year. He was a member of the 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams, capping an national career that began at the 1994 World Championships.

Oeding began coaching at Orange Coast College. He has been at Long Beach City College since 2000, winning six state titles. He became an assistant coach of the U.S. women’s team in 2013. He’ll be on deck for a third Olympics this summer after five World Championships.

Peabody is one of the leading figures in San Diego water polo. He played at Crawford High and in the 1989 Maccabiah Games, was an assistant for San Diego State’s women’s team and led the first USA cadet boys team. The 2018 winner of the USA Water Polo Legacy Award, he coached the U.S. men’s junior team to there consecutive Pan Am Championships.

Peabody founded the San Diego Shores club in 1992, helping it win 35 national titles, including 22 Junior Olympics crowns. He’s helped guide national teamers like Kelly Rulon, Alex Bowen, Brett Ormsby, Moriah Van Norman and Gabby Stone. He’s coached the boys and girls teams at the Bishop’s School for the last 26 years, winning 32 San Diego CIF Championships.

Smith is hailed as “the greatest water polo coach Hawaii has ever known.” He has led Punahou School into a powerhouse for more than 50 years, since a career as a two-time Olympian at UCLA in the late 1960s. He began coaching at his alma mater, the Bruins winning the first NCAA water polo championship in 1969. At Punahou Aquatics (later Hawaiian Islands Water Polo) and Punahou School, he’s won 39 league titles and won 359 matches. He launched the girls program at the school in 1996, winning 15 championships and 292 matches.

Smith put at least one player on each of the U.S. men’s Olympic teams from 1988-08, including Chris Duplanty, Sean Kern and Brandon Brooks. He’s mentored numerous officials, including Aaron Chaney, and coaches across the country.

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