BRIDGEPORT, Pa. – Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame member and former men's water polo standout Jeff Hilk ’86 will be inducted into the Collegiate Water Polo Association Hall of Fame before the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference title game on Sunday, Nov. 19 in Annapolis, Md., the organization announced Wednesday morning.
Hilk will become the fourth Bison to be enshrined in the CWPA Hall of Fame, joining Scott Schulte ’81 (inducted 2006), Mark Gensheimer ’81 (inducted 2012) and Tony Paxton ’81 (inducted 2016). In addition to those three former players, former Bucknell coaches Dick Russell (inducted 2002) and Lynn Kachmarik (inducted 2003) previously garnered the CWPA's highest honor.
Hilk was a standout for both the Bucknell water polo and swimming & diving teams in the mid-1980s. A four-year starter for the water polo team, he posted 334 goals and 460 points in his career, totals that still rank second only to Schulte on Bucknell's career charts.
Hilk, who scored 108 goals as a sophomore and 104 as a senior, is one of only 10 players in program history to score 100 goals in a season. He and Schulte are the only two to do it more than once.
In 1985, Hilk co-captained a Bison squad that finished 25-9, won the Mid-Atlantic Conference title, was the runner-up at the Eastern championship and placed seventh at the NCAA championship. That was the last Bucknell team to win a league title or qualify for the NCAAs until the 2016 men's water polo squad won the MAWPC crown and reached the at-large round of the NCAA tournament.
A three-time All-MAC and All-East honoree, Hilk was recognized as an Honorable Mention All-American as a senior. After his time at Bucknell, he was selected to play on the East team at the 1985 and 1986 U.S. Olympic Festivals. In 1983, he was a member of the National Junior Development Team.
Also a four-year swimming letterman, Hilk graduated with school records in the 200-yard freestyle and 400 and 800 freestyle relays. The Cincinnati, Ohio native was a top-eight finisher in five freestyle events at the East Coast Conference championships and was on two gold-medal relays in 1985.
Due to his success in both water polo and swimming, Hilk was the co-recipient of the Christy Mathewson Award as the top senior athlete in his class. He also won the Scott Schulte Award as the water polo team's MVP that year. He graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Hilk was inducted into the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010. He is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for Diligent Corporation, where his responsibilities include scaling the growth and efficiency of Diligent’s global sales organization, developing and executing client acquisition strategies and driving a winning sales culture that is aligned with Diligent’s strong focus on customer success. He also has global responsibility for customer success management and 24/7/365 worldwide support.
Hilk has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, having led teams in account management, sales, product management and engineering. He has held various positions in large multi-national companies such as NCR, AT&T and McDonnell-Douglas Aerospace as well as smaller technology firms such as Boundless Corporation and BlueShark Technologies.