Lynn Kachmarik was a true coaching pioneer at Bucknell, mentoring both men and women student-athletes in four different sports from 1982-98. Kachmarik was a world-class water polo player when she came to Bucknell in 1982 as a lecturer in physical education as well as head women’s swimming and diving coach. She is the longest-tenured and winningest coach in the history of that program, compiling a 120-52-1 dual-meet record in 16 years. She led the Bison to the 1987 East Coast Conference team championship and coached 43 individuals and 17 relays to league titles. In 1994, Kachmarik succeeded the legendary Dick Russell as head coach of the Bucknell men’s swimming and diving program, and she led the men to a 31-9 dual-meet record and six individual Patriot League gold medals from 1994-98.
In 1984, Kachmarik was appointed assistant coach of the Bison men’s water polo team, and following her first year the team picked her as the recipient of the Scott Schulte Award, presented to the “individual who contributes the most to Bucknell water polo.” While still serving as women’s swimming coach, Kachmarik was named head coach of the men’s water polo team in 1987, making her the first woman to coach a men’s water polo team in NCAA history. She was named Eastern Coach of the Year in 1987, helped lead the 1988 team to a No. 17 national ranking and posted a four-year record of 56-46. During that time Kachmarik was an avid proponent and advocate for women’s water polo, and during the 1998-99 academic year she helped that sport achieve varsity status at Bucknell for the first time. She was named that program’s very first head coach while relinquishing her swimming coaching duties after 16 years. As a water polo player, Kachmarik captained the U.S. National Team for six years and was a team member for 10. She was also an assistant coach for two additional years. Kachmarik was named to the All-World Team in 1978 and is also a member of the Slippery Rock Athletics Hall of Fame, Collegiate Water Polo Association Hall of Fame and USA Water Polo Hall of Fame.