Feature Story on Bucknell Men's Water Polo Seniors Brian Barron and Matt Napleton
2012 Holiday Edition
Fourth-Quarter Comeback Forces OT, But Bison Men's Water Polo Falls to St. Francis (N.Y.) 10-9 in Eastern Championship Title Game
Bison Finish Second at Easterns for First Time Since 1993
First League Crown for Bison Since 1985
Bucknell Men's Water Polo Advances to Southern Championships Title Game with 13-11 Win Over Top-Seeded Navy
Bison Beat Washington & Jefferson and No. 14 Navy to Advance to Southern Championships Final
John McBride, who served as an assistant coach at Brown the previous seven years, was named the head men's and women's water polo coach at Bucknell on May 18, 2011. McBride, a 1992 graduate of Rhode Island who was a four-year starter in goal as a member of the water polo program, also has an extensive background with the U.S. National Team, serving as head coach of the men's Northeast Zone Olympic Development Team since 2009.
In his first year at Bucknell, McBride helped the Bison men post their fifth above-.500 record in the last six years as he guided them to a 15-10 record and their eighth consecutive top-five finish at the Eastern Championship. The Bucknell women also won 15 games under McBride as the squad faced a challenging schedule that included 14 ranked opponents.
While at Brown, McBride helped guide the Bears to unprecedented success. The men's squad captured the 2009 Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division title, its first conference crown in nearly 25 years. Additionally, the team went undefeated in regular-season conference play in 2008 and finished as high as fourth at the Eastern Championship.
On the women's side, McBride led the Bears to back-to-back ECAC Championship titles in 2009 and 2010 and a fourth-place finish at the Eastern Championship, the best showing at Brown since 2001.
Both the men's and women's squads appeared regularly in the national top-20 rankings during McBride's tenure, which also featured 43 All-Northern Division selections and 22 All-East players. Additionally, three Bears earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
Brown's men's team had the highest team grade-point average in the nation for four years, while the women ranked in the top three nationally four times.
"I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to be the head coach of the men's and women's water polo programs at Bucknell," said McBride at the time of his hiring. "I am looking forward to settling into Lewisburg and getting started with the 2011-12 seasons. Bucknell prides itself on balancing academics and athletics and having coached in a very rigorous academic environment for the last seven years should make the transition much easier. I am very anxious to get on the pool deck and begin coaching the talented student-athletes that are member of both the men's and women's programs at Bucknell."
A goalie on the U.S. National "B" Team in 1993, McBride has become a recognizable face in National Team circles. In addition to his duties as the men's Northeast Zone Olympic Development Team head coach, he has served as head coach of the Southeast Zone Olympic Development Program. McBride has also spent time as an evaluator and coach at the women's Speedo Top 40 Camp at Harvard.
Among his many responsibilities with the National Teams, McBride evaluates and coaches the top 16 men from the East Coast to compete for spots on the U.S. National Team. He has also coached regional teams comprised of the best Northern California collegiate players and helps the U.S. Junior National Team Coaches bring the best players to represent the U.S. in international competitions.
An accomplished goalie during his playing days at Rhode Island,McBride was a three-time First Team All-New England selection and was twice a First Team All-East honoree.
Following his graduation from Rhode Island with a degree in speech communications, McBride attended the Rhode Island Department of Corrections Academy and the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility Corrections Academy and eventually graduated from the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy in 1996. He then served as a patrolman and SWAT officer for the North Providence Police from 1996 to 2004.
McBride got his start in coaching in 2001 when he founded the Newport Lady Tritons Water Polo Club. He proceeded to coach the club, which was made up of high school-aged players, until 2003. At that time, McBride founded the Ocean State Masters Swim Team, which featured more than 100 athletes who competed in master's swim meets and triathlons all over the world.
McBride's most recent start-up project was the Bruno Water Polo Club, which he began as a non-profit organization in Providence, R.I., in 2007. The club gives inner-city youth an opportunity to enjoy the sport of water polo.
McBride and his wife, Sam, have two daughters, Grace (12) and Lily (10).