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July 15, 2009

St. Francis Water Polo Ready for New Season With New Coach Igor Samardzija

Brooklyn Heights, NY - - - With players and new recruits getting ready to begin their 2009 campaign, St. Francis College Men’s Water Polo’s New Head Coach Igor Samardzija was formally introduced today by St. Francis Director of Athletics Irma Garcia. Samardzija has been working hard the past several months, recruiting and putting together a schedule for the squad that includes two trips to the West Coast to face the nation’s top Division I College teams.

“It is a great honor for me to become a member of the St. Francis family and to be given the opportunity to lead the College's most successful athletic program,” said Coach Samardzija. “I am truly excited about this position and will have trouble waiting for the official start of the season to justify the confidence AD Garcia has in me and the rest of the team."

Samardzija of both Serbian and Croatian descent has spent years in both the European and American Water Polo communities. He has coached the men’s and women’s club teams at Columbia University where he led teams to three state titles (‘06 – ‘08) and was named New York coach of the year twice (’06-’07). He is licensed as a water polo coach by the Italian Olympic Committee and also a volunteer coach and referee at Asphalt Green in Manhattan. Samardzija was also an assistant coach at Tent (Obrenovac, Serbia) and played for both Tent, and Red Star (Belgrade, Serbia).

"My mission is to prove that championship caliber water polo is played outside of California by eventually bringing the National NCAA title to Brooklyn Heights where it belongs,” added Coach Samardzija. “Our current roster is composed of the best available national and international talent. Their past performance and stellar academic success make me very optimistic for the future.”

Samardzija replaces Carl Quigley, who resigned this past winter after coaching the Terriers for 34 years, which included six Northern Division Championships and a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2005. Quigley’s teams also hold the highest G.P.A.s of all Water Polo teams in the country the past two years.

“Finding someone to fill the shoes of coach Quigley’s was initially a daunting task,” said Garcia. “Igor comes to us with a proven track record of success and more importantly, a deep understanding of personal and pool dynamics. We are confident his experience will help to maintain and even enhance the high standards that Carl set for our student athletes.”

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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