Athletics News

USA Water Polo Mourns The Loss Of Ken Lindgren


courtesy LongBeachState.com

Long Beach, CA - October 12 -Long-time Long Beach State men's water polo head coach Ken Lindgren died suddenly on Friday after a heart attack. Lindgren was the head coach of the Men's Water Polo team for 24 years, and won Olympic Medals as the USA coach with both men's and women's water polo, the only coach to ever do so.

Lindgren was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1993, and was a 1991 inductee into the Long Beach State Hall of Fame.

"He was a Long Beach icon," said Gavin Arroyo, Long Beach State water polo coach. "Aside from defining Long Beach water polo, he was a tremendous mentor to so many. He will be greatly missed."

Lindgren, who starred at Long Beach State as a player in 1959, returned to coach at his alma mater in 1975, leading the 49ers to a 14-12 record in his first season. That was the first of 24 seasons he would spend as the head coach of the 49ers, leading Long Beach State to seven NCAA appearances, including a runner-up finish in 1981.

Additionally, Lindgren was a force in the international game as well. After an assistant coaching stint with the 1980 USA men's team that boycotted the Olympics, Lindgren returned as an assistant for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, helping lead the Americans to a Silver Medal. Lindgren was an Olympic official for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and then assumed a role as an assistant with the women's national team, as the USA claimed Silver at the Sydney Olympics.

During his 24 years as the head coach at Long Beach State, Lindgren coached 34 All-Americans and 8 Olympic Team members. After leaving his position as head coach of the men's water polo program in 1998, Lindgren made a final return to the pool for Long Beach State, serving as the interim head coach of the women's program in 2006.

Outside of his coaching duties, Lindgren also spent over three decades teaching mathematics. Details on funeral services will be forthcoming. 

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USA Water Polo - 2124 Main Street, Suite 240 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 - 714.500.5445. - www.usawaterpolo.org
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