Former University of Pacific water polo player Calvin Behm died on Saturday, February 18 after being in a car crash in his home state of Pennsylvania.
Behm, who graduated from Pacific last year, was 23.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of this talented young man, who was a good friend and a committed teammate,” said Director of Athletics Janet Lucas. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Calvin, his family, friends, teammates and coaches. Calvin will be missed throughout the Pacific community.”
Behm graduated from Pacific in December of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. In his senior year at Pacific, Behm helped the Tigers win the Golden Coast Conference championship and advance to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
He played in all 29 games for the Tigers that year, scoring 14 goals, which tied him for 8th-best on the team.
“I’m personally heartbroken,” said James Graham, Pacific’s water polo coach. “Calvin was such a huge part of our program. His passion for hard work and commitment to big dreams was second to none. Calvin embodied everything we value at Pacific in our water polo program.”
“He will be deeply missed, but we will do everything we can to honor him daily. My heart goes out to his family, especially his parents, Jill and Tony, who have been amazing to me personally. I don’t know how to express in a better way than to say Calvin was special; he gave his very best, he was the ultimate teammate, and we all love him here.”
Behm, a graduate of Cathedral Prep in Erie, Penn., helped lead his high school team to multiple state tournament appearances and was voted Mr. Water Polo in 2017—the highest honor for a high school player in Pennsylvania. That same year, he was named to the High School All-American First Team, an honor given to only 12 athletes across the country. Behm currently holds the career scoring record at Prep.
He also swam in high school, finishing 9th in the 100 breaststroke at the 2018 Pennsylvania High School Boys’ State Championship meet, and 11th in the 200 IM.
In 2017, Behm signed his national letter of intent to play for Pacific. Due to concussions, he chose to forgo water polo and attended Penn State University for two years. He rekindled his passion for water polo while playing on a club team and transferred to Pacific in 2020 to play collegiate water polo. Due to COVID-19 and the cancelation of the 2020 season, he played professionally in Nies, Serbia, in the spring of 2021 before returning to Pacific.
“Calvin was fiercely loyal to his teammates and Pacific,” the Behm family said in a statement. “He loved the atmosphere in Stockton, always liked the “toughness” of the city. It was his kind of town. Playing for Coach Graham only enhanced Cal’s love of water polo. He planned to work for a few years, save enough money to go to Europe and play again.”
At the time of his death, Behm had accepted a prestigious position with AT&T at their executive development sales training program at AT&T headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Behm was an organ donor and helped save the lives of seven others after his passing.
Behm is survived by his parents, Jillian (Halmi) Behm and Anthony Behm of Erie, and his older brother Carey Behm of Media, PA. His grandparents are John and Shirley Behm, Barbara Halmi Nene (Dave) and Terry Halmi. His aunts and uncles are Amy (Brad) Boyd and Travis (Alyson) Halmi.
A visitation will be held at Millcreek Community Church, 4444 Sterrettania Road, from 12-3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 5:30 p.m. Private family interment will be Saturday, Feb. 25.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts to University of the Pacific’s Water Polo program at https://www.joinpaf.org/giving/.
Portions of this article come from the University of Pacific press release.
Swam with his brother. Sad, sad story. Rest in peace.
Too young. I’m sorry to hear this.