Courtesy: MIT Athletics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Austin Ringheim has been named as the MIT water polo head coach and physical education and wellness instructor. Ringheim comes to MIT from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he served as the assistant head coach for both the men’s and women’s water polo programs.
“Austin’s previous experience as both a student-athlete and a coach at the Division III level, combined with his work with USA Water Polo, brings a true understanding and passion for the game which will help us continue our tradition at MIT,” said Katie Hoppe, MIT assistant director of athletics. “I’m looking forward to having Austin be a part of our success.”
Ringheim served as the assistant head coach of the Austin College teams in 2018-2019, which is the only NCAA collegiate varsity program in the state of the Texas. At Austin College, he assisted in national and international recruiting, budget preparation and travel, ordering of equipment, film breakdown and home game management.
“I want to thank Julie Soriero, Barb Bolich and the rest of the search committee for the opportunity to lead the MIT men’s water polo program,” said Ringheim. “I would also like to thank Mark Lawrence, David Norman, Felix Mercado, members of the team, alumni and my family who have supported me throughout the process. I’m excited to get started continuing the competitive tradition and cultivating an awesome scholar-athlete experience.”
In the 2018-2019 season for the Austin men’s and women’s programs, the men placed sixth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Tournament and the women finished as the runner-up at the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Tournament. The men’s team had two Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) Honorable Mention All-Americans, while the women’s team had the CWPA Rookie of the Year and a pair of All-American honorees.
Academically, the ‘Roos had 10 men’s players named to the ACWPC All-Academic Team and three members of the women’s team recognized with All-Academic Team accolades.
In addition to his collegiate experience, Ringheim has worked as the assistant development boys coach for the Olympic Development Program with the United States Water Polo Association Southwest Zone since 2018. He has also worked as a youth coach in Dallas, Texas over the past year with Thunder Water Polo Club and served as a high performance coordinator with the United States Water Polo Association for two years in Huntington Beach, Calif.
As a player, Ringheim was a two-year player at Golden West College from 2012-2014 before transferring to Whittier College for his final two seasons. During his time at Whittier, he was team captain of the 2015 squad that finished as the runner-up in the SCIAC. He was also a member of the 2014 team that captured the SCIAC Championship and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, along with being named to the 2015 SCIAC Sportsmanship Team.
Ringheim graduated from Whittier College in May 2016, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in kinesiology and nutrition sciences.
Former MIT head coach/current Austin College head coach Mark Lawrence on Ringheim:
“I think Austin is a great fit for MIT and what you guys do there. With his playing background, he has a great understanding of what is needed with effort and what is needed culture wise to get these student-athletes developed to the point where they can reach their personal goals and their program goals. His understanding of creating a positive culture within the team to reach their goals, as well as how to be scholar-athletes and excel both academically and athletically, is perfect for MIT.”
“As a player, he led his D3 program to the D1 national tournament so he’s played at the level that these guys want to get to so he understands what is needed as far as commitment to training, commitment to the program and commitment to teammates. He also understands what is needed with his own commitment to the players and the program.”
“I think for what MIT needs and what kind of athletes they have, Austin is an absolute perfect fit because he understands water polo competition, water polo development and academic and program culture.”