Courtesy: Mount St. Mary’s Athletics
EMMITSBURG, Md. — Mount St. Mary’s water polo head coach Alyssa Diacono adds a major asset to her staff ahead of the teams’ inaugural season with the appointment of Lynn Kachmarik as a volunteer assistant coach.
Kachmarik is a bona fide legend in the water polo community. The first woman to be inducted into the Collegiate Water Polo Hall of Fame, her career in aquatics spans four decades with a lengthy list of accomplishments. Many of these feats were pioneering for women in athletics.
Beginning with her undergraduate athletic career as an All-America water polo player and swimmer for Slippery Rock University, Kachmarik went on to become a 12-year member of the U.S. Women’s National Water Polo Team. The first player for the national team outside of California, she appeared in three World Aquatic Championships (1980, 1984, and 1988), along with numerous FINA World Cup Championships. Kachmarik also captained the squad for half of her tenure. She also coached and served on the executive committee, helping guide the team at the World Aquatic Championships in Perth, Australia in 1993.
Her playing career reached a crescendo in 2007, when she won a gold medal for 30+ Women’s Water Polo at the 2007 Aquatics World Championships at Stanford University.
In 1981, she accepted a position at Bucknell University, working in various capacities for 18 years. Initially hired to coach women’s swimming and diving, she broke down another barrier with her appointment as men’s water polo coach two years later. This made her the first woman to coach any NCAA Division I men’s team sport. Kachmarik also held the positions of Director of Aquatics and Head Women’s Water Polo Coach. The Bison inducted her into their Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
Kachmarik would parlay 18 years at Bucknell into 16 years working a number of positions in South Bend, Indiana. She spent 10 years as the Director of Athletics and Recreation for Division III Saint Mary’s College, followed by a one-year stint with the South Bend/Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau as their executive director. Another domino fell in 2009 when she became the first woman to hold a top executive position for a minor league baseball team, serving as Vice President and General Manager for the South Bend Silver Hawks. After two seasons with the Silver Hawks, she worked as General Manager for the South Bend Country Club, and became the National Director of Growth for the Play Like a Champion Today Program at Notre Dame.
Today, Kachmarik is a renowned global speaker and educator on leadership, cultural change embraced by empathy, character development and vulnerability. She currently serves as president of Equilibria in Sports as well as Equilibria in Education. Both are entrepreneurial companies committed to elevate personal, professional and organizational performance through understanding, embracing and leveraging diversity of thought and behavior. Lynn is also the founder and owner of True Brand Sports LLC, which provides workshops around the world to improve the sport culture at the youth, high school, collegiate and professional levels.
A 2003 inductee to the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Hall of Fame, Kachmarik was among the first group of women inducted in the United States Water Polo Hall of Fame in 2004. She also is a member of the Bucks County Chapter of Pennsylvania’s Athletic Hall of Fame (2015), the Slippery Rock Athletic Hall of Fame (1991) and the Neshaminy High School Hall of Fame (1985).