A for Athlete


Gannon AD

Don Sherman of Gannon University.


  • In 2009 Associate Director of Athletics / Head Women's and Men's Water Polo Coach at Gannon University.
  • (814) 871-7763
  • sherman001@gannon.edu

Don Sherman was hired as Gannon’s first full-time Associate Director of Athletics in 2004. He previously served as the head swimming coach for eight seasons. In addition, he raised the water polo programs to the varsity level in 2001.

2007-08 Women's Water Polo Coaching Bio [1][]

Don Sherman begins his seventh season as Gannon’s head women’s water polo coach. He started both the women’s and men’s programs from scratch and moved them from club status to the varsity level in 2001. He coached the women’s team for five seasons on the varsity level and the men’s squad for four seasons until stepping down after the 2004-05 campaigns to concentrate on his Associate Director of Athletics position. Sherman returned to the deck last season after a brief one-year hiatus while continuing to serve as the Associate A.D. in addition to his coaching duties.

“I’m very excited to be back at the helm and have the opportunity to coach again,” said Sherman upon his return. “Coaching has always been a passion for me. Our goal when the University moved the programs to the varsity level was to make them the most successful programs on the East Coast. Now, I have the opportunity to achieve those goals we set when the University started the programs.”

Following an 11-11 record in 2006, Sherman immediately turned the Lady Knights back into post-season contenders during his first year back in 2007. The squad went 16-11 and finished third at the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Western Division Championships. As a result, he was named CWPA Western Division Coach of the Year for the second time. The program has never recorded a losing record during its seven-year history.

Sherman built the Gannon water polo programs into annual post-season contenders during his previous coaching stint. The women’s program had a 78-40 record and posted a winning record during all five seasons (2001-05) under Sherman’s tutelage. The Lady Knights qualified for back-to-back Eastern Championships in 2003 and 2004, being the only non-Division I school at both events. The Eastern Championships are the equivalent to the NCAA Regionals in other sports.

“While searching for a new water polo coach, it became clear that the best candidate was sitting down the hall,” noted Gannon Director of Athletics Bill Elias upon Sherman’s return. “I am thrilled that Don agreed to go back on deck and coach the water polo teams. Don’s commitment to Gannon University and his dedication to our student-athletes will enrich their collegiate experience.”

Sherman recieved his first CWPA Coach of the Year in 2002 after leading the Lady Knights to a 12-7 record in their second year on the varsity level. The squad then went on to win a school-record 20 matches in 2004. The Lady Knights finished 11th at the 2003 Eastern Championships after posting an 8-3 victory over Villanova.

The men’s water polo program has also flourished under Sherman, recording a 66-52 record in five seasons. The Golden Knights posted a winning record (13-10) during their second year on the varsity level in 2002 and accumulated three consecutive winning seasons before he stepped down. The squad returned to its winning ways with a 13-9 record during Sherman’s first season back last fall.

Sherman is at his best during local rivalries. His water polo teams are 28-4 all-time against Mercyhurst (Men 13-4 / Women 15-0) and 29-0 all-time against Penn State Behrend (Men 16-0 / Women 13-0).

The Erie, Pa., native began his career at Gannon as an assistant swimming and diving coach under former Gannon head coach Rick Goerlitz. He was appointed head women’s and men’s swimming coach in the summer of 1997. The men’s program had four consecutive winning seasons while the women’s program produced winning records in four of Sherman’s last five campaigns. Both squads went 10-1 during Sherman’s last season in 2004-05.

Sherman has 27 years of involvement with aquatics and pool management as a coach, instructor, swimmer, and lifeguard. He served as the Financial Director for the Downtown Erie YMCA prior to coming to Gannon.

Sherman graduated from Slippery Rock University with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Sports Management. He was a member of the Rocket water polo team that finished eighth at the NCAA National Championships in 1984. He later served as an assistant student coach for the Slippery Rock men’s swimming team, and also has experience as the Cathedral Prep assistant swimming and water polo coach.