Background[edit | edit source]
- An award given to water polo players that is like the Heisman Trophy is to football.
- Wikipedia:Peter J. Cutino Award
Insights[edit | edit source]
The Peter J. Cutino Award, named after former college water polo player and legendary UC Berkeley coach Peter J. Cutino, is considered the most prestigious individual award in American collegiate water polo. It is given annually to the top male and female player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
History[edit | edit source]
The award was first presented in 1999 by the Trustees of the Olympic Club of San Francisco. The Club, founded in 1860 to support amateur athletics in the Bay area, is America's oldest athletic club. Nominees for the Cutino Award are selected by the Division I water polo coaches. These coaches vote for three players as nominees, none of which can be members of their own team. The eventual winner is voted on again by the same coaches, who now rank the nominees and can vote for members of their own teams. The Olympic Club, which tabulates the votes, does not release the number of votes to avoid manipulation of the totals. Each winner receives a brass and walnut trophy, and the perpetual trophy is on display at the Olympic Club of San Francisco.
Originally the award was announced after the end of both the men's (December) and women's (May) college seasons. Former major league baseball commissioner and US Olympic Committee chair Peter Ueberroth, himself once a water polo player at San Jose State, presented the first awards on January 22, 2000. The 2001 women's winner, Coralie Simmons, was presented with her award almost a year after her season had ended because the Trustees decided to change the cycle to coincide with the academic year. Thus in June 2002, Simmons won the 2001 award, while Brenda Villa received the 2002 women's Cutino at the same ceremony. The nominees are now announced each spring, before the end of the women's NCAA water polo season, but well after the men's season ends in December of the prior year. The award ceremony is held at an Olympic Club facility in San Francisco, shortly after the Women's NCAA Championship is decided.
2008 Nominees[edit | edit source]
The men's nominees for the Ninth Annual Cutino Award were Adam Shilling from USC, Mike Sharf from UC Berkeley and Tim Hutten from UC Irvine. The 2007 women's finalists were Lauren Silver from Stanford and Jillian Kraus & Courtney Mathewson from UCLA. The winners, Hutten and Mathewson, were announced at the Peter J. Cutino Awards Night Dinner held Saturday, June 7, 2008 at The Olympic Club’s City Clubhouse, located at 524 Post Street in San Francisco. Water polo Olympian Maureen O’Toole-Purcell was the keynote speaker.