LEXINGTON, Va. - Washington and Lee University has announced that men's water polo will no longer be offered as a varsity sport at the school, effective immediately. The sport will continue to be offered on the club level.
The move came about after an evaluation of the aquatics program following the departure of Aquatics Director Page Remillard, who became the Director of Athletics at Agnes Scott (Ga.) College this summer.
"This was a very difficult decision to make because of the number of outstanding athletes who have represented Washington and Lee in water polo over the last 20 years," said Director of Athletics Mike Walsh. "However, our department is committed to Division III competition and there simply are not enough varsity Division III schools to compete against in water polo. Looking to the future we did not see growth on the Division III varsity level so we made this decision."
Since 1993, Washington and Lee has been one of only two schools in the South (the University of Richmond is the other) and one of just five Division III schools in the East that offered varsity water polo. Fellow Old Dominion Athletic Conference members Hampden-Sydney College and Lynchburg College both dropped water polo in the early 1990's.
Water polo became W&L's 13th varsity sport for men in 1977 and over 20 years compiled a record of 347-203-1. However, since 1994 W&L has played primarily against NCAA Division I & II institutions and has gone just 14-37 against varsity competition in that time frame, including a 1-12 record against varsity teams last season.
W&L now offers 21 varsity sports, 12 for men and nine for women. A search for a new head coach of men's swimming has already begun and W&L hopes to name a new coach by early August.