Interesting matchup today. Hardy Nickerson, former stud defensive player for Cal (whose son might come here, too!) versus Kirk Everist. Everist is the coach of the water polo team. He is a 9 seed, who upset Nate Longshore and Geoff MacArthur! How far can he go?????
You can view the full bracket here. Voting ends this Friday at noon. Full write ups after the jump. GO BEARS!
Hardy Nickerson (4)
Nickerson's son, Hardy Jr., is a highly touted linebacker whom Cal is recruiting.
The elder Nickerson was a member of the 1986 Cal team, which defeated heavily favored Stanfurd 17-11 in one of the biggest upsets in Big Game history. The 1986 Big Game was Joe Kapp's last game as Cal coach.
Kirk Everist (9)
The Cal water polo program has a storied history and Kirk Everist is one of the program's all-time greats. Everist has won four national championships as a Cal Bear: two as a player in the 1980s and two more as Cal's head coach.
Producing back-to-back NCAA titles, two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation crowns, 29 All-Americans and numerous academic honorees, Kirk Everist has proven to be the perfect individual to perpetuate the tradition of excellence that defines California water polo. In six seasons (140-40, .778) Everist has twice led the Golden Bears to the pinnacle of the sport; last year directing his alma mater to its NCAA-record 13th national crown with a 8-6 win over USC after a thrilling 7-6 last-second national championship victory over the Trojans in 2006.
A former three-time All-American, 1988 NCAA Player of the Year and two-time United States Olympian, Everist, 41, earned the 2002 MPSF Coach of the Year honors in his inaugural season when he guided Cal to the MPSF Tournament title and a national runner-up finish. Then in 2004, he was inducted into both the Cal Athletic and the USA Water Polo Hall of Fames. In 2006, Everist was selected USA Water Polo's Elite Co-Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to both the MPSF and NCAA titles. On July 29, 2002 Everist returned to his alma mater and immediately led the Bears to a 20-7 mark and Cal's first MPSF title and national runner-up finish since 1995. Now after guiding the Bears to the school's first back-to-back NCAA trophies since the early '90s, Everist and his troops are in a position to vie for a third-straight national crown in 2008.
Before his successful return to Berkeley, Everist had contributed to eight CIF North Coast championships as an assistant coach at Miramonte High School. During Everist's 11-year tenure at Miramonte, the school also produced nine league titles and three third-place finishes in the California State Tournament. He helped develop 22 high school All-Americans, and three of his former players went on to earn NCAA All-American recognition, while two ex-pupils have played on NCAA championship teams.
Ohio Bear: Water polo: played at Cal and is Cal’s current coach. 2 national championships as a Cal player, and 2 national championships as a coach.
Two time national champion as a player. Two time national champion as a coach. Three time All-American. On top of all of that, Everist was twice a member of the United States Olympic water polo team. Certainly, Everist has Hall of Fame credentials.