Paul Baudendistel '90, head coach of SLUH's varsity water polo team since 2003, has announced he will assume the role as head coach of the JV team beginning in the spring of 2019. Coach "Baud," inducted into the Missouri Water Polo Hall of Fame in the spring of 2018, will be replaced by John Penilla '99, SLUH's JV head coach since 2007.
According to Athletic Director Chris Muskopf '91, "There is no way to adequately summarize the impact Paul Baudendistel has had on our water polo program."
A member of the 1989 undefeated championship team, Baudendistel began his coaching career as JV coach under Charlie Busenhart (also a member of the Missouri Water Polo Hall of Fame). Coach Baud, a physics teacher at SLUH, earned 10 varsity championships during his 16 seasons, including the last four consecutive titles. His teams have not lost to a St. Louis-area team since the 2014 championship game.
"His remarkable accomplishments are only matched his passion for water polo, his efforts to grow the sport in Missouri and around the country, and his care for the SLUH program and those in it, including the coach to whom he hands the reigns," says Muskopf. "We are incredibly blessed and excited to have John Penilla step in as our next varsity coach and continue to build upon the foundation established by Charlie and Paul."
Penilla, SLUH's Director of Annual Giving, is the most successful JV coach in the history of Missouri Water Polo. In 12 seasons, he has led his teams to 11 JV championships – losing only once in the finals, in overtime – and compiled a record of 228-8.
"Coach Penilla is among the top coaches in the area, and he continues to demonstrate commitment to the mission of SLUH," says Baudendistel. "The program could not be in better hands."