GW selects first women’s water polo coach

The GW Athletic Department named Scott Reed as the head coach of the men’s and women’s water polo teams July 6 following the departure of Van Hoffman.

Reed will serve as the first coach of the GW women’s water polo team, which gains varsity status this year and will start to compete in the spring of 2000. He also inherits the men’s water polo team that went 18-13 and was ranked as high as No. 20 in the nation last season.

Hoffman helped to develop the women’s team while it was still a club, but Senior Associate Athletics Director Mary Jo Warner does not think the fledgling program will suffer with a new head coach.

“We’ll have a good program. Scott Reed has already been on campus and has been in contact with many of the returning players,” Warner said. “I don’t think we’ll miss a beat.”

Hoffman resigned his position as men’s coach in late April. He said he wanted to continue as the coach of both programs after he had been volunteering to coach the women’s water polo club.

But when the time came to negotiate the new terms of his employment, Hoffman was displeased with how the athletic department handled the situation. Hoffman said that he was presented with a “non-negotiable” salary which was well below what he was willing to settle for. He said he then withdrew himself from consideration from the women’s coaching position and gave a verbal resignation of the men’s position to Athletics Director Jack Kvancz.

“Basically, I didn’t think they thought very highly of me, and I didn’t think they thought very highly of the water polo program,” Hoffman said.

But a day later, Hoffman said the athletic department changed its previously non-negotiable offer to a higher salary he was willing to accept. After the first session, though, Hoffman said he felt like he was treated with a lack of respect and didn’t accept the new offer.

Hoffman is now enrolled at GW in a one-year program to obtain his master’s degree in elementary education and said ideally he would have pursued a degree at GW while continuing to coach the water polo programs.

“I think he weighed what we were going to pay him versus going to school,” Kvancz said. “And he wasn’t going to make enough to justify not going to school. It’s something he’s been putting off.” Kvancz said the problems in renegotiating Hoffman’s employment were based on a bit of miscommunication, not on disrespect for what Hoffman has done for the water polo program or GW’s commitment to the sport.

Reed was hired more than two months after Hoffman’s resignation. He comes to GW from Washington & Lee University, where he was the men’s water polo head coach and an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s swimming programs. In college he was the captain of a nationally ranked Massachusetts water polo team. Reed was unavailable for comment.

“He has a lot of experience,” Warner said. “Van did a great job for us, and I think Scott will continue to build the program.”

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