Every season, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) awards two individuals with a Coach of the Year and Player of the Year award. For the third consecutive year, Cal men’s water polo head coach Kirk Everist was honored with the Coach of the Year accolade, while Nikolaos Papanikolaou was named Player of the Year — also for the third time.
This is the first time that any coach has been named MPSF Coach of the Year three years in a row. Additionally, Papanikolaou is the second player to ever be named MPSF Player of the Year three years straight.
Everist has been the head coach for the Bears for the past 20 seasons and has led the team to two MPSF Championships and four NCAA titles.
“It’s nice to get recognized, and most of it comes from the team playing really well this year. It’s a testimony to the players,” Everist said.
Papanikolaou has been an ACWPC First Team All-American for the past two years, and last year was awarded ACWPC National Player of the Year as well as winning the Cutino Award.
“All you have to do is go out there and watch (Papanikolaou) compete,” Everist said. “He works really hard during the week to prepare himself for games and he’s definitely pleasant to coach and (these are) well-deserved honors for him as a driving force for our team’s success.”