One of the most accomplished players in UCLA history, Sean Kern joins the Bruin coaching staff as an undergraduate assistant this season.
Kern’s list of awards is impressive: four-time All-American, two-time National Player of the Year, two-time NCAA champion,three-time team scoring leader and U.S. Olympic Team member.
Kern led the Bruins to two consecutive national titles and performed best in the big games. He scored four times in UCLA’s improbable 6-5, come-from-behind victory over Stanford in the 1999 NCAA final and notched two more in the 2000 title game win over UC San Diego.
After the 1999 season, Kern was honored as the first-ever male recipient of the Peter J. Cutino Award, the water polo equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. He was also named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament each of his last two seasons.
Kern came to UCLA in 1997 as the top-ranked recruit in the country. He had led Honolulu powerhouse Punahou HS to three consecutive league titles and personally earned three league Player of the Year awards.
In his freshman season as a Bruin, Kern led the team in scoring and earned MPSF Player of the Week honors in his first weekend of collegiate play. He finished the year with 41 goals and was named a third-team All-American.
Kern upped his team-leading offensive production in the 1998 season, scoring 50 goals and gaining All-America recognition for the second time.
The U.S. National Team came calling in the summer of 1999, and Kern joined the team that competed at the World University Games in Spain. He scored eight goals for the national team, including three in an American victory over Australia.
The following college season was Kern’s best as he and the Bruins reached the pinnacle of individual and team achievement. Kern tallied 53 goals and came up huge in the MPSF tournament. He scored twice in the second overtime of the conference semifinal against California, then recorded three game-tying goals that keyed the Bruins’ MPSF title game victory over Stanford.
Kern’s dream of reaching the Olympics was realized when he was named to the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that competed in Sydney. Kern scored three goals as a reserve and helped Team U.S.A. to a sixth-place finish, one place higher than the 1996 Atlanta team.
In Kern’s senior season, the Bruins dominated for most of the year despite playing without Kern and coach Guy Baker for the first 10 games. UCLA cruised past Navy and UCSD in the NCAA Final Four at Malibu to win its second consecutive title. Kern finished the year with 39 goals, giving him a career total of 183. He became just the second four-time All-American in UCLA men’s water polo history, joining Fernando Carsalade.
Kern, 23, is finishing his undergraduate studies in history and is scheduled to graduate in 2002