May 28, 2014

Third Annual Bronco Golf Event Raises Over $40,000 for Bronco Men’s Water Polo Team

The third Annual Golf Event benefitting Santa Clara men's water polo team raised over $40,000 for the program and continued to build upon the endowment that was established for the Bronco water polo team a couple years ago, announced Scott Pritchett, chair of the event.

Pritchett is the President of Commercial Operations with Belmont-based Woodmont Real Estate Services, Northern California's largest privately owned property management company with over $3 billion in commercial property and multifamily community assets under management. His son, Matt, is the starting goalie on the team.

The Bronco men's water polo team finished the season ranked 13th in the nation in NCAA Division I.  They are led by head coach Keith Wilbur, who started all four years as the goalie of Princeton University's water polo program and was the team captain as a senior. The fall water polo season at Santa Clara will be Wilbur's 13th with the team. He also coaches the women's water polo team at the university.

"In terms of our operating budget and what it costs each season to run a competitive Division I team with 30 guys on it, the golf tournament is huge for us and it brings in more than half of our fundraising goals for the program," said Wilbur.

In each of the two previous years, the golf event raised more than $40,000. The funds support team travel for water polo tournaments throughout California and usually one each year on the East Coast. The Broncos have played in tournaments at Princeton University in recent years and during the fall 2014 season, the team plans to travel to Brown University in Providence, R.I., to play some of the water polo power houses from the Eastern Conference.

As is common in Division I athletics, all 19 Bronco are required to fundraise to meet their respective operating budgets. "The first month of the season from early September to early October, the team travels almost every weekend to non-conference games as a tune up to regular conference events. The travel games enable the team to test its mettle against some of the best college water polo teams from throughout the country, and it prepares them for a tough conference schedule in which every team is usually ranked in the top 20," said Pritchett.

Pritchett added that the men's water polo endowment fund has reached approximately $200,000 through fundraising efforts. The goal is to reach $1 million in the endowment and with a preferred return on the invested funds, the interest from the endowment fund could be enough to meet the entire fundraising requirements for men's water polo.

"Thanks to Scott, the money raised at the golf event really helps secure the program and the financial stability has enabled Coach Wilbur to build on our successes with the water polo program. If you have a top 15 team you have to raise money to stay competitive and recruit top student-athletes," said Jimmy Shoven, Assistant Athletic Director of Development.

The golf event was played at the Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country club with a full, 144-person field. Tickets were $275 per person and additional funds were raised from more than 40 corporate sponsors, auctioned items and the sale of raffle tickets. Over 25 volunteers served to make the event successful and fun for the participants. Many of the volunteers were from the water polo team and their families.