John McBride, who served as an assistant coach at Brown the previous seven years, was named the head men’s and women’s water polo coach at Bucknell on May 18, 2011. McBride, a 1992 graduate of Rhode Island who was a four-year starter in goal as a member of the water polo program, also has an extensive background with the U.S. National Team, serving as head coach of the men’s Northeast Zone Olympic Development Team since 2009.
Five years into his Bucknell tenure, McBride has guided the Bison programs for 10 total seasons and been a part of 149 victories. He has led the men’s team to five consecutive above-.500 records, a 2012 Southern Championships title and the program’s first Eastern Championship title game appearance in nearly 20 years. The men have finished above .500 nine times in the last 10 years and had a string of 11 consecutive top-five finishes at Easterns.
On the women’s side, McBride has led Bucknell to 68 victories the last five springs while playing extremely challenging schedules that have featured 59 ranked foes. In 2015, McBride led the women to their first .500 record since 2010 as the squad saw its win total rise for the second consecutive year. The Bison improved even more in 2016 as the win total soared to 18, the highest number for Bucknell since 2009. The Bison finished in fifth place at the CWPA Championship, their best showing since 2010. McBride was named the CWPA Coach of the Year following the regular season, making him the first Bison coach to be named Coach of the Year since 2010.
While at Brown, McBride helped guide the Bears to unprecedented success. The men’s squad captured the 2009 Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division title, its first conference crown in nearly 25 years. Additionally, the team went undefeated in regular-season conference play in 2008 and finished as high as fourth at the Eastern Championship.
On the women’s side, McBride led the Bears to back-to-back ECAC Championship titles in 2009 and 2010 and a fourth-place finish at the Eastern Championship, the best showing at Brown since 2001.
Both the men’s and women’s squads appeared regularly in the national top-20 rankings during McBride’s tenure, which also featured 43 All-Northern Division selections and 22 All-East players. Additionally, three Bears earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
Brown’s men’s team had the highest team grade-point average in the nation for four years, while the women ranked in the top three nationally four times.
A goalie on the U.S. National "B" Team in 1993, McBride is a recognizable face in National Team circles. In addition to his duties as the men’s Northeast Zone Olympic Development Team head coach, he has served as head coach of the Southeast Zone Olympic Development Program. McBride has also spent time as an evaluator and coach at the women’s Speedo Top 40 Camp at Harvard.
Among his many responsibilities with the National Teams, McBride evaluates and coaches the top 16 men from the East Coast to compete for spots on the U.S. National Team. He has also coached regional teams comprised of the best Northern California collegiate players and helps the U.S. Junior National Team Coaches bring the best players to represent the U.S. in international competitions.
An accomplished goalie during his playing days at Rhode Island, McBride was a three-time First Team All-New England selection and was twice a First Team All-East honoree.
Following his graduation from Rhode Island with a degree in speech communications, McBride attended the Rhode Island Department of Corrections Academy and the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility Corrections Academy and eventually graduated from the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy in 1996. He then served as a patrolman and SWAT officer for the North Providence Police from 1996 to 2004.
McBride got his start in coaching in 2001 when he founded the Newport Lady Tritons Water Polo Club. He proceeded to coach the club, which was made up of high school-aged players, until 2003. At that time, McBride founded the Ocean State Masters Swim Team, which featured more than 100 athletes who competed in master’s swim meets and triathlons all over the world.
McBride’s most recent start-up project was the Bruno Water Polo Club, which he began as a non-profit organization in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2007. The club gives inner-city youth an opportunity to enjoy the sport of water polo.
McBride and his wife, Sam, have two daughters, Grace (16) and Lily (14).