Terry Schroeder
Terry  Schroeder

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Pepperdine '81



Waves' Schroeder Named GCC Coach of the Year

Pepperdine won the inaugural Golden Coast Conference Tournament championship.


Pepperdine Wins GCC Tournament Championship

The Waves beat the No. 4 and 5 teams in the country on their way to the title.


Men's Water Polo to Join Golden Coast Conference

Pepperdine will begin play in the conference next year, along with five other former MPSF teams.


Men's Water Polo Beats UC Irvine, 11-9

Pepperdine is victorious in its home finale.


Pepperdine Rides Valics and Madaras to Victory

Valics has season high 20 saves while Madaras nets five.


Men's Water Polo vs. Stanford (10/26/2014)

Photos of the Waves' 13-4 loss to the #1 Cardinal at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.


Men's Water Polo vs. California (10/25/2014)

Photos of the Waves' 15-6 home loss to the #4 Golden Bears.


Men's Water Polo vs. Pacific (11/8/13)

Photos of the Waves' game against the #1 Tigers at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.


Men's Water Polo vs. Air Force (10/20/2013)

Photos of the Waves' 12-7 victory over Air Force at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.

One of the most iconic figures in the history of American water polo, Dr. Terry Schroeder returned to Pepperdine in 2013 for his second stint as the head coach of the Waves’ program. The 1997 NCAA championship-winning coach is entering his 26th season overall in 2018.

In his first 20-year term (1986-2005) as Pepperdine’s head coach, Schroeder was one of the top collegiate water polo coaches in the nation. After coaching an unheralded USA squad to the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics and again leading the Americans at the 2012 Games, he earned the right to be known as one of the best coaches in the world.

He was also one of the best players the sport has ever seen, as he served as the U.S. team captain for a decade and helped the Americans to a pair of silver medals.

The Waves have enjoyed tremendous success under Schroeder. Pepperdine earned eight NCAA Championships berths and claimed the program’s first-ever national championship in 1997.

The 1997 squad went 25-3 (.893) and posted the best winning percentage in school history. The campaign ended with an 8-7 overtime win over local rival USC in the NCAA title game, held at the International Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatics Complex in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Not only was Schroeder the 1997 National Coach of the Year, he also earned Mountain Pacific Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 1998 and was the Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 1989.

He also led the Waves to a third-place NCAA finish in 1991, fourth place in 1989 and fifth place in 1987, 1990 and 1992.

As he began rebuilding the program with his return in 2013, Schroeder has found success, including the inaugural Golden Coast Conference Tournament championship in 2016. He earned GCC Coach of the Year honors in 2016, his fourth career conference coaching award.

Schroeder posted a record of 340-220 (.607) in his first 20 seasons as head coach and is now 404-290 (.582) over 25 seasons.

Schroeder stepped down from his position as Pepperdine’s head coach to join the U.S. National Team after the 2005 season. While he still contributed to the Waves over the years, he agreed in the summer of 2012 to return as a volunteer assistant, while taking over as head coach again on January 1, 2013.

During his hiatus, the U.S. men’s water polo squad became one of the top stories of the 2008 Beijing Olympics as he led a group that included Pepperdine alums Merrill Moses and Jesse Smith to the silver medal. His U.S. squad entered the Olympics ranked ninth in the world but the team won its group and defeated Serbia in the semifinals before falling to Hungary in the gold-medal game. He also coached the Americans at the 2012 London Olympics to an eighth-place finish.

Regarded as one of the world’s all-time outstanding players, Schroeder was the U.S. National Team’s captain from 1983-92 and was part of the team for 16 years. He was a four-time Olympian for the U.S. (including the boycotted 1980 Games), which won silver medals in 1984 and 1988 and placed fourth in 1992. He helped the U.S. win its first-ever major international competition in 1991, as the Americans captured the FINA Cup in Barcelona by beating longtime nemesis Yugoslavia in the title game.

Noted as a leading spokesman for the sport of water polo, Schroeder has been featured in numerous national publications, including Sports Illustrated and the New York Times. He modeled for a statue that was unveiled prior to the 1984 Olympic Games, which sits outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He also carried the U.S. flag at the closing ceremonies of the 1998 Seoul Olympics.

Schroeder was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2013, the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005, the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in 1985.

As a Pepperdine student-athlete, he earned All-American honors in 1977, 1978 and 1980 and is the school’s leader in goals scored in a career (392) and a season (138 in 1978). The Waves finished fourth at the NCAA Championships three times with Schroeder. He graduated with honors from Pepperdine in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine.

He completed his doctorate studies at the Palmer-West Chiropractic School in Sunnyvale, Calif., and operates a chiropractic office in Westlake Village, Calif.

In 2016, the author Diana Addison Lyle published the book Swimming Through Life: Terry Schroeder and the USA Olympic Men’s Water Polo Team.

He and his wife, Lori, have two daughters, Leanna (a Pepperdine alum who played beach volleyball) and Sheridan.

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