01172019 Bob Horn
Aquatic Century Club Long Beach State Obituary Swimming Water Polo

Obituary: Aquatics Legend Bob Horn Passes

A Long Beach water polo legend passed away last week as Bob Horn passed away at 87 after a long illness.

Horn was known most for his legendary career as a men’s swimming and water polo coach at UCLA, but he was a two-time All-American player at Long Beach State in 1957 and 58. Horn was an Olympian in 1956 and 1960 and is considered the best goalie in USA Water Polo history.

After his playing career he served on the coaching staff of several USA Pan-American and World University Games as well as the swimming and water polo coach at Long Beach State from 1959 through 1965. After that Horn took the job at UCLA, where he would make his name over the next 28 years. He led UCLA to three NCAA water polo championships including the first NCAA title ever held in 1969.His Bruins also had four runner-up finishes and seven third-place finishes, as well as 13 conference championships.

Horn’s Bruins made history in 1988, winning the water polo Club National Championship, the first time a team made up of collegiate athletes won that prize. In his time at Long Beach State and UCLA he coached 36 first-team All-Americans and nine Olympians.

He was also a forward-thinking coach, and broke UCLA’s sex barrier by allowing diver Susie Kincade to join UCLA’s men’s aquatics team at a time when the school didn’t have a women’s program.

Horn was inducted into the Long Beach State Hall of Fame in 1988 and into the Century Club Hall of Fame last year.


Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.