Catharine von Schwarz, hired on September 7, 2006, became the fourth coach in 49er history. This is her first head coaching opportunity. For the past two years von Schwarz was the head coach of the 18 and under, 20 and under and senior women's teams for the Los Angeles Water Polo Club.
"Her commitment to the sport of women's water polo is second to none and her years of competition on the U.S. Senior National Team and her four years at UCLA as a collegiate player have prepared her well for this position. She has played and coached under some of the greatest names in water polo and I believe she will bring those qualities, as well as her own style of coaching to Long Beach State," said Athletics Director Vic Cegles.
von Schwarz was a member of the U.S. Senior National Team from 1995-2003. She competed in over 100 international matches during her professional career, and was the second alternate for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The USA team earned numerous honors during her time on the squad including a second place finish at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada and a fourth place finish at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
From 1991-97 she was a member of the U.S. Junior National Team, serving as team co-captain in 1996 and captain in 1997. In 1994 the junior team won the Junior Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba and in 1996 they once again won the Junior Pan American Games title. She gained further international experience as a player competing for two Italian A-1 Professional League teams. In 2001-02 she competed with I.G.M. Ortigia of Siracusa, Sicily, Italy and from 2004-05 she played for Rari-Nantes Florentia of Florence, Italy.
She began her coaching career as an undergraduate assistant coach at UCLA in 2000-01 where the Bruins won the 2001 NCAA Championship. She then spent one year as an assistant coach at Golden West College before heading over to play professionally in Italy. In 2003-04 she was a full-time assistant coach at UCLA.
von Schwarz played her collegiate water polo at UCLA (1995-2000). She was a four-year letterwinner with the Bruins and was a part of four NCAA Championships (1996, 1997, 1998, 2000). von Schwarz was selected as the UCLA Player of the Year in 2000 as a senior and was the co-Player of the Year in 1997. She earned four All-America and four All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) honors as well.
von Schwarz hails from Annapolis, MD and competed on the Naval Academy Aquatic Club for five years (1986-1991), where she played primarily with the boys team. A 2001 graduate of UCLA with a degree in history, she is currently enrolled in the Graduate Program at Loyola Marymount working towards a teaching credential and Masters in elementary education.
She is married to volunteer assistant Robbie Arroyo, the brother of men's coach, Gavin Arroyo.