USC's Kostas Genidounias Wins Peter J. Cutino Award|
June 7, 2015
Kostas Genidounias completed his USC career as the Trojans' all-time leading scorer, with three NCAA Championship rings captured and a host of impressive honors and accolades. On June 6 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Genidounias was selected as the 2014-15 winner of the Peter J. Cutino Award -- the highest honor in collegiate water polo. A two-time finalist for award, Genidounias has now become the fourth male Trojan to win the Cutino Award. He follows in the footsteps of fellow NCAA Champions Juraj Zatovic, J.W. Krumpholz and Joel Dennerley.
Genidounias was unable to attend the ceremony in San Francisco due to training obligations with the Greek National Team, but he had taped a speech in advance in the event that he won the award. In his acceptance speech, Genidounias thanked his coaches, staff, family and friends, and dedicated his award to former teammate Jon Walters, who passed away in January 2014.
A native of Athens, Greece, Genidounias proved a quick fit at Troy, and his impact on the Trojan history books was almost immediate. As a freshman, in his first-ever game against crosstown rival UCLA, Genidounias hammered home five goals to help his Trojans beat the Bruins early in 2011. Over a year later, Genidounias was responsible for the game-winner in USC's come-from-behind win over UCLA in the 2012 NCAA Championship game, completing the year as the Trojans' second leading scorer in that sophomore season. As a junior, he'd finish just a goal off the top mark, again a driving force in USC's run to an unprecedented sixth straight national championship.
And in his senior stretch, Genidounias would go even bigger than ever before. Captain of a young Trojan roster in 2014, Genidounias helped USC defy the odds and ignore the predictions of a mediocre season. Shrugging off injury and focused wholly on success, Genidounias was near unstoppable in his efforts to help USC turn heads and power back into a 10th consecutive NCAA title match. His four goals -- including the sudden-death winner -- in the 2014 NCAA Semifinal victory over Stanford were all epic blasts. In the NCAA play-in game there previous weekend, Genidounias had officially locked his place as USC's all-time leading scorer, and he just kept adding to the count in his final games. The Trojans would come up just short of the national championship this year, taking second place with a one-goal loss, but Genidounias' impact on the USC program still shines through. His 82 goals scored in his senior year is the second most ever by a Trojan in a single season. And his 261 career goals sets a new record at Troy.
Genidounias also was named National Player of the Year in his senior season while collecting his fourth set of All-American honors. He also was the 2014 MPSF Player of the Year, a three-time member of the NCAA All-Tournament First Team, a three-time All-MPSF First Team selection, and was named the 2014 MPSF Tournament MVP to notch his third pick to an MPSF All-Tournament Team. Genidounias also was a finalist for the Cutino Award last year as a junior.
Joining Genidounias as the male finalists for this year's Cutino Award were Bret Bonnani and Alex Bowen of Stanford.
The Cutino Award is given annually in honor of the late Peter J. Cutino, the former University of California Berkeley and The Olympic Club coach, who passed away in September 2004. Mr. Cutino is in the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame. He won "Water Polo Coach of the Year" 17 times. He led UC Berkeley to eight NCAA National Championships. In his career Mr. Cutino also coached in the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games, the Water Polo World Championships and the World University Games.
All-time Peter J. Cutino Award winners: