USA Water Polo announced Tuesday that Fresno State head coach Natalie Benson would be the recipient of the 2018 Sandy Nitta Distinguished Coaching Award for the Central California Zone.
The Sandy Nitta has 11 zones throughout the United States and Benson was one of 11 coaches chosen, making her eligible for the national Sandy Nitta Distinguished Coaching Award later on at the annual USA Water Polo National Awards dinner.
Benson spoke with Fresno State athletics about what an honor it is to be chosen by USA Water Polo to represent the Central Valley
“It is an honor to be recognized by USA Water Polo and members of our Central California Zone,” Benson said. “I am proud to represent the Central Valley, and excited about what can be built in our region. Coach Nitta was an instrumental part of getting women’s water polo recognized on the international stage, and helped lay the ground work for the career that I was able to have and all those that come after.”
Benson’s honor marks her second award from USA Water Polo being awarded the Doc Hunkler Distinguished Coaching Award in 2011, presented annually to the top scholastic coach in the nation.