Asch, Peter : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Asch, Peter

water polo

Country Represented:
United States

Years Competed:

Medals Received:

Olympic Info:
Asch was a member of the U.S. Olympic water polo team at the 1972 Munich Games. The U.S. ended the opening round undefeated (5-0), including a victory over Hungary, the defending Olympic champions. The Americans then tied West Germany and the Soviet Union, thus ending their hopes of a gold medal, but qualified to play Italy in the bronze medal match. The U.S. team defeated the Italians 6-5 to capture the bronze; it was first Olympic medal for the U.S. in water polo since the 1932 Games. One of Weitzenberg's teammates in Munich was fellow Jew Barry Weitzenberg.

Career Highlights:
Asch competed in water polo at the University of California from 1967-69; he was team captain in 1968 and 1969. Peter was named All-America all three years and helped the 1969 team finish second in the first-ever NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) men's water polo championship. After his collegiate success, he competed for the U.S. National team, winning a gold medal at the 1971 Pan American Games. In 1973, he helped the U.S. win the bronze at the World Chamionships and was named U.S. Player of the Year in 1975.

After a successful business career -- he retired as senior vice president of Bank of America in 1994 -- Asch returned to the sport of water polo. He coached high school in Northern California from 1995-1997, and helped coach the University of California men's team each fall. In 1998, he took over the head coaching duties of the California's women's water polo team and led them to a second place finish nationally that year. In 1999-00, he coached the women to a fourth-place finish nationally and took over the men's team, leading them to a third place national ranking. In 1984, Asch was inducted into the United States Water Polo Hall of Fame; and in 1987, was inducted into the International Water Polo Hall of Fame. In 1997, Peter was inducted in the California Athletic Hall of Fame.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. 1948


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Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)