NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College men’s water polo team hosts Fordham Wednesday night in the second annual Dr. Francis X. Judge Memorial Cup at the Hynes Center at 7:30 pm.
The New York water polo community suffered a great loss in 2012 with the passing of Dr. Francis X. Judge, a water polo pioneer at Fordham and the founder of the Hudson Valley Water Polo Club.
As a freshman in 1949, Judge brought the sport of water polo back to Fordham serving as player-coach. He was inducted into the Fordham Hall of Fame in 1985. Dr. Judge participated in the Olympic Trials in 1952 and won two national water polo championships as a member of the New York Athletic Club. In 1975, Dr. Judge founded the Hudson Valley Water Polo Club with the goal of developing youth water polo in the NY metropolitan area. Many of his players went on to successful collegiate careers.
He was the father of five Iona water polo players including three Goal Club Hall of Famers: Greg '84 (HOF '03), Matt ’86 (HOF '09), Ray ’87 (HOF '09), Mike '94 and Kevin ’95. Chris '80 (Fordham HOF ’96), his second oldest son, starred for Fordham and also coached the team. Dr. Judge’s grandson, Alex ’13, also played at Fordham and was the MVP of the first FXJ Cup in 2012.
"Dr. Judge was a driving force and a fixture on our pool deck during the formative years of our program" said Iona’s first water polo coach Rob Calgi (Iona HOF '93). "He imparted such passion and energy, and this permeated throughout the team and contributed to the early success of a team that in 1983 played its first Varsity season, and in 1985, almost made it to the NCAA tournament. To this day, I can still hear his booming voice rising above the standing-room-only crowds we had for those games, cheering the team on to win."
In honor of his dedication to the sport and his significant influence on the water polo programs at Fordham and Iona, the Hudson Valley Water Polo Club is proud to sponsor the Dr. Francis X. Judge Memorial Cup. The Cup will be awarded annually to the victor of a regular season game between these fierce rivals.