Princeton men's water polo senior Jeff Cole was named the recipient of the team's Scott A. C. Roche '94 Memorial Water Polo Award. Cole received the award at the team's annual banquet.
Cole had been a steadfast force in the field for the Tigers over his first three seasons. Following his junior year he had surgery on his arm and diligently went through a six-month recovery period in anticipation of his senior season. Five days into preseason workouts, he experienced additional complications in his arm and was ruled medical ineligible. Despite his disappointment, Cole became the team's manager to stay involved with all facets of the program. In addition to coming to every practice, he dedicated himself to doing his own practice swim sets.
His perseverance was rewarded when he found out that with limited swimming strain on his arm, he would be able to return to action days before the Southern Championships. Despite not being at the peak of fitness, he jumped back into the pool and provided a stabilizing and significant force in the middle not only at the Southern and Eastern Championships, but also at the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championships.
The Roche Award is presented annually, by election of the team, to the senior player who, like Scott, led with energy and determination, intense competitive spirit and a contagious love of the game, and is presented by Scott's family and friends. The award was first presented in 1998 and recent winners have included Zach Beckmann (2007), Alex Edmunds (2008), Scott Hvidt (2009) and Peter Schulam (2011).