Howie Kalter ’07 Leads With Personal Experience in First Year as Head Coach

First joining the Andover community in 2004 as a new Lower, and again in 2014 as a teaching fellow, Boys Water Polo Head Coach Howie Kalter ’07 returned to Andover this year as a teacher and a coach for Boys Water Polo. Kalter, a swimmer, decided to join the water polo team in search of a Fall sport during his first year at Andover. 

Kalter played water polo for the duration of his time at Andover and played at Bucknell University afterwards. Following college, Kalter played for the USA National Team, winning a  gold medal in the 2013 Maccabiah Games. 

In his return to Andover, Kalter hopes for a strong season for the water polo team. He aims to help the team understand the complexity and strategies involved in the sport. 

“My goal every season I coach is [helping] us play the best water polo we can [by] the end of the season. I think the entire year is a build towards the finale, whatever the end of our season might be. That is the long term goal. My personal goal, on a smaller level, is just to teach water polo to athletes. I have so much fun, and there is so much to learn in the sport. It’s a lot more dynamic than a lot of people understand, the intricacies of it and how complicated it is is really interesting to me. I love teaching it, so I guess one of my other goals is to just teach as much as possible. You really have to be a student of the game to be successful,” said Kalter.

According to Ryan Chandor ’23, Kalter has formed a strong bond with him and his teammates; Chandor emphasized Kalter’s uniqueness in coaching in the pool with the team as opposed to from the sidelines.

“I’ll just start with stressing the amount of knowledge Coach Kalter has about water polo. He really brings that energy to the games and to practices and everything. One big aspect that I’ve never really seen before in any sport, he actually gets in the pool with us and shows us certain techniques. He practices with us, which really feels like the coach is super comfortable with us, which is good… It helps a lot with him actually being in the pool, and helping us out and all that stuff with whatever it might be,” said Chandor.

Kalter stressed the importance of staying focused on the team and disciplined during competitive play this season. 

“I really focus a lot on no matter what’s happening, no matter what the other team is doing, or no matter what is going on, we are focused on our water polo. Working on staying true to our people no matter what the other team is doing… basically just focusing on the team and our team goals, team strategies, team dynamic instead of looking outward,” said Kalter.

Zach Godsey ’25 noted Kalter’s consistent high expectations that set a standard for hard work within the team. With great technical ability, Kalter is able to teach the changes he wants to see in the team, according to Godsey.

“Coach Kalter is very technically skilled and he knows what he wants to see. I think he can help us in that he has lots of experience with the game, and it transfers to his coaching style and the way that he watches us. He’s also very particular about how he wants things done and it creates a good work ethic within the team,” said Godsey.

Looking forward to the rest of the season, Kalter hopes that the team’s hard work up to this point will translate into their last few games. With only two home games left, the team must secure wins to qualify for the post-season tournament.

“The rest of the season is really exciting for us because we had a little bit of a slow start and now we’ve really started playing well as a team. We are two games back from having a 500 record which is necessary for us to get entered into the post-season tournament. We only have two home games left in our season. I’m really excited to see how well we play, and hopefully win those games so that we can get up close,” said Kalter.