Grossmont College’s water polo coach has garnered a special honor – and it’s a first for the East County campus.
Tyrent Lackey, a former NCAA Division I and II All-American athlete, is now a member of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Hall of Fame.
Lackey was inducted earlier this month, becoming the first Grossmont College coach to earn a place in the organization’s Hall of Fame.
“It’s a great honor,” Lackey said. “I’m very proud to be a former community college athlete and thankful for the recognition I have received from the CCCAA. My hope is that I continue to represent what’s great about community college athletics as I pursue my coaching career.”
Lackey, who began playing water polo at age 9, attended Grossmont in 2003 and 2004 after graduating from Patrick Henry High School in San Diego.
He was named the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) Co-Player of the Year, and voted onto the All-SoCal first team and All-America first team while serving as team captain.
Lackey’s talents took him to UC San Diego, where he continued to shine. Along with earning Division I and Division II All-American honors, he was named Division II MVP and became a finalist for the Peter J. Cutino Award – considered the most prestigious individual award in collegiate water polo.
He also led the Tritons to the NCAA Final Four for water polo.
Lackey went on to earn a pair of master’s degrees and a certificate in teaching students on the autism spectrum.
While serving as a special education teacher at Patrick Henry, Lackey joined Grossmont as an assistant coach in 2013. He took over the top water polo coaching spot after former Coach Brian Harvey retired two years later.
Lackey led the men’s water polo team to last year’s PCAC Championship and most recently earned the 2021 Co-Coach of the Year Award.
“When it comes down to it, I’m a perfect example of why community college is a good thing and why it matters,” Lackey said.
The CCCAA Sports Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made the most of their experiences at a California community college while maximizing their own potential, as well as benefitting those with whom they come in contact.
Lackey is now enshrined with the likes of baseball and civil rights legend Jackie Robinson (Pasadena City College) and NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon (West Los Angeles College).
Lackey’s ties to Grossmont run deep. His wife, Cristen, also attended Grossmont, and his sister-in-law, Jessica Owens, is a college librarian. Lackey will be the featured alumni speaker at Grossmont College’s 60th anniversary celebration on May 3.