Colorado State University today announced that Dana Fortugno will serve as the first full-time coach, recruiter and horse and facility manager for the university’s three-time national champion Polo Club.
Fortugno, a native of Florida, learned to play polo as a child with his father and brothers and later attended University of Virginia, where he competed on the UVA collegiate team. He went on to earn a law degree from Widener University School of Law.
In the years immediately after graduation, Fortugno played polo professionally, earning an impressive five-goal handicap and serving as the coach for his alma mater, University of Virginia, for almost five years. During this period, he provided the school with three national championship titles. Since that time, Fortugno set up and successfully practiced law in both Florida and Tennessee.
A tradition at Colorado State since the 1950s, polo became a student club sport in 1977, winning national championships in 1990, 1991 and 1999. In 2006, the women’s team placed second in national competition.
The club currently is run by 60 to 70 students who compete on junior varsity and varsity teams. As a student-run sport, team members pay for and care for 32 polo ponies. The students travel throughout the Western states to compete with other university teams.
"In the summer of this year, James Heird, equine sciences director at Colorado State, made a bold decision and agreed to incorporate CSU polo into the equine sciences program," said Jason Bruemmer, faculty adviser to the polo student organization at Colorado State and a professor of animal sciences and biomedical sciences. "The first priority was to provide the nationally recognized polo club with a coach, recruiter and facility and horse manager. Dana Fortugno read the advertisement and was immediately drawn back to this fast-paced, passion-provoking sport. He will help to continue the success of the polo team, build scholarships for our players and take an active role in management of the facilities."
Fortugno officially joined the faculty on Dec. 1.
More information about polo at Colorado State can be found at http://csupoloclub.com/index.html.