2016 CSCAA Major Award Winners

The College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) takes great pleasure in announcing the 2016 recipients of six annual major awards. The awards will be presented at the CSCAA Annual Banquet on Thursday, May 5, 2016 held in conjunction with the CSCAA Convention at the Hilton Doubletree Washington DC-Crystal City.   

This year's award winners are:

THE NATIONAL COLLEGIATE and SCHOLASTIC SWIMMING TROPHY

The National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy is the highest award of its kind in the United States. It is presented to an individual or organization for having contributed in an outstanding way to swimming as a competitive sport and as a healthful recreational activity at schools and colleges. The 2016 Recipient of the Collegiate Trophy is Gregg Wilson, head coach of the University of California Santa Barbara.

In 1979 Gregg Wilson led UC-Santa Barbara to the Big West Men’s Swimming Championship.  It was the start of a twenty-three year run of conference titles for the Gouchos.  All told, Wilson has guided UC-Santa Barbara to thirty-nine league championships in four different conferences.

In addition to the 39-team championships that Wilson's squads won, he coached 427 individuals and relay teams to conference championships, 21 of his swimmers earned either Big West Conference or Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Swimmer of the Year Honors and five were named Freshman of the Year. On the national level, Wilson guided 72 swimmers to All-American status, while on the international stage he coached three Olympians, including USA gold medalists Richard Schroeder and Jason Lezak.

Much more difficult to measure than the All-Americans, conference titles and coach of the year honors are the scores of athletes that were influenced by Wilson during his four decades in coaching.

Following the 2016 Olympic Trials, Wilson will step down from a forty-year career.  His legacy will continue, however through the creation of the Gregg and Carol Wilson Swimming Enhancement Fund to supplement the swimming program's operational budget.

CHARLES McCAFFREE AWARD

The Charles McCaffree Award is presented annually to an individual linked to collegiate aquatic sport that has achieved outstanding success in life and has contributed greatly to society.  The 2016 recipient of the Charles McCaffree Award is Brad Snyder, USNA '06. 

Brad Snyder began his professional career as a newly commissioned Ensign in the US Navy, having graduated from the US Naval Academy with a degree in Naval Architecture. Through his distinction as the swim team captain during his final year, he earned an assignment to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer training pipeline.  After completing Navy Dive School, EOD School, and the Army's Airborne school, Brad moved to Charleston, SC for his first duty assignment.

From Charleston Brad deployed to Iraq in the Fall of 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Upon his return in the Spring he was re-assigned to a new unit in Virginia Beach, VA.  Brad deployed again in the Spring of 2011, this time to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  After six months of assault operations, Brad was severely injured when he functioned an improvised explosive device that was buried in the ground.

Brad sustained complete vision loss as a result of his injury, but did not suffer any other lasting wounds.  As a part of his rehabilitation process Brad returned to the pool, and after a few short months of training was able to earn a spot on the US Paralympic National Team for swimming.  At the 2012 Paralympics he competed in seven events, earning two Gold Medals, and one Silver Medal.

Brad medically retired from Naval Service in the Fall of 2013. Brad has dedicated himself to the study and application of virtue in all aspects of life in order to eliminate perceived limitations and to enable his community’s pursuit of happiness.

Brad is training hard with the hopes of representing Team USA again in Rio.

SPEEDO CSCAA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Awarded to the individual whose efforts best exemplify the integrity and ideals of collegiate swimming and who has achieved significant success in the sport while still imparting the educational and character building qualities of the collegiate swimming experience. This year we honor and celebrate Speedo Lifetime Achievement Award winner George Kennedy of Johns Hopkins University.

What does George Kennedy have in common with Pope Francis, Bono, and the Dalai Lama?  They all made Fortune magazine's list of "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders,"

Seven-time CSCAA Coach-of-the-Year George Kennedy recently completed his 31st and final season as head coach at Johns Hopkins University.  Under Kennedy's leadership, Hopkins has maintained its place as one of the most dominant programs in the nation.

Kennedy’s swimmers have won thirty-one NCAA titles to match this thirty-one years at the helm.  Along the way, Kennedy led the Blue Jays to two-dozen conference titles and a 373-258-3 dual meet record.  Last month the women’s team recorded its twentieth top-ten finish and their sixth top-five finish.  Overall Kennedy has helped the Blue Jays to forty-eight top ten and twenty-five top five finishes.  Kennedy was also a part of the 28 consecutive conference titles won by the men's team from 1971 through 1998. That streak is tied for the third-longest streak in any sport in Division III history.

While the teams' success in the pool has been well documented, Kennedy attracted the type of student-athlete that could excel at Hopkins both in the classroom and in the pool. During his tenure at Johns Hopkins, a dozen Blue Jays have earned twelve CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, one Rhodes Scholarship and seven NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AWARD

Awarded to the individual, or organization, whose efforts best promote the integrity and enhancement of the student-athlete ideal. The 2016 recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Award is Brad Erickson, Head Coach South Dakota State University. 

The longest tenured coach in South Dakota State University history, Brad Erickson has just completed his 40th season as the head coach of the Jackrabbit men’s and women’s teams.

Widely respected in the coaching community, Erickson has been instrumental in the success of the NCAA Division I Championship meets.  From 1984-2010 Erickson served as an official.  Since 1997 he has also served as the NCAA Division II Championships coordinator.  In 1981, Erickson selected to the very first NCAA Women’s Swimming Committee and continued in that role until 1987.  He currently serves on the NCAA DI Swimming and Diving Committee.

At South Dakota State, Erickson has overseen a successful transition to Division I competition and has helped the Jackrabbit women squad to second-place at the Summit League Championships in five of the last six seasons.  Even after 40 years at the helm, Erickson remains successful, having earned Summit League Coach-of-the-Year honors twice in the past five years.

Erickson’s teams also have performed well in the classroom, regularly receiving recognition as Scholar All-America Teams from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America for having a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during a semester.

Erickson also served as an assistant football coach at SDSU from 1976-1990, mentoring the Jackrabbits’ receivers. He later filled the role of intramural director for a number of years before focusing on coaching full-time upon South Dakota State’s entry into Division I.


THE RICHARD E. STEADMAN AWARD

The Richard E. Steadman award is conferred annually to a swimming or diving coach in high school, club, or university ranks who, in the opinion of the CSCAA, has done the most to spread happiness in Coach Steadman's beloved sport of swimming and diving. Our 2016 recipient of the Richard E. Steadman Award is Erin Hurley, Head Coach Grinnell College.

For twenty-one years Erin Hurley has set the benchmark for success at Grinnell College.  Since her arrival in 1995, Hurley has led the Pioneers to twenty-seven conference titles.  In 2013, she helped Michael Brus to Grinnell’s first-ever NCAA title with a national record in the 200 backstroke.  Beyond their success in the pool, Hurley’s teams are marked by academic success and widespread participation.  The Pioneers have been named Scholar All-Americans each year since her arrival.  Even more impressive is that they have done so with one of the largest rosters in the nation.

A 1989 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Hurley had a successful career as a Cornhusker. She captured three Big Eight Conference Championships and was a four-time All American.

Hurley's coaching career began as a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa.  While earning an M.A. in physical education at the University of Iowa, Hurley served as swimming coach at Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, Iowa) in 1992-93.

From 1993-95, she was the men's and women's swim coach and aquatics director at Illinois Wesleyan University.  In the spring of 1995, she was named Illinois Swimming’s men’s college swimming coach.  It was the first of many accolades for Hurley who has since been voted MWC Coach or Co-Coach-of-the-Year nine times.

CSCAA SWIM ACROSS AMERICA AWARD

The College Swimming Coaches Association of America and Swim Across America award is given to a college swim coach and their college swim team that exemplifies the mission of CSCAA and SAA of giving back through swimming to defeat cancer. The 2016 CSCAA- Swim Across America Award recipient is head coach John O’Neill and the Providence College Swimming and Diving Program.

John O’Neill, head coach Providence College, has been a member of the Swim Across America-Rhode Island Board since its inception in 2009-2010.  The Rhode Island Swim Event seemed ideally suited to college swimming team involvement and Coach O’Neill’s recruitment efforts on behalf of the RI Board have been very successful.  Virtually all of Rhode Island’s college swimmers as well as those from Massachusetts and Connecticut have made the RI Swim one of the fastest growing with some 400 participants.  Providence swimmers and their families have helped lead the way for college team participation in the Rhode Island Swim, having raised over $110,000.00 in just 6 years.

“I am both humbled and grateful for this recognition from the CSCAA and SAA.  I would like to thank the SAA- RI Board for having the vision which has allowed our event to grow into such an inspiring day for all who attend.  My thanks to our team members, their families, our alumni and my colleagues from all our participating teams for helping make this such a worthwhile and meaningful event for all who participate.  We encourage all college programs to embrace Swim Across America and help to grow their local swims throughout the country.  In teaming up with this great organization, we can all help make a difference in the fight against cancer!”

O'Neill is a 1981 graduate of Springfield College. A past President of both the BIG EAST and New England Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Associations, O'Neill was inducted into the Rhode Island Aquatic Hall of Fame in 1994.  O'Neill and his wife Cindy have three children, Shannon, 30, a graduate of Springfield College, Tom, 28, a graduate of Providence College, and Meghan, 22, a senior at Providence College.