The Executive Board of the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has named Nancy Bigelow as its 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Bigelow will be recognized at the 59th Annual CSCAA Awards Banquet on May 6, 2019 in Myrtle Beach.
When she was hired, Bigelow took over a Jumbo program that was on the rise and turned it into a champion. Under her guidance, the Jumbos won three New England Division III championships and were the runner-up on several other occasions. She coached and mentored hundreds of swimmers over the years, including many who achieved national success.
Bigelow grew up on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, where her father was the dean of the academic board and chair of the athletic board where he oversaw a young basketball coach named Bobby Knight. She went onto Penn State in 1971 and after graduating, was hired by Wellesley College to become the head coach of fencing, volleyball and eventually swimming. Bigelow then spent two years as an assistant at her alma mater before joining Tufts in 1982.
Bigelow has served the sport in nearly every capacity. In 2006, she was named a Master and Distinguished Coach by the CSCAA and received the CSCAA’s Richard E. Steadman Award in 2013. She has served on the CSCAA Board of Directors multiple times and served on the NCAA Swimming and Diving Rules Committee including a stint as chair in 2010-11. Bigelow is also a certified college swimming official.
Bigelow’s impact has been felt far and wide. “She has contributed in so many ways, not only within college swimming, but also running the extensive swimming lesson program at Tufts,” noted Ithaca College Women’s Head Coach Paula Miller. “To Nancy, it's not just about swimming and results, but building and helping each person discover who they are."
"Given the amount of time we've spent together, I consider Nancy extended family,” said Adam Hoyt, who was hired as men's coach in 2004 and took over as women's head coach in 2015. “Throughout her career Nancy has been focused on positively impacting her community. She connects with individual athletes on an extremely personal level, yet also serves the entire coaching community and swimming and diving community on a national level. Being able to reach so many without overlooking the personal contact is a special quality that Nancy possesses. She embodies the idea that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
About the CSCAA
Founded in 1922, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) is the first professional association of college coaches the United States. The CSCAA is dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming and diving at the collegiate level.
The CSCAA works to
protect, promote and expand competitive intercollegiate swimming and diving programs;
recognize outstanding achievements by coaches, swimmers and divers;
promote communication and cooperation within swimming and diving and with our partner National Governing Bodies, the NCAA, NAIA and Junior College Associations;
provide ongoing educational and leadership training for coaches and athletes; and
serve as a resource to its membership and for the general public.