Salem College will add a women's swimming program, with Tim Hillen being named head coach. In doing so, Salem becomes the fourteenth institution to add the sport in time for the 2019-20 season. At present, twenty-one new teams (twelve men, nine women) will dive into competition next Fall.
The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association (CSCAA) worked with Athletic Director Patricia Hughes prior to their launch to craft a proposal to help evaluate the merits of adding a team.
"We are thrilled to announce the addition of a competitive swim program to Salem College Athletics," said Hughes. "We feel truly honored that we have a head coach with the level of experience that Coach Hillen will bring to our athletics staff. He possesses vast experience in coaching top-level swimmers and is renowned for his community outreach. We are confident that we can build a competitive swim program that will attract high-level student-athletes who can help us build the foundation for a nationally competitive swim team."
In adding swimming, Salem will become an option for several talented students looking to swim in college. Research from the CSCAA showed that college-bound swimmers exceed the averages of all students in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia - Salem’s primary recruiting ground.
Salem will also be able to tap into a swimming-rich area of the country. North Carolina boasts the 7th largest number of club swimmers (9,790) in the country and ranks 10th in high school participation with 8,821 student-athletes.
Hillen is a part of that vibrant club scene. He co-founded Enfinity Aquatic Club, a USA Swimming Silver-Level club. What started with a dozen swimmers at Salem College has expanded to three branches with more than 200 swimmers. Out of the 12 founding swimmers that started the club, six have since gone on to swim in college at Florida State, Harvard, UNC Chapel Hill, Washington and Lee, and Emory and Henry.
"I couldn't be more happy to establish and lead the women's swimming program," Hillen said. "I have always admired the history, culture, and overall spirit of Salem College campus. To now become a part of an athletic staff that has so much energy and momentum is an opportunity and challenge I look forward to."
• 29 Club & 116 High School teams within one Hour of Winston-Salem
• 103 Club & 341 High School teams within two Hours of Winston-Salem
• 177 Club & 541 High School teams within three Hours of Winston-Salem