By Brian Yauger
The brand new men’s swimming and diving team at Youngstown State University now has its coach.
Brad Smith joined the program after spending five seasons with Binghamton University where he saw plenty of success. Smith’s teams set 39 freshmen, pool, school and conference records in his tenure and coached six conference champions.
“I’m thankful and excited to join Youngstown State University as the next head swimming and diving coach,” Smith said in a press release Tuesday. “It was clear to me during the interview process that Youngstown State is committed to excellence in athletics, academics and providing their student-athletes with an exceptional experience. That is something I value and greatly respect. I’m looking forward to working with the current Penguin swimmers and divers and to helping build the program to new heights.”
Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ron Strollo said Smith is the perfect person to lead the women’s team and get a great start for the emerging men’s team.
“In meeting with coach Smith, he demonstrated a clear vision of what he wants our program to become, and we are thrilled to have him coach our swimming and diving programs at Youngstown State,” Strollo said. “His programs at Binghamton had success in the pool and were outstanding in the classroom. He will be a great addition for our current women’s swimmers and divers, and we are excited about him developing our men’s program.”
In the last two seasons, Smith’s Bearcat squads were the America East runners-up both seasons. At the most recent conference meet, Binghamton had 12 all-league selections, with seven on the men’s side and five on the women’s side.
This isn’t the first time Smith has jump-started a program. In 2012, Western Colorado University brought Smith on to start the emerging Mountaineers program. WCU had not had a swimming and diving program since 1984. In his two years with the program, Smith oversaw a squad that produced an NCAA qualifier, set 84 team and pool records and was named a Scholar All-American team in 2014.
The men’s swimming and diving program will be in their third iteration. YSU previously fielded teams in men’s swimming and diving from 1949 through 51 and 1964 through 1984.
The Penguins men’s swimming team begins their season this fall, they’ll compete in the newly renovated Beeghly Natatorium.