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Coaches & Directors

Head coaches in the Bluegrass Mountain Conference

Coaching Staff

Jeff Dugdale

Queens Head Coach

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USA National Team Coach / Six-Time CSCAA Coach of the Year / Eight-Time Bluegrass Mountain Conference Coach of the Year

Jeff Dugdale begins his 10th year in charge of the Queens University of Charlotte men's and women's swimming programs in 2019-20.

2018-19
Queens University of Charlotte continued its historic run of national dominance, winning both the men's and women's NCAA Division II National Championships for the fifth straight year.

Dugdale was honored for the second straight season as the CSCAA Women's Swimming Coach of the Year, bringing is total to six such honors. Additionally, he was both the men's and women's Bluegrass Mountain Conference Coach of the Year, earning his seventh and eighth such awards from the league.

Senior Marius Kusch was selected as the CSCAA Male Swimmer of the Meet for the third straight year after winning a total of seven event championships, including four individual events and three relay races. Kusch was also a part of four NCAA record swims, setting the mark in the 100-Yard Backstroke (44.09), 100-Yard Butterfly (44.32), 100-Yard Freestyle (41.73), and swimming the first leg of the 400-Yard Freestyle Relay (2:49.98).

Junior Polina Lapshina was named the CSCAA Female Swimmer of the Meet, the first such award for a Queens swimmer since Patricia Ortega won the award in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. The Ekaterinburg, Russia native won four individual events and was a member of three relay wins.
 
Lapshina was a part of five NCAA record swims, setting benchmarks in the 100-Yard Backstroke (52.07), 100-Yard Butterfly (52.16) and 100-Yard Freestyle (48.16), while also swimming the first leg in both the 400-Yard Freestyle Relay (3:18.04) and the 400-Yard Medley Relay (3:35.70).
 
In total, the Royals collected 23 event crowns and set 11 NCAA Division II records during the four-day meet. The women's team now holds a total of 14 NCAA Division II records, and the men hold 14 of the 19 NCAA Division II top marks.
 
Queens also tallied 83 All-American swims, including 60 All-Americans and 23 Honorable Mention All-Americans to set a new program benchmark.

Kusch, Alex Kunert, Bobbie Gichard, and Erico Cuna each competed internationally for their home countries at the 2019 FINA World Championships. Hannah Aspden and Carson Sanocki also appeared on the inernational stage, competing for Team USA at the Parapan American Games Lima 2019.

The Royals also won the men's and women's BMC titles for a fifth consecutive year as both Kusch and Polina won their respective Swimmer of the Year awards from the conference.

A native of Kenosha, Wis., Dugdale joined the Royals in the summer of 2010 from the SwimMAC Carolina, where he assists Head Coach David Marsh in all aspects of running Team Elite whose members include Olympian Cullen Jones and record holders Nick Brunelli, Nick Thoman and Josh Schneider. 
 
In addition to working at Queens, the summer of 2012 Dugdale started as the Director of High Performance for SwimMAC Team Elite. He assisted in placing five athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team that returned to Charlotte with three gold medals and three silver.
 
Prior to joining SwimMAC Carolina, Dugdale was an assistant coach at Duke University, where he helped lead recruiting and leadership development.  While at Duke, Dugdale had a hand in seeing both the men and women break all but three school records while moving up the ACC and NCAA ranks. In 2008, he spearheaded the merger of two club programs, Tar Heel Aquatic Team and Blue Devil Aquatic into Duke Aquatics, currently a Silver Medal program.
 
Dugdale was a member of the men’s swim team at Auburn University becoming a three year letter-winner, 1989-1991, before getting his start in collegiate coaching at his alma mater in 1992. Like many of the Queens swimmers have done in this first year, Dugdale helped to transition the Tigers’ program into the one it is today with countless NCAA and SEC Championships.
 
As a junior, Dugdale was tapped as Marsh’s first recruiting coordinator and helped Marsh recruit the university’s first SEC and NCAA Championship Team.  He assisted in coaching 218 All-American honorees, 16 Academic All-Americans, and one Olympian, Yoav Bruck of Israel.
 
Dugdale earned a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance at Auburn in 1995.  Dugdale has two children, Sydney and Colby.
 

Kirk Sanocki

Wingate Head Coach

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Wingate University head men’s and women’s swimming coach  Kirk  Sanocki has coached the Bulldog women’s team for 19 seasons and the men’s team for 15 seasons. Last season, the Wingate women finished seventh at the 2019 NCAA national championship meet in Indianapolis. On the men’s side, the Bulldogs claimed 17th place on the 2019 NCAA leader board.
 
Individually, Wingate had 16 first team All-American swims and 35 honorable mention All-American swims at the NCAA meet in Indianapolis. Sanocki has coached Wingate student-athletes to 440 All-American swims. In addition to the significant national success, both Wingate teams finished second in the Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship meet.
 
In June, Wingate was the only NCAA or NAIA school with three men’s swimming student-athletes on the 2019 Academic All-America® at-large teams (as selected by CoSIDA).  Niklas Martin, Giacomo Viazzo and  Markus Furst represented the Bulldogs on the honor squad. Wingate Swimming has 30 student-athletes who have earned Academic All-America® at-large team distinction.
 
On the 2019 College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) team charts, the Wingate women posted a 3.46 GPA. The Bulldog men had a 3.40 GPA. Both WU  swimming teams were recognized as 2018-19 Scholar All-America teams by the CSCAA. Nineteen Bulldogs were named Scholar All-Americans by the same organization.
 
Wingate University was the co-host for the 2018 NCAA Division II national championship meet at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The Bulldogs did not disappoint, as the men took seventh place and the women claimed eighth place. Wingate defended its national championship in the women’s 800 Freestyle Relay at the 2018 NCAA meet.
 
The WU 800 Freestyle Relay championship quartet returned intact for 2018:  Hanna  Van Horen (’19),  Abby Kosic, junior  Maria Madsen (’19) and  Alex Divelbiss (’17). Earlier, both Wingate teams finished second in the  20th annual Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship meet in Charlotte.
 
In June of 2018,  Viazzo and  Martin were named Google Cloud Academic All-America® men’s at-large team selections by CoSIDA. On the CSCAA team charts, the Wingate women posted a 3.56 GPA. The Bulldog men had a 3.19 GPA. Both WU  swimming teams were recognized as Scholar All-America teams by the CSCAA. Fourteen Bulldogs were named Scholar All-Americans.
 
In 2017, the Wingate women finished third at the 2017 NCAA national meet. The 2017 meet marked the third consecutive year the Bulldogs have brought home team hardware (WU was third in 2015 and second in 2016). On the men’s side, the Bulldogs jumped 10 places on the team leader board from their 2016 appearance, scoring 198 points to finish sixth at NCAAs.
 
Wingate won the national championship in the women’s 800 Freestyle Relay at the 2017 NCAA meet. Divelbiss, Madsen, Van Horen and Kosic claimed gold medals at the 2017 NCAA event. Divelbiss was the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Year and Swimmer of the Meet as the Bulldogs took second place in the league meet. The Wingate men were also second in the 2017 BMC event.
 
Wingate was the only NCAA Division II school with three swimming student-athletes on the 2017 Academic All-America® at-large teams (as selected by CoSIDA):  Vika Arkhipova Lucas Cuadros and  Leif-Henning Kluver. On the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) team charts, the Wingate women posted a 3.49 GPA. The Bulldog men had a 3.36 GPA. Both WU  swimming teams were recognized as Scholar All-America teams by the CSCAA in 2017.
 
The Wingate women’s swimming team finished a school-record second in the 2016 NCAA Division II national championship meet. Sanocki was named the NCAA Division II women’s swimming Coach of the Year by his peers. The Bulldog men finished 16th at the season-concluding meet, only 4.5 points behind number 15 Indianapolis.
 
The Bulldog women won six 2016 national titles (three relays, three individuals).  Armony  Dumur (’16) led the way with four gold medals (one individual, three relay). Senior  Vika  Arkhipova won a relay gold medal (400 Medley Relay) and an individual gold medal (200 Backstroke).
 
Senior  Jessika  Weiss won two relay gold medals, joining Arkhipova on the 400 Medley Relay and starting Wingate’s championship haul by swimming a leg on the 200 Medley Relay. Senior  Caitlin Coughlin earned a national title by playing a role on Wingate’s 200 Freestyle Relay quartet.
 
Wingate set NCAA Division II records on the way to victories in the 200 Medley Relay (1:39.90), the 400 Medley Relay (3:40.28) and the 200 Butterfly (52.52). Prior to the 2016 NCAA meet, both Wingate squads finished second at the 18th annual Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship meet.
 
Sanocki’s teams receive significant academic awards every year, both from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) and the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).  Eighteen members of the WU swimming program were 2016 Scholar All-Americans, as named by the CSCAA. Both WU squads were named 2016 Scholar All-America teams by the CSCAA. The Wingate men qualified with a 3.45 cumulative team GPA, while the Bulldog women made the list with a 3.37 cumulative team GPA.
  
The Bulldog women’s swimming team finished third at the 2015 NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships. The Bulldog men finished 12th, one point behind 11th-place Delta State (Miss.). Wingate’s men finished 12th (or better) at the NCAA meet for 10 consecutive years. Both Bulldog teams finished second at the 17th annual Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship meet.
 
Armony  Dumur helped the Bulldogs claim two national titles at the 2015 NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships. Individually, Dumur won the women’s 100 Butterfly with a new national record time of 52.42. Dumur and three teammates touched first in the women’s 400 Medley Relay with a new school record time of 3:40.28. Dumur set her third 100 Fly national record of the day with her relay time of 51.99.
 
In the 2015 NCAA 400 Medley Relay, Dumur’s teammates were  Rita  Koryukova Olga  Kosheleva and  Sofia  Petrenko. In addition to Dumur’s new 100 Butterfly national and school record (in the relay), both Kosheleva and Petrenko set new school records in the 100 Breaststroke (1:02.12) and 100 Freestyle (50.19), respectively. 

Dumur became the third WU female to win an individual national title in 2015, joining diver  Lindsey Taylor (2012) and swimmer  Maria  Vlashchenko (2008). The Bulldog 400 Medley Relay quartet was the first WU women’s relay team to earn a national crown. The Wingate men’s swimming program has 14 national championship swims, including three by 2012 Olympian  Marko  Blazevski.
 
Three Bulldogs received 2015 Academic All-America® at-large honors from CoSIDA: senior  Issam  Zeraidi was a men’s at-large first team selection, while teammate  Lucas  Cuadros was a second team choice. On the women’s side,  Jasmine  Arzadon was a women’s at-large third team pick.
 
In 2014, the Bulldog teams swept the Bluegrass Mountain Conference (BMC) titles for the second year in a row. The 2014 crown gave the Wingate men seven consecutive BMC titles, while the Bulldog women earned four BMC trophies (2011-14). Sanocki has received the Bob Busby Award for BMC Coach of the Year 11 times.
 
In the 2014 NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships, the Wingate women finished sixth with 230.5 points. Drury (Mo.) won for the fifth time in six years, compiling 486 points. The Bulldog men claimed eighth place with 221 points. Drury won for the 10th consecutive season, posting 569.5 points. Wingate senior Marko Blazevski won his third NCAA Division II national title in the 400 Individual Medley at the 2014 NCAA event. In 2014, seniors Blazevski,  Reed Miller and  Valerie  Dembny were named to the Academic All-America® at-large teams for swimming. 

Wingate sent a school-record 22 student-athletes to the 2013 NCAA national championship meet. The Bulldog women established a school record with 242.5 points at the 2013 NCAA meet. The Wingate men missed a third straight fifth-place finish by three points, as Wingate recorded 262 points. From 2009-13, only two teams finished in the NCAA men’s swimming top six each year…Wingate and perennial national champion Drury.
 
Sanocki was the 2012 NCAA Division II men’s swimming Coach of the Year, as selected by his peers in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). Sanocki helped the WU men tie for fifth place in the NCAA Division II national championship meet. Wingate had five national champions at the 2012 national championships.
 
On the national scene, Sanocki served the second year of his two-year term as president of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) in 2014. In 2010, the CSCAA elected Sanocki to this role. He has served the organization in three two-year segments. The first two-year term was president-elect, while the final two years (2014-15, 2015-16) were past president.
   
Outside the pool, Sanocki and his teams host a national-recognized Special Olympics swimming venue every April. The Bulldogs received the NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award of Excellence in 2011, recognizing the long-running volunteer service project.
 
Sanocki has guided the Wingate University Bulldogs to 11 Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship titles (seven men’s titles, four women’s championships). He has earned the Bob Busby Award for BMC Coach of the Year 11 times (six men, five women). Sanocki resides in Charlotte with his wife  Suzie and their four children:  Carson Cole Lily and  Kendall. Lily is a freshman on the WU women’s swimming team this year.

Michael Server

Catawba Head Coach

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 Michael Sever has been named the men’s and women’s swim coach.  Sever comes to Catawba from the University of Maine, where he has served as an assistant coach since 2012.

“I am pleased to bring someone with Michael’s experience to Catawba College,” stated Catawba AD Larry Leckonby.  “He has experience at the top NCAA level and has also built outstanding USA Swimming youth programs and Masters programs.”

While at Maine, Sever was involved with all aspects of the NCAA I program.  During his three seasons, the Black Bears set 36 new team records and had one NCAA B qualifier.  The swim team produced 33 Maine Honor Scholar-Athletes in 2015. 

"I would like to express my gratitude to President Brien Lewis, Athletic Director Larry Leckonby, and Associate Athletic Director Craig Turnbull for this opportunity,” said Sever.  “My swimming career began in North Carolina and I am thrilled to be back with my family.  There's an undeniable sense of community at Catawba and a very talented team of student-athletes.  I am eager to bring new vision and leadership to the swimming program and excited about the opportunities ahead."

Sever was the Head Men’s Swimming and Diving Coach at Rhode Island for one year before taking his post at Maine.  During that year, he led the team to a fourth place finish at the ECC National Championships out of 51 teams.

A graduate of East Carolina, Sever earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in communications from the ECU School of Design.  He did post-graduate work in graphic design at the American College of London in England.

Sever was a freestyle sprinter at East Carolina for three years.  Now an avid open water marathon swimmer, he is currently training for a 40-mile marathon swim.  Sever is an active member and competitor of U.S. Masters Swimming.

“Michael is an outstanding coach who has the knowledge and work ethic to take Catawba to the next level (nationally),” said East Carolina Coach Rick Kobe.  “I anticipate seeing great results immediately.”

He began coaching as a student assistant with the Pirates in 1992-93 then stepped away from coaching as he founded a communications design and marketing company.  He returned to coaching in 2009 when he founded Triton Swimming in East Providence, Rhode Island.

Triton is a premier New England US Masters Swimming (USMS) team affiliated with SwimRI. Sever built the team and SwimRI finished third place at the 2012 SCY Championships.  He started another Masters team, Black Bear Aquatics in 2013 and expanded with USA Swimming in 2014.

Both Sever and his wife, Victoria, have roots in North Carolina.  He is from Shelby, while Victoria is from Jamestown.  They have two children, Taylor and Cooper.

Paul Schiffel

Lenoir Rhyne Head Coach

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Hired on April 1, 2007, Paul Schiffel became Lenoir-Rhyne's first-ever Women's Swimming Coach and took over the men's program when it came on board three years ago.

Schiffel has coached four All-Bluegrass Mountain Conference honorees over the past two years and the program's first-ever NCAA Division II All-American in Chelsea Kyle in 2012 (women's 200-yard butterfly).

After nine seasons, the Bears have showed marked improvement and should be a contender for the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championship in the near future.

Schiffel currently serves as the Owner and Coach of the Catawba Valley Aquatics Club and had been the Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming Teams at St. Stephens High School from its inception in 1992 and lasting 15 years.

Schiffel also served as the Head Coach of the Hickory Seahorse Swim Team (1978-84 and 1986-89) and coached a swimmer who later became a two-time NCAA Division II All-American (2000 and 2002).

In the 1980s, Schiffel coached several swimmers who qualified for the Olympic Trials and United States Senior Nationals.

Several team accomplishments for Schiffel were the 1985 NCS Short Course Age Group Championship and St. Stephens’ second-place finish in the NCHSAA Championship in 2006.

Schiffel graduated from East Carolina University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and earned his master’s degree in education from ECU in 1981 as well.

Schiffel, a member of the East Carolina Men’s Swimming Team, earned Team MVP honors as a junior and served as an assistant coach for the Pirates from 1975 to 1978.

Schiffel recently retired as a Physical Education Teacher at St. Stephens Elementary School in Hickory, N.C.

Bill Pilczuk

SCAD Head Coach

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Bill Pilczuk is entering his 5th year as the Head Coach for the men's and women's swimming program, after being hired in August 2015.  Pilczuk has helped the Lady Bees win 3 of the last 4 NAIA National Titles in 2016, (where he was named NAIA Coach of the Year), 2018 and 2019 (where he was named CSCAA NAIA Coach of the Year).  The men’s team has gone on to earn Runner-Up honors each year, the 4 highest finishes in team history.   

Prior to being named head coach, Pilczuk served as the assistant coach at SCAD for two season. As an assistant, Pilczuk helped lead both the men's and women's team to 2-top five finishes at the NAIA National Championships in 2014 and 2015. The men's team finished third in both seasons, while the women's team earned back-to-back NAIA National Runner-Up Awards.

Prior to joining the Bees, Pilczuk worked part time in swimming as he spent time with his two young children as his wife Davana began her career in Savannah, GA.  In this time, he worked as a consultant to individual swimmers, club teams, camps and clinics, including working with several 2012 Olympic team members in the lead-up to London. 

From 2003-2008 Pilczuk was the National Sprint coach and National Youth coach for Great Britain, and was coach on several international teams including the World Championships, Junior World Championships, European Championships, European Juniors, Australian Age-Group Championships and the FINA World Cups.

Pilczuk graduated magna cum laude from Auburn University in 1994 and received a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology in 1998. As an athlete, Pilczuk was a 3-time NCAA All-American, Pan American silver medalist, Pan Pacific champion, World Champion in 1998, 5-time USA National Champion, 50m free American Record holder, 3rd at the 1996 Olympic Trials, 4th at the 2000 Olympic Trials, and was a member of the 4x50m medley relay World Record in 1996.

Pilczuk is originally from Cape May, New Jersey, and attended Lower Cape May Regional High School, swimming for the Cape May Swim Team and the Wildwood Crest Dolphins where he was coached by Auburn Alumn Dave (TJ) Hart.

Jordan Taylor

Carson Newman Head Coach

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Coach Jordan Taylor is entering his fifth season as the head coach of Carson-Newman Men's and Women's Swimming in 2019-2020.

After being named head coach for the 2014-2015 campaign, Taylor led the team to receiving its first invitation to the NCAA DII Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis where five of the nine swimmers left the Championships with All-American honors and all nine were named Honorable Mention All-Americans. The Eagles finished the dual meets undefeated with a record of 5-0. Through the duration of the season, school records in 33 events were set at least once. The women’s team finished 15 th in the nation, while the men finished the year in 18th according to the CSCAA pool. In total, the Eagles accumulated 33 All-Conference titles by 11 athletes, five All-Americans and four Honorable Mention All-Americans.

In 2016, the program made history at the BMC Championships at the Rock Hill Aquatic Center in Rock Hill, S.C., where the Eagles finished with 23 All-BMC honors and reset 13 school records.

The following year, the Eagles posted the best finish in program history at the 2017 BMC Championships under Taylor. 

The C-N men finished with a point total of 1036, an improvement of more than 200 points from where they finished the 2016 BMC Championships. They also placed third, two spots higher than last year's team. The women put on a better performance than any of their previous showings at the conference meet, piling up 1126 points to also earn a spot in third place. Over the course of four days, 18 different Eagles earned All-BMC honors in 26 events. 

The team then returned to the NCAA DII National Championships where the Eagles reached All-American status in 12 events with 30 separate honors being bestowed upon 13 student-athletes. The women finished the event with in 17 th place with 87 points, matching the best finish in program history. The men compiled 24 points to finish 26 th.

2018 saw the Eagles earn 38 All-BMC plaudits at the conference championships. Taylor then lead a program-best eight swimmers to the National Championships.

Taylor specializes in the middle distance and stroke specific athletes for Carson-Newman Swimming, training various groups of athletes 10 times per week in the of areas of aerobic/anaerobic capacity and power. 

Taylor comes to Carson-Newman from Edinburgh, Scotland where he was the lead coach of the Warrender Baths Club, Scotland's most successful and largest swimming club. He coached a squad consisting of 19 domestic and international swimmers.

Competitively, Taylor garnered multiple Great Britain national titles in multiple events. He also swam for the Great Britain national team during his career. He was ranked the third-best swimmer in his age group. During his time at University of Edinburgh, the school's swimming program won the national title in 2010. 

He earned his college degree at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with honors and with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Applied Sports Science. 

Ellenor Grier

Mars Hill

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Ellenor Grier has been named the new head men’s and women’s swim coach and certified pool director at Mars Hill University, as announced by Director of Athletics Rick Baker on August 9, 2019.

Grier, an alumna of Mars Hill, returns after serving as the Athletics Crew Supervisor, Swim Coach and Aquatics Director at Warren Wilson College for the past three years.  Grier was responsible for many aspects in her various roles including, but not limited to, recruiting athletes, being elected the Treasurer of the Appalachian Swim Conference, creating work programs to provide students with skills and discipline to succeed as students and future employees, as well as representing the Aquatic Center Project through television interviews on local Asheville news outlets.

Prior to joining Warren Wilson, Grier served as a swim instructor, head lifeguard and assistant manager at Swim Club Management Group in Huntersville, North Carolina from May 2014 to August 2015.  While there, Grier taught a variety of age groups and skill levels proper swimming techniques while also ensuring appropriate safety and enforcing pool rules and maintaining the pool.

Grier served as swim team captain at Mars Hill for three years where she assisted previous head coach Teddy Guyer in meet organization and planning, developing and implementing practices as well as demonstrating her strong leadership skills to her fellow teammates through determination and perseverance.  Grier graduated from Mars Hill with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.

She later obtained her Master of Science degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University Irvine in February 2018.