50 Years, 50 Titans: The Bigham Family

Heather Scibetta

Time to introduce a very important family to the Titans organization, the Bigham Family. Dennis Bigham and his two children, Miranda and Benjamin (both alumni swimmers) have always been extremely involved with our swim club. Whether it was volunteering, coaching, swimming, a Bingham could always be found on the pool deck. 

Dennis played an instrumental role on the Board of Directors, serving as President for a number of years, but his commitment to the overall organization has helped shape what Titans is today. We interviewed Dennis, Miranda and Benjamin, here’s what we learned from them. 

When did you become a member of the Titan family? We as a family joined Titans in 2007 after several recruiting conversations with both the Gielowski Family and Coach Jackie English who was giving Miranda private lessons while swimming at St Chris. Janice was less involved with the club on a day-to-day basis, but was always wonderful and supportive of the kids and I.

Miranda: I started Titans in Level 3 and swam all the way up, then swam for Scott at Canisius College for 3 years. Then, I came back to Titans and coached for about a year and a half. 

Benjamin: I started Titans when I was 6. 

Dennis: I started as a crazy Titan parent sitting in the stands taking notes, learning, driving the coaches nuts and stealing Coach Mike, Coach Alicia, Coach Jackie, Coach Brandi, Coach Randall’s drills to use while I was coaching at St Chris. A year or so into it I was asked to be on the Titans Board of Directors and then became VP and shortly thereafter, President. Twelve total years in all. I really enjoyed marketing the club and watching the group grow and develop over the years.  It was such a pleasure to work with Coach Scott and Coach Tim, the rest of the coaches, board members, and all the Titan families.

What was the best part about being a Titan? 

Miranda: The people, hands down. We've met so many incredible coaches, families, and teammates over the years that have had such an impact on my life. I've kept in touch (and even gotten closer) with many through college and into adulthood. 

Benjamin: The best part of Titans was the friends I met at a young age and getting the opportunity to grow with them and welcome new swimmers into our group as the years went on.  We got to go together as athletes, students and friends. Not many other people get that opportunity to spend 12 years side by side with such a wonderful group of friends. 

Dennis: I loved recruiting. I sell heavy equipment for a living, and the only thing I loved more than selling a new piece of equipment was selling a new family on the Titans experience. I also loved watching my kids and other Titans develop the great work ethic, structure, and friendships that are such a big part of the Titan family. 

What is your favorite memory of Titans?

Miranda: I have a lot, but the one that comes to mind is weight room on summer mornings with Mike Syprowski and Kevin O'Donnell. They used to bring their cars around to the side of the AFC, put them in neutral, and make us push from the back for a workout. I was probably like a freshman in high school at the time and thought it was hilarious. 

Benjamin: My favorite memory is the Cheektowaga outdoor meets. Swimming backstroke and never being able to see the flags.  Dunking swim caps in the water and stretching them big enough to jump into. 

Dennis: I loved all swim meets, but my favorite was the Natalie Lewis Spring Invitational. I loved working with The Lewis family to make the meet as special as possible. Every year we would try to make it better and better.  My favorite was the year we brought in Penny Oleksiak, the first Canadian athlete to win 4 Olympic medals for a meet and greet with the kids. 

What is your least favorite stroke or event?

Miranda: Anything breaststroke. 

Benjamin: I have a love / hate relationship with the 500 free and 200 fly.  Because the more in shape you were the less painful it is and it was always such a reality check at the meets early in the season. 

Dennis: Watching Miranda or Benjamin swim anything breaststroke. Seriously, I always loved to watch both Miranda and Benjamin swim. I loved watching their meets, Carly Crossing swims (open water), and most of all I loved watching Titans relays. One of my most memorable relays was when the Titans alum swam the relay at the first Natalie Lewis Spring Invitational- 3 person relay and Nat anchoring it as she always did. Remember: KINDNESS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!!!

Fun Facts:

Miranda:  I actually started in Level 4 and got bumped down to Level 3. 

Benjamin: No fun facts to report. If you know Benjamin. His whole Titans career was all about fun and friends.

Dennis: Watching new Titan families and swimmers grow from SD & Level 1 and the next thing you know they are dropping time with big smiles on their faces while talking to their coaches or swimming at districts. Sort of always made me laugh inside while they totally enjoyed the meets and their other Titan friends on deck.   I always wanted to go up to the parents and say “I told you so”. Just like my kids used to say “My best friends are my Titans friends not my school friends”.  I really enjoyed my 12 years at Titans and all the friends and relationships our family made, and I will cherish that for the rest of my life. Thanks Scott & Tim for the ride and putting up with me for 12 years. Once a Titan always a Titan!!! 

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