In a development that should come as a surprise to no one, North Caroline State Swimming and Diving head coach Braden Holloway is the 2016 ACC Men’s coach of the year. Holloway led the Wolfpack to their second consecutive ACC title, as well as a 4th place finish at the NCAA Championship. The last time NC State finished that high NCAAs was in the 1950s, under the coach whom their pool is named after, Willis Casey.
Holloway has completely revived a program that in his first year (2011-2012) didn’t even score at the NCAA Championship. They surged to 15th in 2013, then 13th the next year, before cracking the top ten with 8th in 2015.
Many coaches would say that an award like goes to the entire staff. One of the keys to Holloway’s success has been that he has attracted and retained an excellent group of assistants. Associate Head Coach Todd DeSorbo was part of an always overperforming UNC Wilmington team prior to his time in the Wolfpack. Gary Taylor had consistently produced some of the ACC’s best distance swimmers at Florida State, and has engineered a dramatic turnaround in that area.
Mallory Houchin, whose bio indicates more work with the women’s team, was instrumental in the fast start that Queens University got just five years ago. Finally, Holloway has a home grown coach in always enthusiastic Bobby Guntoro, who rose from a volunteer to a full time position.
Whether you give credit to the assistants or not, all paths still lead to Holloway, the leader of it all. The NC State Wolfpack enter this off-season as a legitimate contender for next year’s NCAA Championship, an idea that was all but unthinkable when Holloway began his work in Raleigh.