Braden Holloway Is The 2016 ACC Men’s Coach of The Year

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.

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Porkchop2244

UNC is in serious trouble. Luckily UNC is a prettier school. Better school academically. But if any local or regional recruit places more value on swimming than the rest, they won’t even consider UNC when they can swim at NC State

Hschler

There are many who will disagree with your “better school academically” comment. Maybe better school to get nonexistent academic credit for no effort.

Porkchop2244

Ha! That’s laughable. Applying a 10 year old academic athletic scandal to the broader institution. Seriously, don’t jade yourself. As a UVA grad, I know UVA and UNC have been in the top 5 of academic public universities since…well, since rankings started. Outside of NC state having engineering and UNC not, you can’t compare them academically. NC state isn’t a bad school but it does not have UNCs reputation That being said, UNC right now isn’t even in the same league as NC State from a swimming program perspective. The coaching staff is so vastly superior at NC state than UNC. The difference in swimming staffs is more than the difference in academics so I think NC state is easily… Read more »

Anon

Porkchop you clearly aren’t following the recent trends of growth in Raleigh and NC State. It’s becoming every bit as difficult to get into NC State and considering the UNC scandal put its accreditation on probation, I think the scandal has started to influence the whole school and not just the athletic programs.

Porkchop2244

And while Busch did a good job again, Holloway should have been women’s coach of the year. He’s taken an even more non existent women’s team and beat UNC, got second at ACCs, and top 10 at ncaas

SwimGeek

What Holloway and his staff have done in a short period of time at State is remarkable. It just shows (again) that coaching does matter — a lot — in our sport. I wonder if down the road Holloway could ever be poached by one of the “traditional” national powers (for example, Eddie can’t have that much longer at Texas, and I believe Kris Kubick has said he’ll retire with Eddie).

About Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis

Chris DeSantis is a swim coach, writer and swimming enthusiast. Chris does private consulting and coaching with teams and individuals. You can find him at www.facebook.com/cdswimcoach. Chris is a 2009 Graduate from the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the first professional athletic coach …

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