The University at Buffalo has hired Ian Walsh as its new assistant coach, 11th-year head coach Andy Bashor announced on Thursday. Walsh spent last season as the assistant with the Cal women’s team, who finished 2nd at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.
He know leaves one women’s-only program that was one of the best in the nation for another one that’s undergoing a huge transition: 2017-2018 will be the first season at Buffalo with just a women’s team after the school announced it was cutting its men’s program in April.
“Ian is going to bring new excitement and energy to the team,” head coach Andy Bashor said. “His experience at Cal, one of the best women’s programs in the country, and working with elite level student-athletes is going to benefit our team. I am looking forward to coaching with him and taking our women’s team to new heights in the MAC and in the NCAAs.”
For thethree seasons prior to Cal, Walsh was an assistant coach at the Division I Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. The team finished a program-best third place at the 2016 Conference USA Championships, with four individual conference titles. He was also the head coach of the YMCA Charleston Aquatic Team from 2013-2016 while at Marshall. He also spent a season as the head assistant at Albright college in Pennsylvania and worked with Bloomsburg University while in graduate school there.
As an athlete, he was a school record breaker at Duquesne University in the 100 and 200 yard breaststrokes and on both the 200 and 400 medley relays. He won the Atlantic 10 title in the 100 breaststroke in 2009.
Buffalo’s women’s team finished 3rd out of 8 teams at last year’s MAC conference championship meet, just 26.5 points behind Eastern Michigan for 2nd. They sent two athletes, swimmer Megan Burns and diver Abbey Croce, to the NCAA Championships, though neither came away with points. Burns returns this year as a senior while Croce has retired.