Five Time Olympian Dara Torres Taking Boston College Head Coach Position

A day after the Boston Celtics won their 18th Championships, the sporting community will be welcoming a new face with an equally impressive resume as Dara Torres, a five-time Olympian will take over as Boston College’s Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach.

Blake James, the William V. Campbell Director of Athletics, said in a release that

From the moment we met with Dara, it was evident that she was exactly the fit we werelooking for to begin a fresh, new chapter of Boston College swimming & diving. Her record as a world-class competitor is historic and her ability to clearly articulate her vision as a coach and leader will allow our student-athletes to develop and excel in and out of the pool.

Torres, who was in Indianapolis for the Olympic Trials last night (Monday, 6/17) to support the USA Swimming Foundation, competed for the US at the 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008 Olympics. During her career, Torres won 12 Olympic Medals and was a six-time World Record Holder.  In the release, Torres spoke about her role as a coach, stating,

I’ve learned from great coaches at every point in my career. This opportunity to share what I’ve learned, in and out of the pool, and pass along technique, confidence, and support as part of the Boston College Athletics Department is a dream. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.

 

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A post shared by Dara Torres (@swimdara)

Torres has connections to the area, having settled in the Boston suburbs of Dover after her Olympic career and has been active in the philanthropic and fitness fields.  Torres will be joining a BC program that has been under massive amounts of scrutiny and has been shrouded in mystery. In September of 2023, the ACC school was rocked by allegations of hazing. The Heights, BC’s independent school newspaper reported that the allegations included that freshmen swimmers were pressured to binge drink and consume their own vomit during a series of team parties at the beginning of September.

Initially, the program was indefinitely suspended until it could be determined if the allegations were true. Students attempted, via a lawsuit to have the program reinstated in the fall of 2023, but were rejected as the judge stated that the university failed to prove that the university acted unlawfully by suspending them.

In early 2024, the entire season was canceled, and second-year head coach Joe Brinkman, as well as his entire staff, were let go. It was revealed in BC’s review of the program that the hazing, recurring conduct issues, and a team culture that has failed to meet the expectations Boston College holds for its student-athletes were the reason for the school to further suspend the program through August of 2024.

Since then, the program has appeared in limbo, as students were still committing to the team despite no news on the program, and it took the school from January to late April to post the head coaching job. BC does not offer any scholarships for the swimming and diving program.

Torres will become only the fourth head coach in the program’s history. Brinkman was hired in August 2022 after Mike Stephens went to take the head coaching job at Hawaii. Stephens was the head coach since 2016, when 45-year head coach Tom Groden resigned.

The BC women finished 12th out of 12 teams at the 2022 ACC Championships, and the men finished 11th out of 12 teams.

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SwimCoachDad
25 days ago

It will be interesting to see how she does. College coaches I know often say that being a head coach is more about recruiting, fundraising and managing people and only about 25% deck coaching. Let’s see how she does.

ElvisVB
1 month ago

I give it 2 years tops

Seidman’s Calves
1 month ago

Hello athletic directors of America. Here’s a tip….Head Coach Jonah Turner, Head Assistant Warren Perry, Head of Recruiting Brad Kline. Enjoy the nattys….

Jason Lintjer
1 month ago

Wow. This is wildly out of left field, but I think this is an amazing hire by BC. It’s a fresh start that will give a spark to a program that desperately needed it. I like it.

KRW
1 month ago

I’m reading these comments about “connections” and “fundraising “…WTH? The program gives NO scholarships. None. Zip. What’s Dara gunna do? Go to fast “recruits” and tell them …”I’m great! Come swim for me and pay $65,000 + (tuition and fees only) ? We already know she’ll be telling everyone who’ll listen how great she is. Zero coaching experience, hired to coach a team that is last or 2nd to last in the ACC. There’s a good reason why the U of Miami and Blake James “mutually” agreed to part ways. This is a headline grabber, nothing more.

Admin
Reply to  KRW
1 month ago

I mean, people pay $65,000+ just to go to BC as students, right?

Also, I just ran through Boston College’s affordability calculator, and put in a pretty average swim family ($150k household income per year, half-a-million saved for retirement, house half paid off) and the need-based scholarship was $54,500. $3k in student employment, $3k in student loans, and estimated $29k student/parent contribution.

Masters swammer
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

I think this is also an interesting misconception about the Ivy League. No, they don’t offer athletic scholarships, but they do offer a lot of financial aid to *all* students (in many cases, full tuition, room, and board for families with incomes under $200k).

I think BC is similar.

It’s probably a good tool for recruiting. Maybe you are a great student, pretty solid swimmer, but not quite fast enough for an athletic scholarship? Middle-class family? We got ya.

Cushing297
Reply to  Masters swammer
1 month ago

I don’t think so. First of all, BC is $90k/yr, not $65. And they give very little merit. My sense is that it is more like the NESCAC schools in terms of merit. So, kids from households making $150/yr are gonna pay pretty close to full freight. If you have the times to swim power 5 and love BC and your parents can pay, great. But they’re not going to build a competitive program in the ACC on the back of that financial situation.
She needs scholarships.

Masters swammer
Reply to  Cushing297
1 month ago

I’m talking about need-based financial aid. At most Ivies, someone with a family income of $150k is going to get generous need-based financial aid. Depending on the school, a family income under $70-150k qualifies you for a (need-based) full ride.

I’m less familiar with the financial aid picture at NESCAC schools and BC, but thought need-based financial aid had generally grown across expensive selective private schools.

Cushing297
Reply to  Masters swammer
1 month ago

We’re splitting hairs, but under $70k household income, sure you’ll get lots of need-based aid, maybe a full ride. Most schools it starts to phase out in the $150-200k range and above – maybe not at Harvard, but at BC, I know kids in this demographic who pay the full tab. Upper-middle class family from high COLA area pulling in $225k+/yr (lots of swim families)? Don’t count on anything need-based. I think this aligns with the socioeconomic profile of many recruits.

Swim Dad
Reply to  Masters swammer
16 days ago

I just put my older kid to swim for a UC school. Recent one and a half year I was digging deeper into this scholarships, financial aid topics.

I support Cushing297. There are just several points of view on this topic: bird eye view that makes seem college education an easy reach when you are not fully into it. Then a bitter one once you have to make a financial commitment to it.

My understanding at this stage is that all colleges are big businesses, and all so called affordability calculations, scholarship and aid talks are a clickbite, marketing tools to get a client for 4 years. First of all, school website based affordability calculations are a simplified approximation… Read more »

Leesa
1 month ago

Erin matson graduated from unc and was a field hockey player. The very next year she was the HEAD coach and they won a national title. She is now 24 years old. I think Dara Torres is so very qualified for this job.

KRW
Reply to  Leesa
1 month ago

UNC give scholarships for women’s lacrosse? Yep. Apples and oranges.

NC Fan
Reply to  KRW
1 month ago

They also give scholarships for field hockey.

JGabriella
Reply to  Leesa
1 month ago

Great point! Might not be apples:apples but still…

People think you have to already be a great coach to start being a great coach. Not true. You need to be able to connect with athletes and help them achieve beyond their goals.

I guarantee she’s more qualified to lead this team than anyone in the comments saying she’s not.

Somer Himpson
Reply to  Leesa
1 month ago

Downvotes might also be a result of men who just dislike women in positions of authority. Bottom line is there’s a very serious issue related to females as head swimming coaches globally. And furthermore, nobody has a clue if she’ll be any good or not. It’s purely speculative. Let her have a chance to deliver whatever she and the AD discussed in the interview process that led to her being appointed as head coach.

I wish her (and the student athletes) the best. It’s been a terrible situation and the program deserves to have a shot at redemption. We can all agree that with many schools continuing to cancel swim programs, this decision is at least allowing BC to… Read more »

The White Whale
1 month ago

Very interesting. Curious how much day-to-day coaching she will be doing. I think in terms of recruiting and fundraising it can only help to have one of the greatest swimmers of all time as head coach, but her on-deck skills seem like a question mark. Let’s be honest, with this school and the current state of the NCAA the former is probably more important than the latter.

Last edited 1 month ago by The White Whale
oxyswim
Reply to  The White Whale
1 month ago

She will have to do a lot. That’s not a place where they have a big enough staff for the HC to not be involved with everything

Coachy mc coach face
1 month ago

This is crazy, anyone that thinks is a good idea doesn’t know BC or Dara Torres. Hoped to be proven wrong