The Boston College swimming & diving program’s 2016-17 season was split in two when head coach of nearly half a century, Tom Groden, resigned in December of 2016. It would’ve been 45 consecutive seasons at the helm for Groden, had he finished out the year– Groden started the program in 1972.
Joining up as an assistant coach in 2013 was Michael Stephens, who took over as interim head coach following Groden’s resignation. According to this afternoon’s article courtesy of the BC Interruption, Stephens has been named the official head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving program at BC by athletic director Martin Jarmond. Jarmond was hired in April after serving as Ohio State University’s deputy director of athletics.
Stephens earned his Bachelor’s and MBA at BC, and swam for Groden as an undergrad. At 26 years old, he will be the youngest swimming and diving head coach at an NCAA Division I Power Conference school. That’s not the only ‘only’ at BC for Stephens– the swimming and diving program is the only D1 Power Conference team that does not offer athletic scholarships.
BC swimmers and divers have also voiced concerns over plans for a new pool and aquatic facility that do not include a 3-meter diving board, which is typically needed for diving at NCAA dual meets, as well as conference and national championships. The plans also do not include a 10-meter platform diving tower.
“I am incredibly grateful to Martin Jarmond, Tom Peters, and the athletic administration for their faith in me and our swimming and diving program,” said Stephens in a BC Athletics press release. “After spending a combined eight years on The Heights as a student-athlete and a coach, I care deeply about this university and believe greatly in our swimming and diving teams. The opportunity in front of us as a program is extraordinary, and I am grateful to have such a passionate group of student-athletes to work with.”