After 8 years with James Madison University, head coach, Samantha Smith, is retiring from coaching. Smith, a graduate from James Madison, took the Dukes to a new level, both athletically and academically . In 2007, the team finished ninth at the CAA Championships and has improved every year since, finally winning the meet in 2012. After leading the team to a conference title and a record of 13-2 in 2012, she was named CAA Coach of the Year. Smith was the coach of Eva Hannesdottir; 2012 Olympian and Icelandic national champion in the 100 and 200 freestyles.
“The Swimming and Diving Family is strong,” Smith said. “Dane Pedersen and Becky Benson have been instrumental in the great climb our program made over the past six years. I leave behind a strong, dedicated and selfless group of women to carry on the team and traditions. I will always be a JMU alum and I am proud of the service I was able to give to my alma mater. The experience was extraordinary. Thank you to everyone who contributed.”
Athletic Director, Jeff Bourne commented, “Our athletic department has been blessed to have Samantha Smith serve as our Head Women’s Swimming Coach… We will miss her deeply, but we are excited and happy for her in this next chapter of her life.”
A national search for Smith’s replacement will begin immediately.