Marshall University Adds 2 Assistant Coaches to Women’s Swimming Staff

Marshall University swimming and diving has added James Bretscher as an assistant coach as well as Erin Song as a volunteer/leadership coach. Bretscher joins the team after graduating and spending two years at North Carolina State, and Song joins the team after being most recently a mindset coach. 

Assistant Coach James Bretscher

New assistant coach James Bretscher has most recently spent time at his alma mater, North Carolina State. He graduated from NC State in May 2020 with a degree in Business Administration. During his swimming career at NC State, Bretscher qualified for the NCAA meet twice and was an All-American his senior year in the 200 butterfly. 

He has spent the last two years as a volunteer assistant coach for NC State. At this same time, he also was an assistant coach for Wolfpack Elite, the professional club connected to the varsity program. At NC State and Wolfpack Elite, Bretscher assisted in coaching collegiate, post-graduate, as well as professional swimmers.

At women’s NCAAs this year, NC State earned a 2nd place finish. On the men’s side, they earned an 8th place finish. Both men’s and women’s teams earned second-place finishes at the ACC Championships. Wolfpack Elite was home to six members of the 2020-2021 US national team. Bretscher will be replacing former assistant coach Taylor Counter. Counter is now a Tactical Athlete Coach for US Air Force Special Warfare.

Marshall head coach Ian Walsh said of Bretscher, “I’m thrilled to welcome James to the Marshall family here in Huntington. Early on in the process, it was clear that his values and core principles aligned with what we as a program stand for. In James’ time as a student-athlete and coach, he has had many unique experiences that he has been able to use through his young coaching career. These winning experiences will be invaluable as he has been part of the sport as a student-athlete and coach at the highest levels. Our staff and student-athletes couldn’t be more excited to welcome James in this new role here at Marshall.”

Volunteer/Leadership Coach Erin Song

Volunteer/leadership coach Erin Song will also join the coaching staff at Marshall. Song most recently spent time as a mindset coach. As a mindset coach, she was able to work with individuals and teams to focus on overcoming hardships in both sport and life. Song has also spent time as a collegiate coach and as a school counselor. 

Song earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was a swimmer as well as a lacrosse player. She also has earned a master’s degree in Coaching Education from West Virginia University as well as a master’s in School Counseling from Bloomsburg University. Song will become the newest volunteer coach at Marshall, which seems to have been vacant since 2018-2019 when Teel Hartmann held the position. 

Head coach Ian Walsh spoke highly of Song saying, “I am thrilled to have Erin join our staff in a volunteer and leadership coach capacity. We crossed paths many years ago and her experiences and background will be a huge asset to our program. Megan, James and I look forward to having her join our program during this pivotal time and assist us in helping this program reach that next level.”

Marshall University is a Division I school located in Huntington, West Virginia, and features a women’s swimming and diving program that is a part of Conference USA. At this year’s conference meet, which took place at the end of February, Marshall finished fifth out of six teams. Marshall scored 416 points, which put them only 9 points behind Florida Atlantic and 52 points behind North Texas.

At the C-USA meet, freshman Paige Banton was a conference champion in the 200 breaststroke. Banton’s time of 2:12.95 achieved the NCAA Division I “B” cut of 2:13.97. Senior Darby Coles also brought home a conference championship in the women’s 50 freestyle with a time of 22.97. Her prelims swim of 22.93 ranks her 4th in school history.

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About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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