Merrimack College, located in Andover, Massachusetts, has named Mike Spring as the first-ever head coach of their men’s and women’s swimming and diving program, which officially begin competition in the NCAA’s Division II Northeastern Conference in the fall of 2012.
Spring is the owner and head coach of Crimson Aquatics, which was recently named a USA Swimming gold medal club (meaning that it has one of the top-20-performing under-18 programs in the country).
Spring’s previous college coaching experience has included 4 years as an assistant at Harvard. Merrimack will train in a brand-new, 50-meter pool being built by the Andover YMCA.
Full press release, unedited, is below.
Merrimack College has named Michael Spring its first ever head men’s and women’s swimming head coach, as announced by Director of Athletics Glenn Hofmann.
Spring becomes the first coach of the swimming program which will begin competition in 2012-13 in the Northeast-10 Conference.
“We’re excited to announce the hiring of Mike as the first swimming coach in Merrimack’s history,” said Hofmann. “Mike brings enthusiasm, a wealth of experience at the Division I level and at the club level, and an understanding of the importance of the student-athlete experience to the program. I’m looking forward to the official launch of the program.”
“I am excited to be a part of the Merrimack College community,” said Spring. “It is great to see that Merrimack is expanding with the addition of men’s and women’s swimming to its athletic program. I look forward to the challenge of getting this new program off the ground, working with the student-athletes and adding to the success of Merrimack College.”
Spring brings 36 years of education, training, coaching and swimming experience to Merrimack.
The owner of Crimson Aquatics since 1994, Spring oversees all operations of the nationally recognized swim club that features over 250 swimmers annually. Leading his swimmers to 10 Junior National records, 24 National Qualifiers, and eight Olympic Trial Qualifiers, Spring has seen his graduates attend nationally-recognized swimming programs such as Harvard, Dartmouth, North Carolina, Texas and Auburn.
Spring also served as an assistant swimming coach at Harvard University for four years.
Prior to moving to New England, Spring was a four-year assistant coach at the State University at Buffalo and was on staff when the University upgraded its athletics program from Division II to Division I.
Spring graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the State University at Buffalo in 1990.
The Merrimack swimming program will practice and compete at the Andover YMCA, which is less than a five-minute drive from the Merrimack campus. The Andover YMCA will shortly begin construction on a new state-of-the-art 50-meter pool, which Merrimack will use as its home facility.
All prospective student-athletes and current Merrimack students interesting in participating in swimming should fill out the student-athlete questionnaire online at merrimackathletics.com or email [email protected] for more information.
In just two years, Merrimack has increased its number of intercollegiate sports from 16 to 24 sports.
Men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track were added for the 2010-11 season with plans to compete in distance events only. But beginning last spring, Merrimack had a full-fledged track program, competing in sprint, relay, distance and field events.
Merrimack also added women’s golf and women’s crew for the 2011-12 campaign, and both sports posted impressive fall seasons, finishing ahead of many Division I and II programs at their events.
Merrimack, which captured the Northeast-10 President’s Cup in 1999-00, has won two NCAA Division II titles, with the hockey team claiming the national championship in 1978 and the softball team winning the title in 1994.
At the completion of the fall season in 2011, Merrimack had two teams (field hockey, women’s soccer) reach the NCAA Tournament, while field hockey won its first-ever Northeast-10 Championship with a school record 17 wins. All but one fall program improved on its 2010 record, and the winter season has started well with the hockey team its first-ever #1 national ranking with a 9-0-1 record.