Catawba College Director of Athletics, Larry Leckonby, has announced that swim coach Betsy Graham has resigned to take a position with Arena Club Aquatics in Maryland. A national search for a new head coach and director of Johnson Pool will begin immediately.
“We wish Coach Graham and her daughter Rilee the best in their new adventure in Maryland,” stated Leckonby. “Betsy has done an outstanding job with the Catawba swim program both in the pool and in the classroom. Academically, the team has been one of the strongest in the athletic department and she has been able to coach several swimmers to the national championships.”
Graham has served as the Catawba women’s coach since 2001 and launched the men’s program in 2006. Under Graham, Catawba produced five All-Americans, seven All-Academic Team members and a pair of Academic All-Americans. The Catawba men’s team posted the highest GPA in the nation under Graham.
“I want to express my appreciation for fourteen great years as a head coach,” said Graham. “Building a program from the very beginning here at Catawba has been an opportunity that few coaches have. I feel fortunate to have been given the chance and blessed to have been able to work with such outstanding swimmers, parents, coaches, teachers, and administrators throughout my tenure.”
“I look forward to continuing to watch the program grow under the new leadership and being the Catawba Swim program’s number one fan,” added Graham. “Being head coach of Catawba Swim Teams has been one of the great experiences of my life.”
Six Catawba swimmers qualified for NCAA II Nationals during Graham’s tenure with five of those coming since 2009. She also coached US National Paralympian, Ashley Owens, who claimed four medals at the 2010 World Championships.
Graham came to Catawba after stints as an assistant at Arkansas, Ferris State and Northern Michigan. She was the head coach of the Aqua-Tex Swim Team (ATEX) in Houston, Texas. At ATEX, Graham coached a finalist at the 1996 Olympic trials. She also coached two Olympic Festival medalists as well as junior and senior national champion.