Orr Becomes #3 Winningest Coach as Princeton Men Beat Columbia


  • Results
  • Hosted by Princeton
  • Saturday, December 9th
  • 25 Yards
  • Dual Meet Format


  • PRINCETON: 172
  • COLUMBIA: 128


When the Tigers took down Ivy League rival Columbia on Saturday, Princeton Head Coach Rob Orr became the #3 all-time winningest division 1 coach. The victory over the Lions was Orr’s 321st dual meet win, which ties him with legendary former Indiana coach Doc Counsilman for the 3rd most dual meet wins. Princeton came away with a 50-point win as they honored their seniors on Senior Day.

The following is the most reliable list of top 5 winningest coaches we’ve found:

  1. Bob Kiphuth, Yale, 528
  2. Tom Groden, Boston College, 371
  3. (T-3) Rob Orr, Princeton, 321
  4. (T-3) Doc Counsilman, Indiana, 321
  5. Peter Daland, USC, 318

Princeton’s Cole Buese was instrumental in the win as he picked up a pair of individual victories. In the 200 fly, Buese used his early speed to take control of the race ahead of teammate Corey Okubo, winning in 1:46.81 to Okubo’s 1:47.43. He followed that up with another win in the 200 back, topping the field by over a second in 1:47.05.

In addition to his wins, Buese finished 2nd in the 200 IM, once again battling with Okubo. Through the first 150 of the race, Okubo outsplit him to build a lead of a full second. Buese kicked it into high gear down the final strethc, outsplitting Okubo 26.13 to 26.71, but it wasn’t enough as Okubo won it in 1:50.22 to Buese’s 1:50.69.

The only other swimmer to win multiple individual raced was Columbia’s Nianguo Liu. He was the only man to break 1:40 in the 200 free, touching in 1:38.13 to dominate the field. His next win came in the 100 free. Princeton’s Alexander Lewis took the early lead in 21.78, but Liu came from behind and outsplit the field by 6 tenths or more on the back half to win it in 44.60. Lewis wound up 2nd in 45.23, just holding off Columbia’s Albert Gwo (45.24) by a hundredth.

Gwo picked up a win of his own earlier in the session with a 20.27 in the 50 free. Liu added a 4th place finish in the 500 free (4:34.87), which was won by Princeton’s Levy Nathan in 4:33.28.


Saturday was Senior Day for the Princeton men’s swimming and diving team, and the Tigers made sure to honor the Class of 2018 during a hard-fought 172-128 victory over Columbia. However, the most senior member of the program, and one of the most senior members of the Princeton Department of Athletics, reached a major Division I coaching milestone with the win.

Rob Orr, the Princeton head coach since the 1979-80 season, moved into a tie for third place on the NCAA Division I wins list with his 321st victory; he shares that spot with Indiana’s Doc Counsilman, who coached from 1952-1991. Earlier this season, Orr passed USC legend Peter Daland to move into fourth position.

Undoubtedly, Orr would rather turn the attention to his squad, which picked up a fifth straight Ivy League win in exciting fashion over Columbia. Freshmen Arthur Markley (9:18.52) and Levy Nathan (9:22.60) went 1-2 in the 1000 to open the individual events, and freshman Joshua Brown followed with a runner-up finish in the 200 free (1:40.03). Senior Alex Lewis took advantage of his final regular-season meet in DeNunzio by winning the 100 back in 49.32, and freshman Corey Lau followed with a win in the 100 breast in 55.13.

Junior Cole Buese and senior Corey Okubo put on a good show in the 200 fly; Buese won in 1:46.81, while two-time NCAA qualifier Corey Okubo, who came back later to win the 200 IM, took second in 1:47.43.

Ben Schafer and Lewis both had runner-up finishes in the 50 and 100 free, but Buese got Princeton back in the win column by going 1:47.05 to win the 200 back; teammate Wade O’Brien was just off the pace and took second in 1:48.09.

Nathan followed his runner-up finish in the 1000 by taking the 500 in 4:33.28, and then the senior captain duo of Schafer and Zach Buerger thrilled the home fans with an exciting battle in the 100 fly. Schafer took the win in 48.34, while Buerger took second in 48.91.

Columbia freshman Jonathan Suckow followed his sweep of the boards at the Big Al Open last weekend by taking both the 1- and 3-meter competitions. Charlie Minns took third in the 3-meter event with 345.60 points, and he followed with a runner-up finish in the 1-meter event (334.65).

Princeton closed the meet in style, as the quartet of Brown, Murphy McQuet, Lewis and Schafer won the 400 free relay in 3:00.07.

This was the final meet for the full Class of 2018, though several members will compete one more weekend in DeNunzio Pool, as the Ivy League Championships return to Princeton in February.


Princeton, N.J. – For the second-consecutive weekend, the Columbia men’s swimming & diving team competed in DeNunzio Pool on Saturday, Dec. 9. The Lions returned to Ivy League dual-meet action taking on unbeaten Princeton on the road. The Tigers held off some strong Columbia showings for a 172-128 final edge.

Standout performances for the Lions were once again led by another diving sweep from first-year Jonathan Suckow. He remains unbeaten this season with 3M (398.45) and 1M (357.38) dive victories. Jayden Panteladded a runner-up finish in the 3M-dive score with a score 360.75.

Nian-Guo Liu had big day leading the Lions domination in the sprint freestyle events with victories in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle. Liu clocked in with a top-time of 1:38.13 in the 200 free, followed by a winning time of 44.60 in the 100 freestyle. An Albert Gwo victory in the 50 freestyle gave Columbia the sprint-free sweep by hitting the wall first with a time of 20.27.

Jae Park captured his third Ivy League win in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:02.17, finishing just ahead of teammate Jack Smith in 2:02.50. The 200 medley relay went to the squad of Cole StevensJace NgKevin Frifeldt, and Gwo with a combined time of 1:29.22.

Up next, the Lions (3-2, 2-2 Ivy) will return to Uris Pool on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. to host Cornell.

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23 Comments on "Orr Becomes #3 Winningest Coach as Princeton Men Beat Columbia"

newest oldest most voted
Siphiwe Baleka

Congratulations to Robert Orr! I swam aginst his team back in 1989-93 when Yale shared the Ivy-League title with Princeton in 1993. Interesting, no mention of the winningest coach in ALL of COLLEGE ATHLETICS ever, legendary Yale Swimming Coach Robert J. Kiphuth who amassed an unbelievable 528 victories and only 12 losses . . . . Peter Kennedy just published a biography of Dr. Kiphuth – https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692660976/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

Glad you mentioned Coach Kiphuth. Congratulations to Coach Orr. He is a gentleman, great coach and outstanding leader. Humility and Humor are two of his greatest assets. Who is number 2 behind Kiputh? Could it be Robert Wagner??

Shared ivy dual meet title

Pretty good; and, he should pass Counsilman for dual meet wins in short order. Getting 6 more national titles will be tougher.

Congratulations, Rob.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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