St. Bonaventure University Director of Athletics Joe Manhertz has announced the hiring of Mike Smiechowski as men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach. He replaces Skip Nitardy, who was fired by the program two weeks ago.
“We are excited to bring on Mike as the new head coach,” Manhertz said. “His experience, enthusiasm and pedigree are welcoming. He boasts a track record of leading championship teams and brings a winning pedigree to SBU. We look forward to him elevating the program and the student-athlete experience.”
Smiechowski joins the Bonnies after three seasons at the helm of the Alfred State men’s and women’s swimming programs. During his time at Alfred State, Smiechowski guided the Pioneers to their first three Alleghany Mountain Collegiate Conference Championships in program history. Alfred State captured the 2022 AMCC/Empire 8 Men’s Championship, 2022 AMCC Men’s Championship and 2020 AMCC Women’s Champions. Smiechowski has earned multiple Coach of the Year honors, including 2022 Men’s AMCC Coach of the Year, 2022 AMCC/E8 Combined Coach of the Year and the 2020 Men’s and Women’s AMCC Coach of the Year.
He has helped his student-athletes to 32 individual AMCC Championships and 10 AMCC/E8 Championships.
“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to take over a program with such a rich history and pedigree,” Smiechowski said. “I want to thank Joe Manhertz, Barb Questa and the entire search committee for entrusting me to lead the swimming and diving program. I am excited to get on campus and get to work. Go Bonnies!”
In 2021-22, he led the Alfred Sate to the school’s first-ever undefeated regular season with a record of 7-0. He touted a combined 26-11 dual meet record during his tenure.
Prior to his time at Alfred State, Smiechowski served as head coach of the Saint Martin National Swim Team and was the Director of Operations at the Carib Swim Club in 2018-19. He trained the first ever Saint Martin athlete to participate in the 2018 World Championships in Hangzhou, China. Smiechowski also spent time as the head coach at the Coral Springs Swim Club in 2016-17.
He also has previous Division I coaching experience including stints as assistant coach and men’s recruiting coordinator at Towson (2014-15) and Villanova (2013-14).
Smiechowski earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from UNC Wilmington in 2012, helping the Seahawks to four consecutive Colonial Athletic Association championships as a student-athlete and served as the team captain. He went on to earn a master’s degree in higher education from Iowa State in 2013.
He is the second head coach hired to lead the Bonnies since the men’s and women’s programs were unified prior to the 2018-19 season.
In the most recent season of college swimming, which was Nitardy’s fourth, the women’s team finished 8th out of 11 at the Atlantic 10 Championships. They were 8th out of 10 in 2021, 6th out of 11 in 2020, and 9th out of 11 in 2019. All of those finishes are lower than the 5th place the team earned at the 2018 championships, the last under former head coach Brian Thomas.
The men’s team has generally had more success in Nitardy’s tenure. They finished 3rd out of 8 teams at the 2022 championships. 5th out of 7 in 2021, 3rd out of 8 in 2020, and 3rd out of 8 in 2019.
Portions of this article were taken from a press release by St. Bonaventure Athletics
Great hire. Another UNCW Alum making waves in college swimming. Dave Allen’s swimmers working hard to promote the sport in a positive manner. Good luck !
Good luck going D1 coach Mike. Your impact is bigger than you know
Good luck overlord shmike
Throughout my athletic career, Mike Smiechowski stands far and above as the greatest coach I have had. I am so grateful for the two years I had with him as a coach. He helped me grow immensely as a person by always believing in me, forcing me to believe in myself. It takes a high level of coaching to be able to significantly effect the life of each athlete, and I will always be grateful for his effect on me. “Trust the process” is what Coach Mike would always say, which quite frankly I did not buy into until it began to prove it self.
Even upon graduating he is still making an impact on my life by always… Read more »
The Bonnies are the luckiest d1 school in the country to have gained such an asset like Coach Mike. His knowledge, personality and passion for not only swimming itself, but every single member of his team goes unmatched to any other coach I’ve worked with. Get ready A10, the Bonnie’s and coach Mike are coming for ya.
St. Bonaventure is very lucky to get Mike. He is an honest and passionate leader who places his athletes’ needs first. A depth of knowledge and a dedicated worker, Mike will surely bring Bonnie swimming to the top of the A10
Saint Bonaventure is extremely lucky to get someone who is as passionate and competitive as Coach Mike. From swimming for him to coaching with him and now being a close friend, he is going to do incredible things. Best of luck!
Mike Smiechowski is a incredible coach and mentor. I had the privilege of both swimming under and coaching with Mike and he is going to do wonders for the Saint Bonaventure program I just know it. I wish him the best of luck as he continues on his amazing swim coaching career!!