SwimSwam Pulse: 84% Predict More Success For Desorbo Than Busch

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to predict which new NCAA head coach would have the most successful season:


Question: Which new head coach will have a more successful first season?

An overwhelming majority of voters said that rookie head coach Todd Desorbo would have a more successful first season with the Virginia Cavaliers than Augie Busch would with the Arizona Wildcats.

The poll, of course, hinges very heavily on ones definition of “more successful,” and whether that predicts an exact NCAA finish, change from last year’s NCAA finish, conference finish or just time drops and recruiting victories for each coach.

The two new head coaches will be inexorably linked this season, as their new gigs are highly-connected. Busch left Virginia to take the Arizona job, returning to his alma mater after four successful seasons in Charlottesville. Desorbo jumped from an assistant position with ACC champs NC State to fill Busch’s job at ACC rival Virginia.

Desorbo’s team will have to deal most with graduations, at least on the women’s side. Superstar Leah Smith is gone, as is powerhouse breaststroker Laura Simon and do-everything talent Kaitlyn Jones. That will make a return trip to the top 12 a big ask in Desorbo’s inaugural year, but UVA does still bring back some big guns. The Cavalier men didn’t score any NCAA points, but return most of their impact swimmers.

Busch, meanwhile, will be struck hardest by outgoing transfers. It’s been a mass exodus from Tucson over the last year or so. All-American Annie Ochitwa is gone to Missouri, All-American Taylor Garcia to Michigan, the team’s top breaststroker Kennedy Lohman to Texas, IMer Grant Sanders to Florida, breaststroker Blair Bish to Missouri State and freestyler Nick Hogsed to Ohio State.

That leaves the cupboards awfully bare, and is probably the major reason why fans are more bullish on Desorbo’s program at present.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters to predict the most impactful transfer in NCAA women’s swimming this season:

Who will be the most impactful transfer this NCAA women's season?

View Results

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The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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Samantha Fazio transferred from Georgia to ASU not from Arizona


Are you sure you would call Busch’s tenure at UVA successful? Were the men successful in those years? Would the women have been successful without that class of graduated srs that he did not recruit? I am not saying he wasn’t successful there, I would say last year was for the men as they showed signs of improvement, but not the previous 2-3 years, and for the women, if you only look at swimmers he recruited… would they be considered successful? I think the fact that Leah Smith has decided to stay in Cville to train this year shows that she does not attribute her success directly to Busch… it may have been, but we will see if she continues… Read more »


I’m surprised the number isn’t higher but again comparatively Busch had a more talented team when he arrived

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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