University of Bridgeport in Connecticut Will Re-Add Swimming Programs After 6 Year Hiatus

A week after Western Connecticut State announced that the school was dropping its swimming programs, the state got some positive news in the opposite direction: NCAA D2 program University of Bridgeport has announced that it plans to add men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs for the fall 2025 semester.

The program’s reinstatement comes a few years after announcing that they would drop both teams following the 2018-2019 seasons.

Bridgeport competes in the NCAA’s Division II and the Metro Conference. Both men’s and women’s teams finished 4th in that conference this past season among 17 women’s programs and 14 men’s.

In their last iteration, Both men’s and women’s teams finished 4th in the Metro Conference among 17 women’s programs and 14 men’s. Most of the school’s athletics teams compete in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, which doesn’t sponsor swimming & diving, so the school will seek affiliate status with another conference.

The Bridgeport men have won 12 NCAA D2 event titles in program history, which ranks them among the top 20 all-time in that category. The men’s team scored at the NCAA Championships every season from 2010 through 2019 when they were cut, with a peak finish of 5th place in 2014 under then-head coach Brad Flood.

The Bridgeport women have scored at the NCAA Championships on 12 occasions, with a best finish of 8th place, also in 2014.

At the time of the cut, athletics director Anthony Viti cited low participation numbers in the women’s program and no diving program as contributing factors in the decision. Since then, the university, a nonprofit, non-sectarian private school, was purchased by Goodwin University in 2021. Goodwin University is much younger (it was founded in 1962 and renamed in 1999, obtaining non-profit status in 2004). The move operates Bridgeport as a subsidiary, with the school maintaining its own brand and name.

Bridgeport is located on a 56-acre campus on the Long Island Sound in Southwestern Connecticut and has a current undergraduate enrollment of 1,479. The school has seen a steady increase in enrollment since Godwin University took over, with overall student enrollment increasing almost 34% over the last two years. The majority of the school’s students are graduate students.

Fall 2023 saw 99 new student-athletes enroll in the school. Government data reports that the school currently has 299 student-athletes competing across 8 sports (all of track combined as one), indicating that athletics is a key part of the university’s overall growth plan.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to be able to bring back men’s and women’s swimming to our slate of athletic offerings,” said Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jay Moran. “This announcement shows the commitment of our current administration under the direction of President Danielle Wilken to strengthening our athletic program and the University as a whole.”

UB’s Dean of Admissions, Allison Garris, Ed.D., shared her enthusiasm for the new swimming and diving teams. “This program aligns perfectly with our vision of offering a well-rounded student experience that fosters athletic and academic achievement. We are confident that this team and the diverse group of student-athletes it brings to UB will become a source of tremendous pride for the entire UB community,” said Garris.

The school says that “recent renovations to UB’s pool facilities, as well as a brand new, state-of-the-art fitness center located in the same building, have made the introduction of swimming and diving a reality.”

The school is home to a 6-lane pool that it lists as being 25-meters in length rather than the standard collegiate distance of 25 yards.

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1 month ago

Does another college team in the area uses their pool for practices and meets? It is going to be interesting to see how this unfolds since I would think they will be recruiting and going after the same local swimmers, sharing a pool wouldn’t make much sense from a recruiting stand point.

50M Pools Rule
Reply to  GoBulldogs
1 month ago

UB’s pool is used by Sacred Heart University, a local High School and a club team. Sacred Heart uses a pool in nearby Milford, as well. As to recruiting from the same pool, they are two VERY different universities with different student cohorts – neither of which is recruiting “local” swimmers. Regardless, it will get interesting to see how everyone gets the pool time they need.

Hook ‘em
Reply to  50M Pools Rule
1 month ago

Sounds like they need to build one of the schools a 50 M Pool (50 M Pools Rule)

1 month ago

Another piece of news from a few days ago, D1 HBCU Tennessee State is planning on adding women’s swimming (along with baseball and women’s soccer) between 2025-2028. The announcement was buried in their announcement of their head coach for their new hockey program.

Coach John Smith
1 month ago

Doc Ludderman (RIP) was the best coach that program ever had. The prior head coaches were both let go for “undisclosed reasons” Hopefully they can get another coach like Doc.

50M Pools Rule
Reply to  Coach John Smith
1 month ago

There was nothing “undisclosed” about the coach prior to Doc – just use the search bar here on SwimSwam! As to the coach before – Brad Flood – he put the UB program on the map and was the reason for their D2 prominence for so long. Brad left UB at his contract end – if I remember correctly, he and the AD were butting heads over the direction of the team. Nothing shady about his departure.

pete kennedy
1 month ago

Bridgeport Harbor swim was (is?) a 2 mile race across the Harbor.

I remember racing across that Harbor.

Do they still have the 2 mile race?

Once a PKP
1 month ago

12 titles? Given Oscar Pereiro might have won 4 individual, at least 4 relay and Piotr Sanfroncyk and Ruben Gimenez at least other 4 titles if not more. Antonio in 200 fly etc

Not to mention women which I don’t remember but I remember two french women top in 2013-2014

Hook ‘em
1 month ago

Is UConn next?!

1 month ago

Doc Luddeman, the coach of the program when it was discontinued, is smiling in heaven right now. Great news!

1 month ago

It is very rare for a school to reinstate a swim program. More power to Bridgeport!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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