Interim Husson University head swim coach Bruce Babin confirmed Wednesday night that he has been appointed as director of aquatics and head women’s swim coach for the Eagles. During the 2010-11 season, Babin was named interim coach following the retirement of one of New England’s most respected college coaches, Jeff Wren.
Babin had served as an assistant coach at Husson for two years under Wren and also had served as an interim coach at Husson during the 2007-08 season. Babin has extensive coaching experience with United States Swimming. Since 2005 he has been head coach of the Hurricane Swim Club, a registered USS club.
In his responsibilities as head coach for the Hurricanes, Babin directs the training of swimmers ages 8 and under through seniors, including adults. In addition to his responsibilities for coordinating and planning the training of nearly 80 swimmers, Babin serves on the board of directors for Maine Swimming. In 2010, he was voted Coach of the Year for Maine Swimming. He will continue to direct the Hurricane Club and will continue to serve as national time chair for Maine swimming.
Babin began his coaching at the Bangor YMCA where he served as coach from 1994-98.
“I am very excited to be named the coach of Husson swimming. I am looking forward to building Husson into one of the most competitive programs in the GNAC (Great Northeast Atlantic Conference),” he said. “Ultimately, I am looking to build a team with a yearly nucleus of 17-20 swimmers that will be competitive every year in the GNAC.”
Babin’s immediate priority is recruiting. While he expects to target primarily in-state swimmers, the quality and the diversity of Husson’s academic program has drawn interest from out-of-state swimmers as well.
Husson’ s swimmers who competed in the recent New England Championships held at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction, Vt., scored 48 points. Babin pointed to the 200 medley relay and the 400 medley relay where the Eagles recorded season-best performances as indicators of the promising future for the young Eagles. Additionally, Megan Call and Olivia Graznik recorded personal records in two individual events. Call’s records came in the 50 and 100 breaststroke while Graznik’s came in the 50 fly and 100 breaststroke.
Local swimmers strong in college
— Erin Thomas of Bangor recently contributed to Penn State’s fourth-place finish in the highly competitive Big Ten Championships. The junior swimmer for the Nittany Lions split 49.4 on the 400 free relay, which scored fourth at the championship. She also was a member of the sixth-place 800 free relay where she swam a 1:48.1 leg. In individual events, Thomas finished 15th in the 100 free at 50.4 and 19th in the 200 free at 1:48.5. Her 200 free time achieved the B time standard for the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships scheduled for March.
— Brewer’s Jessica Hodsdon is continuing her outstanding swimming for Bentley University. Competing at the New England Championships, Hodsdon won the gold medal in the 50-breaststroke (30.0) and in the 100 breaststroke at 1:04.7. In the 200 breaststroke, the sophomore scored third at 2:27. She also raced for Bentley in the 200 medley relay where she swam a 29-second breaststroke leg on the second-place relay which finished in 1:48.1. And in the 400 medley relay, the former Brewer standout swam a 1:04.4 breaststroke to help Bentley finish second.
— In the highly competitive New England diving championship events, Bangor’s Emma Chaiken of Wheaton College finished 11th in the 11-dive, 3-meter competition with 334 points.
Kudos for Class B officials
Kudos to Maine Principals’ Association swim committee members; to the University of Maine’s Renee Dow, site supervisor at the Class B state meets held at the Wallace pool; and to Brad Burnham’s Bowdoin College staff for responding to the facility seating capacity standards by offering live coverage of the racing and diving on large screen televisions for those unable to be seated inside the natatoriums.