The University of the Cumberlands (UC) swim team has had a long standing history as one of the most respected and competitive swim teams in the NAIA. With a great coaching staff and being able to bring in top quality athletes to help make the Patriots one of the best in the country, this honor has been defended once again.
Head Swim Coach Eric Skelly has received the highest yearly honor a coach in his profession can receive. This past weekend at the NAIA National Swimming and Diving Championships, Coach Skelly was voted, by his peers, as the Women's NAIA National Coach of the Year. The honor was the first for Coach Skelly and is a testament to how far he has taken this program since his arrival in the summer of 2011.
When Skelly arrived in 2011, he had one overall goal which was to take Cumberlands to heights it has never been before. He is most certainly on the right track as he just wrapped up his second full season as Patriots head coach and the results show he is well deserving of this honor.
Coach Skelly took the women's swim team to a 3rd place finish at the NAIA National Championships which ties the highest ranking any Patriot swim team has received at the Championships. He had 12 members of his women's team receive All-American or Honorable Mention All-American honors. Skelly has also had the privilege to coach a two-time NAIA National Champion at UC in Charlotte Parent (Braine-l'allaud, Belgium). Coach Skelly has been able to coach swimmers that have been able to rewrite the history books as his women's team has been able to break several school records in the last two seasons.
Athletic Director Randy Vernon is very proud of the job Coach Skelly has done stating, "I congratulate Eric Skelly on leading our men and women's swim teams to a 6th and 3rd place finish, respectively, in the NAIA National Swimming Championships this past weekend. I also want to congratulate Coach Skelly on being named Women's Swimming National Coach of the Year. He has done a remarkable job with both our teams since becoming our coach and I look forward to continued success with Eric in charge."
As with all great coaches, Coach Skelly is never satisfied as he continues to pursue his dream of being the best in the nation. He and his staff are already working hard recruiting and prepping their team for another milestone to notch, the quest to win a National Championship for the University of the Cumberlands.
For more information on swimming, Patriot Athletics, or complete results from the NAIA National Championships, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by Jordan Gossett, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant