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Coach Frank Comfort Notches His 500th Victory -- January 22, 2003 Frank Comfort - Head Shot

CHAPEL HILL, NC., January 21. IT "only" took him 34 years, but North Carolina women's and men's swim coach Frank Comfort has now reached the Big 500.

The veteran UNC head man, who began his coaching career in 1968 at Johns Hopkins, reached the 500-victory milestone last weekend as his 'Heels -- his outstanding men's team and his triple-defending Atlantic Coast Conference women's champs -- defeated Clemson at Clemson to push him over the 500 plateau in career victories.

Comfort, now in his 26th season as both the women's and men's coach at UNC, saw his career-record improve to 501-146-1. (No word yet as to whether he's aiming for 1000 wins before retiring.)

"Getting the 500th is a great tribue to a lot of great swimmers and divers who've competed for me at Johns Hopkins and Carolina over the past 35 years," said Coach Comfort.

The Tar Heel women defeated the Tigers 214.5-85.5 to improve to 9-1 overall on the season and 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The UNC men whipped Clemson 193-108 to improve to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in the ACC.

The 'Heels will be trying for a four-peat when the ACC women's meet begins at UNC's Koury Natatorium, one of the fastest pools in the conference, the third weekend of next month.

The men's meet will also be at UNC the weekend after that where Coach Mark Bernardino's Virginia Cavaliers are the defending ACC champs.