WEST POINT, New York, July 2. ARMY head swimming and diving coach Mickey Wender announced that Tony Lisa has been named an assistant coach with the Black Knights. Lisa comes to the Academy after spending over 30 years at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.
"We are honored and privileged to announce that Tony will be joining the coaching staff here at West Point," said Wender. "He brings a wealth of experience and is a great fit for the Army Swimming program. Words cannot express how excited I am to have the opportunity to work with a loyal friend who is one of the best in the business. I have known Tony for the past 15 years and I have no doubt that he is the right coach for the job."
Lisa registered a 397-129-1 (.754) overall record at Rowan, including a 228-78-1 mark in 30 seasons with the men, and a 169-50 record after taking over the women's program in 1986 for 21 seasons. He guided over 100 national qualifiers, including three NCAA Division III National Champions, along with countless conference champions. His women recorded seventh place finishes at the NCAA Championships in both 1995 and 1996, while the men were ninth in 1992 and 1996.
Lisa led the women to nine-consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference team championships from 1991-1999, garnering conference Coach of the Year honors for four-straight seasons from 1994-1997. He was also selected Women's Coach of the Year at the 1998 Metropolitan Championships.
"I am very excited about the opportunity I've been given to join the staff at Army," said Lisa. "I am looking forward to working with such an exceptional coach like Mickey, as well as the high-caliber kids that make West Point so special."
In 2003, Lisa was named the 12th recipient of the prestigious Richard E. Steadman Award from the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA), conferred annually to a swimming or diving coach in high school, club or university ranks who, in the opinion of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the CSCAA Forum, has done the most to spread joy and happiness in swimming and diving. He also served on the CSCAA board of directors for several years and was the president from 1998-2001.
In 2001, Lisa was an assistant coach for the silver-medal winning World All-Star squad at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia where he coached several world-class swimmers including three-time Olympic Champion and world record holder Pieter van den Hoogenband from the Netherlands, as well as two-time Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima from Japan. He was also the assistant coach for the World All-Stars at the 2001 World Sprint Cup.
Lisa served four years in the Air Force from 1966-1969 and was stationed at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was the base athletics director and supervised over 17,000 men and all of the base athletic teams while coaching softball and volleyball. He also coached boys soccer at nearby Jesuit High School for four seasons.
After graduating from Glassboro State (later renamed Rowan) in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education, Lisa was hired as a graduate assistant in the athletics department for one year, before spending the following year at A.P. Schalick High School in Pittsgrove, N.J. teaching physical education and working in the athletics department. He returned to his alma mater in 1977 to teach physical education and coach swimming while also completing a master's degree in 1978. During his undergraduate days, he was the goalkeeper on the Prof soccer team for three years.
Lisa and his wife, Connie, have two children, Bryan and Suzanne, and one grandson, Charlie. He will be the men's recruiting coordinator and while assuming a variety of other responsibilities with the team.
Special thanks to Army for contributing this report.