GRAND FORKS, North Dakota, May 6. UNIVERSITY of North Dakota Director of Athletics Brian Faison announced today that Steven Parsons has been named head men's and women's swimming coach.
A former assistant at UND, Parsons spent the past four years as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at East Carolina University, a Division I program that competes in Conference USA. While at East Carolina, Parsons coached 58 all-conference performers and had 40 school records broken during his tenure. He mentored one NCAA Division I national qualifier and two DI ‘B' cut performers.
During the 2005-06 season, Parsons helped lead East Carolina to Conference USA runner-up finishes on both the men's and women's side. In his four years at ECU, the Pirates amassed a 36-7 women's dual meet record and a 26-12-1 men's dual meet record.
"Coach Parsons brings a unique combination of Division I experience and a personal familiarity with the UND swimming and diving program that will serve us well as we continue the Division I transition," said Faison.
Before joining the ECU staff, Parsons spent the 2004-05 season as an assistant coach at UND and helped the lead the men's team to a third-place finish and the women's team to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championship. In his lone season with the Fighting Sioux, Parsons mentored four national champions, 18 All-Americans, 21 national qualifiers and 26 North Central Conference champions. UND's men's program won the 2005 NCC championship and the women's program took runner-up honors, while five conference records were broken by Sioux swimmers.
"I am very excited to be coming back to the University of North Dakota and the swimming and diving program," said Parsons. "This is a great time to be part of the UND athletics family and I am looking forward to the challenge of moving the swimming and diving program forward.
"I am extremely impressed with the amount of pride everyone has in the UND athletics programs, from the administration to the coaches to the athletes to the fans. It is great knowing that I am coming into a program and athletic department with such a strong level of support and spirit."
Parsons' other NCAA coaching experience includes stints as an assistant coach at Ashland University (2003-04) and Wheeling Jesuit University (2000-02). He helped lead WJU to two consecutive combined conference team titles and two straight men's conference championships. Parsons also served as interim head coach and aquatics director at WJU during the spring of 2001 and guided four NCAA Division II qualifiers to seven All-America awards.
A 1997 graduate of Ashland University with a bachelor's degree in biology, Parsons was a three-time All-American and served as a team captain as a junior and senior. He received a master's degree in business administration from Wheeling Jesuit in 2002.
Parsons is certified by the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) and is a member of both the ASCA and the College Swim Coaches Association of America.
The Fighting Sioux swimming and diving program recently completed its first season as a Division I program. UND competed in the Conference USA Championship and Invitational in February, where the Sioux men and women broke 19 school records and recorded four NCAA Division I ‘B' cut times. The Sioux placed fourth in the men's standings and fifth in the women's standings.
Prior to the Division I transition, UND won 25 NCC women's team championships and 21 men's team championships. The Sioux men placed in the top five in each of their last eight appearances at the NCAA Division II Championship, while the women earned top-five showings in six of their last eight years.
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