WINGATE, North Carolina, July 27. WINGATE University head men's and women's swimming coach Kirk Sanocki has been elected the president of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. Sanocki will serve a six-year term in three two-year segments. The first two-year term is president-elect.
Sanocki will be learning from the current president (Mark Bernardino from the University of Virginia) and the out-going president (George Kennedy from Johns Hopkins University). Sanocki was elected at the 2010 CSCAA convention in Baltimore.
Wingate assistant coach Dan Kesler attended the 2010 CSCAA convention. "The swimming community is extremely excited to see where Kirk will lead our sport," Kesler says. "Personally, I am excited…for on a large-scale level, people will be hearing from one of the best advocates for our sport."
George Kennedy believes Sanocki brings several perspectives to the table. "Kirk's selection impacts the college swimming world, as he is a dynamic coach from Division II who swam at the Division I level and respects those in Division III," Kennedy says. "He respects coaches from all divisions and thus can make a huge impact."
In 2009, the major task for the president concerned the banning of "tech suits." The president will have an opportunity to make an impact on the sport of swimming. "Kirk has huge plans that he wants to implement," Kesler says. "Several coaches from each division approached Kirk…and asked him to serve as president."
Mark Bernardino has had the opportunity to observe Sanocki as a student-athlete and a coach. "I have known Kirk Sanocki since his days as an All-American swimmer and ACC champion at the University of Maryland," Bernardino relates. "He was a fearless competitor and intense athlete who pushed himself to his physical limits."
"Kirk had an incredible drive to excel…it was clear he was internally driven and self-motivated as only the best athletes are," Bernardino says. "His many successes as a coach reflect this same drive and determination."
Sanocki was the 2010 Blue Grass Mountain Conference Bob Busby Award winner for men's Coach of the Year, earning the award for the second consecutive year and third year overall. He has spent nine years with the Bulldog women and five years with the Wingate men.
The Bulldog men won their third consecutive BGMC championship meet in February 2010. The Wingate women have placed no lower than fourth in the BGMC championships during Sanocki's tenure, winning back-to-back league titles in 2004 and 2005.
In March, the Wingate men finished sixth at the NCAA Division II national championship meet in Canton, Ohio. The Bulldogs notched their second consecutive sixth-place showing. The Wingate women also competed in the 2010 national meet, placing 23rd. An astounding 17 Bulldogs (12 men, five women) earned All-American honors.
Wingate senior Gus Chagas was a part of two national championship swims at the 2010 national championship meet. He won the 200 Freestyle for the second time in his career. In the meet's final event, Chagas teamed with Daniel De Francisco, Rory Julyan and Mason Norman to touch first in the 400 Freestyle Relay. On the women's side, Maria Vlashchenko won a national championship in the 100 Breaststroke during the 2008 national championship meet.
The Wingate men have earned a national top 15 finish four years in a row. The Bulldog women charted in the top 15 at the 2007 and the 2008 NCAA championship events. In the last four years, Wingate has produced 41 All-American swimmers encompassing 94 different swims.
Over the past nine seasons, the Bulldog swimming program has continued to rewrite the record book as all 38 team records (19 men, 19 women) are less than three years old. During this time, the Bulldogs have had 178 swimmers named to the All-Bluegrass Mountain Conference team, amassing over 315 All-BGMC swims.
In the ultra-competitive ESPN Academic All-America® at-large program, Wingate has received numerous honors. This year, junior Nicole Moody and senior Lara Golesorkhi were named to the first and third teams, respectively. Rebekah Moody Ralph ('08) and Jessica Herman ('06) are both two-time recipients. In 2005, Wingate standout Christy Cousins Bostic ('05) earned second team Academic All-America® laurels with teammate Herman.
"Kirk is a high-energy coach with a clear vision of what he wants and expects from his student-athletes," Bernardino says. "I expect this vision will manifest itself in his work with the CSCAA. I am very excited to be working with Kirk and I am confident he will make great contributions to our professional organization for years to come."
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