RIVER FALLS, Wisconsin, September 25. THANKS to the overwhelming response of the swimming community to save the University of Wisconsin-River Falls swimming and diving team before an impending cut, the UWRF Falcons now have a new head coach.
Simley High School assistant coach Mike Bollinger has accepted the head coaching position at UWRF, and will be relocating from Grove Heights, Minn., shortly. Bollinger served in various capacities for Simley throughout the past 11 years after completing a strong competitive swimming career for his alma mater that included five sectional and three state championship participation certifications. He went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota in 2002, and also with the Thunderbolts at the club level.
This is a happy ending to what could have been another sad swimming and diving program cut. Less than a month ago, the UWRF Athletics Director Roger Ternes met with the team to let it know that a program suspension was likely when two finalists turned down the head coaching job just days before its first scheduled dual meet.
UWRF alums immediately contacted Swimming World to help get the word out that UWRF needed new applicants immediately, and the quick bit of public relations worked. That means the team will begin its 2013-14 season on Oct. 19 against UW-Oshkosh.
The UWRF Falcons are an NCAA Division III program that competes as part of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference.