Eric Bugby Joins Lehigh Coaching Staff

Photo Courtesy: Lehigh Athletics

Lehigh men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach Rob Herb has officially announced the hiring of Eric Bugby as the new assistant swimming coach of the Mountain Hawks. The Notre Dame High School graduate returns home to the Lehigh Valley where he spent time and as head coach at Freedom High School and Lehigh Valley Aquatics. Bugby brings a diverse coaching background to Herb’s staff which includes two different stints at Army West Point and most recently a stop at the University of Denver.

“I am very excited to have such a talented and experienced coach working with our program,” said Herb. “I have been a part of Eric’s life for a long time, beginning as his age group coach, and now to be working and planning with him feels right. I know we can expect more great results together.”

“I am beyond excited to join the Lehigh Swimming and Diving family and work with Coach Herb, Dr. Sterrett and the entire LU athletic department,” said Bugby. “I have followed the success and accomplishments of these teams over the past few years while coaching in the Patriot League and it is clear Lehigh attracts a special type of athlete and person. There is no limit to what these teams can do.  Our goal is a Patriot League title and representation at the NCAA Championships.”

Prior to coming to Lehigh, Bugby served as an assistant coach for the University of Denver men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs for the 2016-17 season. At the 2017 Summit League Championship meet, Denver won all 34 conference swimming titles, established 36 individual and relay NCAA B-cuts, and earned 2 NCAA A-cuts. Denver qualified seven individuals and three relays for the 2017 NCAA Championships.

Prior to coming to Denver, Bugby coached the Rota Swim Club 2016 Summer Pro Clinic in Rota, Spain.

From 2014 to 2016, Bugby served as the associate head coach for the Army West Point men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs. In 2016, he brought in two top-100 male recruits according to collegeswimming.com. The Black Knights broke 28 team records, achieved 15 NCAA B-cuts and helped the women’s program achieve their first winning season since 2002.

Prior to rejoining Army West Point, Eric served as the head swimming coach and aquatics director at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago for the 2013-2014 season. During his one season guiding Illinois Tech, the women’s team doubled in size, both teams placed four student-athletes on the Liberal Arts Championship All-Conference Team, earned five LAC Swimmer of the Week awards and the women’s team earned its first dual meet victory in two years. Bugby also coordinated all the program’s social media, alumni outreach and fund raising efforts.

During Eric Bugby‘s first stint at Army West Point from 2010 to 2013, he served as the program’s assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He also assisted in training Ayman Andrews, who placed 20th in the 100 LCM butterfly at the 2012 Olympic Trials. In addition, he coached Molly Mucciarone to a program record and first place finish in the 50-yard freestyle at the Patriot League Championships. Bugby also coached the women’s 200 freestyle relay to the program’s first women’s Patriot League relay victory since 2001 and did so in a program record time.

Bugby arrived at West Point in 2010 after serving a one-year stint as the head coach of Freedom High School and Lehigh Valley Aquatics where he developed several high school and USA Swimming All-Americans, saw three school records fall and guided the team to its first points at the PIAA state championship meet in 15 years.
Bugby served as a graduate assistant coach at Arizona State University from 2007 to 2009 while earning his master’s degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education. While at ASU, Bugby assisted in practice planning and the sprint and stroke power circuits. The ASU teams combined for seven NCAA All-America honors, 10 team records, eight Olympic Trials qualifiers and an American record by Nick Brunelli in the 50 SCM freestyle during his two years in Tempe, Arizona.

Bugby swam collegiately at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh from 2002 to 2007 while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities. In the pool, Bugby held a world ranking in the 100 LCM backstroke (2003), while also qualifying for the 2004 Olympic Trials in that event.  In 2007, Bugby was the Atlantic 10 champion in the 100 SCY butterfly. Later that year, he was ranked first in the 100 SCM freestyle by the United States Masters Swimming organization.

Bugby’s roots trace back to the Lehigh Valley as he is a 2002 graduate of Notre Dame High School in Easton. He set District 11 and PIAA records on his way to gold medals in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke during his senior year. Bugby was named the 2002 PIAA Swimmer of the Meet in and garnered also garnered Express-Times Boys Swimmer of the Year accolades in 2002.

Most recently, Bugby was the 2015 United States Masters open water national champion in the 2.5k and a 2016 United States Masters All-American in 50 SCY freestyle and 100 SCY butterfly.

Press release courtesy of Lehigh Athletics. 

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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