Springfield College Coach John Taffe Announces Retirement

Photo Courtesy: Chandler Brandes

Springfield College Coach John Taffe Announces Retirement

Springfield College men’s and women’s head coach John Taffe announced his retirement on a 35-year career on Monday.

Taffee led Springfield to become a Division III powerhouse. He led Springfield swimmers to 176 NCAA All-America honors (123 for the women, 53 for the men). He led Springfield to 11 NEWMAC Championships and was 10 times named the NEWMAC Coach of the Year.

“When I learned 35 years ago that I would be the next head swimming coach at Springfield College, I knew I was taking a position of great prestige and following legends who had laid the foundation before me,” Taffe said in a university statement. ”How thankful I am to then-Director of Athletics, Dr. Edward Bilik, for taking a chance on me for what has turned into a career filled with so many memories created and relationships forged. To have spent the last 35 years alongside Pete Avdoulos, the most loyal, humble, accomplished professional that I know has been so special; our time together has created one of the most meaningful relationships in my life and I am so lucky to call him a friend.

“I’ve been blessed with great assistant coaches along the way, many of whom are continuing to make a profound impact on the swimming world across a variety of levels. I’ve loved working with our students for all these years to help them grow and develop as athletes and individuals; I’m immensely grateful for the privilege to have guided them through their journeys, both in and out of the pool. My time at Springfield College is one that I will always cherish, but now it’s time for a life where time at the beach, on the golf course, and with my wife Ann is my focus.”

Taffe’s international coaching included as the head coach of Netherlands-Antilles for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Taffe joined Springfield in 1989. The native of Haverhill, Mass., had been the men’s and women’s coach at Mount Union College for one season and the head women’s coach at East Carolina for two seasons. He attended the University of Rhode Island, a five-time New England swimming champion and two-time All-New England water polo pick.

“Coach Taffe’s dedication and commitment to our swimmers over the past 35 years is hard to capture. Under his leadership, an extraordinary number of our student-athletes garnered All-America status, team championships were won, national champions were crowned and our swimmers thrived, including a handful of Olympians,” said Springfield College Director of Athletics, Craig Poisson. “Beyond John’s proven coaching acumen, our men’s and women’s swimming programs were consistently recognized on the national level for their outstanding success in the classroom. Coach Taffe embodied the teacher-coach model at Springfield College. I trust John will be replacing the many long days on the pool deck with time on the golf course and I am grateful his efforts during a remarkable tenure and I wish him the best in retirement.”

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