Sea­hawks find new swim coach

La Plata na­tive Brandt now head­ing SMCM pro­grams

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TAMMY SHOWALTER tshowal­ter@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @tam­lyn­nusa

St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land has found a new head men’s and women’s swim­ming coach and aquatics cen­ter direc­tor and it was a natural pro­gres­sion in the ca­reer of Casey Brandt, a La Plata na­tive.

In a June 10 press re­lease, St. Mary’s Col­lege ath­letic direc­tor Scott Devine said, “It is my plea­sure to an­nounce Casey Brandt as our next head men’s and women’s swim­ming coach and aquatics cen­ter direc­tor. We spoke to some ex­cel­lent coaches through­out the search process, but Casey just brought the right com­bi­na­tion of things to the ta­ble. He has 18 years of suc­cess­ful coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with a proven abil­ity to in­struct and lead at the high­est lev­els.

“In ad­di­tion to de­vel­op­ing swim­mers at the ju­nior na­tional and Olympic lev­els, Casey holds an Amer­i­can Swim Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion level 4 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. He will bring a great deal of tech­ni­cal and de­vel­op­men­tal knowl­edge to our swim pro­grams. Casey’s club and USA Swim­ming con­nec­tions through­out the state and the re­gion will al­low him to at­tract strong swim­mers to St. Mary’s Col­lege, both in terms of qual­ity and quan­tity. This will help build upon an al­ready solid foun­da­tion.”

Brandt, who will of­fi­cially start his du­ties on June 27, takes over for for­mer head coach An­dre Barbins, who was ar­rested by the Mary­land State Po­lice on Feb. 12 on child pornog­ra­phy charges and was sub­se­quently let go by St. Mary’s.

Brandt said he’s look­ing for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue a suc­cess­ful pro­gram.

“The in­ter­view process went well,” Brandt said. “There are some great peo­ple at St. Mary’s in the ath­letic depart­ment, on staff and the ath­letes on the team. I thought I would be a great fit there and I’m glad they agreed.”

Brandt has coached many lo­cal ath­letes through­out his seven years as the head coach for the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Aquatic Club. He also owns the Seneca Swim School in Park Hall that as­sists in pro­mot­ing wa­ter safety and teaches the ap­pro­pri­ate tech­niques in swim­ming. He has also coached the Small­wood Vil­lage Swim Club in Wal­dorf. He at­tended and swam for Loy­ola Col­lege from 1991 to 1995.

Brandt has kept up with the Sea­hawks pro­grams.

“I have seen a num­ber of ath­letes there [at St. Mary’s] who are mo­ti­vated and want to per­form well,” Brandt said. “As a coach, I’m al­ways look­ing for ath­letes who are mo­ti­vated to work. We have that at St. Mary’s and that’s what got me ex­cited about the po­si­tion.”

He’s not 100 per­cent sure who his as­sis­tant coaches will be just yet but is con­fi­dent things will iron out.

“Hat­tie Schi­avone [the pro­gram’s in­terim head coach] and Jack­son Webb both did a re­ally fan­tas­tic job keep­ing the team to­gether at the end of last sea­son,” he said. “I’m not sure what the coach­ing staff will look like yet, but they are both very swim smart and hard work­ing.”

The men’s swim team fin­ished 7-4 over­all, a sec­ond-place 4-1 in the Cap­i­tal Ath­letic Con­fer­ence dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son and placed third in the CAC cham­pi­onships. The women fin­ished 6-5 over­all, tied for sec­ond with Mary­mount (Va.) and Sal­is­bury for sec­ond in the CAC reg­u­lar sea­son at 3-2 and fourth in the CAC cham­pi­onships.

“The ex­ist­ing cul­ture on the team is al­ready ded­i­cated and sup­port­ive,” Brandt said. “I plan to build on that and di­rect it to­ward work that will help us im­prove.”

PHOTO BY BILL WOOD

Casey Brandt, a La Plata na­tive, joins the Sea­hawks fam­ily as he takes over as head men’s and women’s swim­ming coach.

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