Seahawks find new swim coach
La Plata native Brandt now heading SMCM programs
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.”
Casey Brandt, a La Plata native, joins the Seahawks family as he takes over as head men’s and women’s swimming coach.