Hoboken, NJ , May 9th, 2012
Less than a week after Trevor Miele left the Stevens Institute of Technology to become head coach at New York University, the Ducks have elevated Brad Thornton to Interim Head Coach. Thornton, a finalist for CollegeSwimming.com's 2011 Assistant Coach-of-the-Year, came to Stevens for the 2008-09 season and has been a key part in turning the both teams into national powers.
“I am incredibly excited and honored to be named Interim Head Coach at Stevens,” said Thornton. “I’m looking forward to continuing the strong tradition of developing student-athletes both in and outside the pool. I would also like to thank Russell Rogers for the opportunity and for having the confidence in me to keep Stevens swimming moving in the right direction.”
During his time in Hoboken, Thornton has helped bring in countless impact student-athletes as the Ducks have combined for 125 All-America and honorable mention All-America finishes over the last four seasons with each team becoming top-15 programs in the nation. Stevens has achieved numerous academic honors as well, with over 20 swimmers earning Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) honors and the team placing amongst the country’s elite. Since become a member of the coaching staff, Thornton has helped Duck swimmers break every single school-record, truly taking the program to new heights.
“Brad has played an integral role in the success of our men’s and women’s swimming programs,” Director of Athletics Russell Rogers (Branchburg, N.J.) said. “He has extensive knowledge in every important aspect of coaching and always has the best interest of our student-athletes in mind. The swim teams are in great hands and I look forward to working closely with Brad in this new role.”
In his first year on Miele’s staff (2008-09), Thornton helped the Stevens squads to strong seasons as both programs re-wrote the record books, had best-ever finishes at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) and Empire 8 Championships, and made their mark on the national level. He helped guide the women to an 11th-place finish at the NCAA’s, with the men taking 40th overall.
His second season, 2009-10, saw the Ducks continue to raise the bar and set new standards. Thornton helped the women place second in the conference and 12th in the nation, while the men won the Empire 8 and took 17th at the NCAA’s. Both teams continued to demolish school records, and in just two seasons Stevens swimmers had been named All-American or honorable mention All-American a remarkable 32 times.
In 2010-11, the program continued its steady rise to national prominence as the women were sixth in NCAA Division III and the men were 14th – both program bests at the time. In total, the two teams combined for 48 All-America or honorable mention All-America finishes and both groups had the Empire 8 Swimmer of the Year. The men won the ECAC title, each team was second at the E8 Championship meet, and both squads earned Scholar All-America team honors with cumulative GPA’s eclipsing 3.25.
Thornton helped push 2011 grad Laura Barito (Arkadelphia, Ark.) to a national title in the 50-yard freestyle and his work with the Stevens sprint teams has elevated those student-athletes to new levels. He is a tireless worker, a strong recruiter and one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the nation. Thornton was an Honorable Mention Assistant Coach of the Year by CollegeSwimming.com for the 2010-11 season.
The bar continued to rise this year as Thornton assisted the Ducks to team-best finishes on both sides, with the men placing 11th and the women taking fifth. Both squads earned ECAC titles and academic honors from the CSCAA and a school-record 17 swimmers went to the national meet. Stevens combined for 45 All-America finishes and the women’s program had its second NCAA Champion in freshman Brittany Geyer (Brunswick, Ohio). The men swept the Empire 8 end-of-year awards and Geyer swept the E8 women’s honors herself as the Ducks were the top conference finisher on the national level on both sides – men and women – for a third-straight year.
Thornton, who has been the leader of the program’s sprint corps since his arrival, guided both national champs – Geyer and Barito – to their respective NCAA titles under his tutelage.
As a student-athlete at NYU, Thornton was a six-time NCAA Division III All-American and nine-time honorable mention All-American. In addition to reaching All-America status 15 different times at NYU, Thornton won six Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships and six University Athletic Association championships. The UAA Rookie Swimmer of the Year in 2004-05, Thornton broke NYU records in 11 different events and held nine school-best times when he graduated.
Thornton excelled academically as well for the Violets. In 2007 and 2008, he was a first-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection. Prior to coaching, Thornton worked as an account coordinator for Acronym Media, LLC in New York. He currently is the volunteer director for the New York City Triathlon.
Thornton graduated from NYU in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management. He has been involved in all facets of the Ducks’ swimming program (practice planning, recruitment, development, etc.) the last four years and currently lives in New York, N.Y. Thornton recently received his Master’s degree from Stevens in Business.