Let the hiring season begin! After the final event of the 2008 New England Swimming Championships last weekend, an era came to a close for the Simmons College swimming and diving team. Longtime head coach Doug Backlund had coached his final collegiate meet. The 11 year veteran had chosen to retire from college coaching after the season had completed.
Backlund, a Duxbury native, helped lead the Sharks to a 10th place out of 22 teams at the New Englands, the program’s best finish in four years at the season end event. A solid end to a terrific season the Sharks put together in his final year. His squad went 6-2 in dual meets, and captured its fourth straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship back in December. For his career Backlund was 74-44-2 in dual meets, while winning six GNAC titles in an eight year span. His team has finished as high as fifth in New Englands, in 2001-02, and he coached two athletes who qualified for nationals in 1999 and 2003. Numerous other athletes have qualified for New Englands, and many more including seven this season have won individual championships at the annual GNAC meet. Backlund also served as the Aquatics Director at the Simmons College pool, and helped teach swim lessons while also maintaining the pool. In the summer time he can be found at the Duxbury Yacht Club giving swim lessons and working with the swim team there, which he will continue that work this summer and beyond.
"I had a wonderful time working with the Simmons student-athletes,” he said. “It has been a great run and I’m sure Simmons Swimming will continue to shine in the future I wish them the best of luck.”