“We always want to give our student-athletes a chance to compete for NCAA titles in familiar confines, so we are exceptionally pleased that the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships will return to our University’s beautiful Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center,” said UT Women’s Athletics Director Chris Plonsky. “I’m particularly pleased for our swimming and diving coaching staff and the team members. They are carrying forward the championship tradition in our program.”
Texas first hosted the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in 1988, when the Longhorns won their fifth consecutive NCAA championship under the late Richard Quick. Texas won the next NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship meet to come to the Forty Acres in 1990 and hosted the meet again in 1992, 1995 and 2002. Notably, Texas head women’s swimming and diving coach Kim Brackin helped Auburn win the 2002 NCAA meet in Austin as an assistant swimming and diving coach with the Tigers.
“We’re so happy to have had the support from our administration in making this happen,” Brackin said. “(UT associate athletics director) Lynn Wheeler was instrumental in getting our plan together, and certainly Charles Logan and Ann Nellis from the Texas Swimming Center were part of the foundation in securing this meet,” Brackin said. “They told us they could host the meet and host it well. They knew just as we did that it would be great for UT and for our program. We’re truly grateful for everyone who contributed to make this happen.”
The Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, commonly known as one of the fastest pools in the world, has been home to numerous national, collegiate, club and high school aquatics meets since its opening in 1977. In addition to the five aforementioned NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, the facility has hosted events such as the 1980 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials, the 1981 AIAW National Championship, the 1988 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, the 2001 U.S. World Championship Trials and six NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship meets, most recently in 2003.
“Austin is a perfect city for NCAA Olympic sports competitions, and the student-athletes will experience a colorful, exciting and supportive atmosphere,” Plonsky added. “(Former UT head women’s swimming and diving) Coaches Paul Bergen, Richard Quick, Mark Schubert and their staff members each had the opportunity to coach at home in a NCAA Championship meet. Our team has its sights set on competing for a national crown, so being hosts should inspire them even more.”
More from the Texas coaching staff
Texas head women’s swimming and diving coach Kim Brackin
On the benefits of having the NCAA meet at your home facility
“The advantage of having the home pool is not just knowing your facility, but looking up in the stands and seeing familiar faces. They will see people like their professors and their friends who wouldn’t have been able to travel. They will have our men’s swimming and diving team here to support them, and that would not ordinarily be possible if we were out of town. I do hope the community at-large gets excited about swimming, and this year will be a precursor of why they should want to go to another meet.”
On what it means to the team to host the NCAA meet
“It will be great to have the support and for our student-athletes to feel comfortable in their own environment. We will have extremely lofty goals in 2011, and on our way to our pool, we will see the UT Tower every day. I think that we can look at it as putting more pressure on us, but we’ll spend the next 14 months talking about why that pressure is a privilege and how we’re going to turn that pressure into momentum. So, I’m really excited about it. I’m excited to compete for a championship at this pool again. I know our ladies will have a wonderful picture of what it could be.
“Chris Plonsky asked me before we put in a bid if this was something I wanted to do, whether it would help our team. I did not hesitate once to insist that it would be a momentum builder. I believe it will help recruiting, and having the meet here will help the sport. Austin is such a great sports town. We’ve got a great facility, and we’re expecting it to be a really great meet of swimming and diving. It will be great for the sport.”
Texas diving coach Matt Scoggin
On having the NCAA meet at UT’s home facility
“It will be fantastic to have the NCAA Championships here, especially from the divers’ perspective. Our divers are used to the boards and the lighting, and getting to accustomed to everything at a diving facility is a huge advantage. We always look forward to hosting the NCAA Championships, and it’s just a testament to how this facility has stood the test of time. It is still one of the best facilities in the world. “It is excellent timing in hosting the meet, as far as our women’s diving team goes. It will be great to have a home crowd and be able to showcase how our women’s swimming and diving team is on its way back to prominence. My kudos goes out to Lynn Wheeler and Chris Plonsky, and also to Charles Logan and Ann Nellis who went to bat, put together a great bid and got the job done.”