Jon Duncan has been named as the Head Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Coach for Southwestern University. The announcement was made Friday by Southwestern University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Glada Munt. Duncan comes to SU after serving as the head swimming coach at Rhodes College.
"This is the perfect fit for me and I look forward to joining the Pirate family," says Duncan. "I feel Southwestern has the ability to become a program in the running for an SCAC championship and place in the NCAA championship meet. By aggressive recruiting and the development of a supportive team atmosphere, Southwestern will quickly become a strong competitive swimming and diving program."
In his six seasons at Rhodes, Duncan guided the men's and women's Lynx swimmers to setting over 70 school records, coaching three individuals to conference titles and two NCAA qualifiers. His teams have not only excelled in the water but also in the classroom, boasting one of the highest team GPA's of all teams at Rhodes.
In the 2008-09 season Duncan led Rhodes to a fourth place finish at the SCAC Championships for the women while the men came in sixth overall. 16 swimmers posted top-five finishes at the Championships with one event champion.
"We are unquestionably delighted to have a coach of Jon Duncan's caliber lead the Southwestern University Swimming & Diving program," shares Dr. Munt. "I have watched the great job that he has done at Rhodes over the past six seasons and am confident that he is the person to take our programs to the next level. His familiarity and knowledge of both Southwestern and the SCAC will enable Coach Duncan to get off to a fast start with our programs."
Prior to Rhodes, Duncan was the Assistant Men's and Women's Swimming Coach at DePauw University for two years, assisting the men's team to a 2005 SCAC Conference Championship with the women taking runners-up honors that same season.
Duncan is a 2002 graduate of Purdue University where he was a four-time letter winner and competed in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 free. He earned an M.A. from Indiana State University in 2005 and is a member of the College Swim Coaches Association (CSCA).
One of Duncan's former charges, Charlie Boehme, was selected to replace him at Rhodes. has been selected as Rhodes Head Swim Coach/Aquatics Coordinator. Most recently, Charlie served as the Assistant Swim Coach at Sewanee. He is a 2010 graduate of Depauw University where he majored in English.
"Growing up in the Memphis area, I have always held Rhodes College in high esteem. It takes a special kind of student-athlete to excel in such a challenging academic and athletic environment. The prospect of working with talented young men and women is thrilling, and I'm extremely excited to join the Lynx family,” said Coach Boehme.
Charlie held school records at Depauw in the 500 free, 400 IM and 800 free relay. He was part of the Depauw 800 free relay which earned All American honors. Charlie was a 6-time SCAC champion.
“Charlie's experience at Depauw as a student-athlete and his year of coaching at Sewanee provides him with the understanding of the Rhodes mission of providing a quality academic experience and a fun, competitive and successful athletic experience,” said Rhodes Athletic Director Mike Clary.
JP Gowdy will be moving from the East Coast to the West. Gowdy, the head coach at Wheaton (MA) for the past eight seasons accepted the head coaching post at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in Claremont, California.
"Wheaton is a terrific place," said Gowdy, "and it's been a wonderful eight years. I'm grateful to the athletic department and the college for taking a chance on a 25-year-old without head coaching experience. The people here are great, beginning with the students. The staff and the faculty have also been wonderful. Wheaton attracts a top-notch individual, and it's been a pleasure working with everyone. I'm proud of where the teams have come, and I know whoever is hired will continue to build upon that. I'll always have great memories of my time here."
Gowdy lifted Wheaton to new heights during his tenure, including leading his athletes to national championship meets while witnessing the first NCAA All-Americans in men's and women's program history. He also guided the Lyons to their highest placements at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship.
"It has been a pleasure working with J.P. and watching him build our men's and women's swimming & diving programs to a high level both within the NEWMAC as well as in New England these past eight years," said Associate Director of Athletics John Sutyak '00. "His leadership provided Wheaton with a number of scholar-athletes who have been tremendous assets to the school both in the classroom as well as in the pool. We are losing a great leader."
Barrett Roberts, Wheaton's most decorated swimmer will take over for Gowdy.
"We are thrilled to welcome Barrett back home to Wheaton," said Sutyak. "Barrett was the epitome of a scholar-athlete, one who was equally as impressive in the classroom as he was in the pool. He helped put our swimming & diving teams on the map both in New England and nationally, and I look forward to him continuing that tradition as the leader of our men's and women's programs."
Roberts returns to Norton after spending the 2010-11 season as a graduate assistant coach at New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival Springfield College. With his assistance, the Pride established nine school records and three NEWMAC records this past season. Roberts also saw seven of his student-athletes post national qualifying performances, four post All-America performances, and one post an All-America honorable mention performance.
"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to come back to Wheaton and coach a group of student-athletes who excel in the pool as well as the classroom," said Roberts, who was responsible for coaching Springfield's sprint group, designing dry-land and lifting programs for the squad, and home meet management duties. "Wheaton's swimmers and divers have always been exceptionally motivated individuals, and I look forward to working with the team as we strive to win our first NEWMAC championship."
Prior to his appointment at Springfield, Roberts spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Tufts University (2008-10), helping the Jumbos score nine All-America performances during that span. He also spent two years as a waterfront and aquatics director at Camp All-Star (2005-07).
As an undergraduate at Wheaton, Roberts was a standout swimmer for the Lyons, earning All-America honors three times (2005-07) and NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year accolades in 2006. He was a three-year co-captain who earned College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America honors in 2004 and 2005. As a senior, Roberts took home the Linda Frances Epstein Award and the Outstanding Male Athlete Award. The Epstein Award is presented to a graduating senior who embodies respect for and commitment to the traditions of Wheaton in the achievement of academic excellence and dedicated performance in athletics.
"Barrett's time at both Tufts and Springfield, coupled with his experience here at Wheaton, make him an ideal candidate in continuing to recruit and retain high level student-athletes who will help us achieve our goal of winning NEWMAC championships," added Sutyak.
Roberts, who left Norton with a bachelor's of arts degree in economics and political science after graduating magna cum laude, is currently working toward earning his master's degree in physical education from Springfield. Concentrating in athletic administration, he is set to graduate next May.