Swimming and Diving Head Coach Bob Goldberg
University of Connecticut head swimming and diving coach
Bob Goldberg is heading into his 21st season at UConn with the same
excitement and energy of a coach who is heading into their first season.
“I love this team and the type of kids we have in our
program” says Goldberg. “This is a group that is a pleasure to be around, they are
focused and hard working yet young at heart with a refreshing spirit about them.
In my opinion they are what college athletics is all about. Their attitude and
aptitude make it easy for a guy like me with a few laps under his belt to be so
excited and enthusiastic about coaching them.”
Goldberg comes into this season with an ever impressive and
growing resume. Last season was one of the best on record for the Huskies and
their longtime coach.
“Our men were 8-1 and women 7-3 in dual meets, both teams
won the Terrapin Cup in a ‘dream team meet’ and we stepped up really well at the
conference championships,” says Goldberg. “We then sent Courtney Haney to the
NCAAs as an automatic qualifier, saw Alex Davidson swim so well at the Canadian
Olympic Trials, continue the season at the World Short Course Championships in
April in England with UConn’s Jon Wong representing Jamaica. We wrapped up the
year with three student-athletes recognized by the UConn Club for their
excellence – Allison Coleman and Courtney Haney as Outstanding Senior Athletes
and Andrea Ryan as Outstanding Senior Scholar-Athlete.
“A season with the accomplishments like that one represents
what I want to do at UConn: recruit great young people, see them succeed in
school and have a great experience in sports and watch them develop into great
individuals moving on in life.”
That is what Goldberg has been doing for so many years at
UConn. His approach to swimming involves consistent effort over a prolonged
period of time.
“Nothing that really lasts comes quickly and easily and the
sport of swimming is the perfect example of that,” says Goldberg. “In training,
I try to avoid the regular peaks and valleys that accompany the everyday life of
a college student. These days, student-athletes already have a lot of outside
influences that make their lives very challenging. I want them to come to the
pool everyday knowing that there is a consistent high level of commitment
expected of them and that there are performance benefits that accompany that
high level of dedication.”
Goldberg’s track record seems to bear this philosophy out.
Last season the teams were a combined 15-4 in dual meet competition and are a
combined 283-110-3 ties in his 20 seasons at UConn, echoing the coaches
philosophy of consistency.
Since the 1989-90 season, neither the men’s or women’s team
has had a loosing record under Goldberg and always have landed in the top half
of the tough BIG EAST Conference. Last season’s high water mark of 17 team
records falling is another statement of the progress of success. Finally, the
academic performances of the teams under the direction of Academic Advisor John
Miceli in conjunction with Goldberg has been strong and consistent.
“Success over a long period of time, and peaking at the
right and appropriate moments has always been my goal and philosophy. I am
constantly adjusting our program to achieve those ends,” says Goldberg
Managing the team in the competitive UConn environment has
proven a real challenge for Goldberg.
“I have seen the university grow so much over the 20 years
I have been fortunate to be here,” says Goldberg. “The UCONN 2000 and the UConn
21st Century projects at Connecticut have propelled the University
into the forefront of the academic arena nationally. Our academic requirements
have increased as a result of the recognition of the University on the national
scene, and combining the athletic success of so many Husky programs, has made us
a team everyone loves to beat. We love the targets on our back however because
it forces us to raise our own levels of expectations and performance.”
Prior to UConn, he spent three years at North Carolina
State University as the Director of Aquatics and member of the faculty. He
worked on the expansion of the athletic facilities at N.C. State, including the
building of the Olympic sized pool.
From 1970 though 1985 he coached at Penn State where he
produced several conference diving champions as well as Division I All Americans
and nationally competitive divers. He was also a tenured faculty member in
kinesiology at Penn State.
As a graduate of Springfield College he learned the sport
from one of the best in the business in Coach Charles Silvia during his
“Coach Silvia knew many of us on the team wanted a career
in coaching and he made sure we understood so much about the science and
principles of the sport before we graduated,” says Goldberg. “I am very
appreciative of the foundation he gave us.”
Goldberg has never lost sight of, or respect for the
position he has. “There have really been only three long time coaches of
swimming at the University of Connecticut. Coaches John Squires and Pete
McDevitt paved the way for the program to develop during their combined over
forty years at the helm. I am trying to preserve the legacy that they started
and well prepare the program for the future.”
Goldberg lives in Mansfield Center, Conn., with his wife
Alyce. They have three children, David, Scott and Sarah.