Cavalier Corner

October 2017

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cavalier sports 6 CAVALIER CORNER behind the scenes Swimming And Diving Head Coach Todd DeSorbo L ast February at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta, the NC State Wolfpack took something very precious from the Cavalier women's swim team — its nine-year streak of ACC championships. Ironically, every day in practice the female swimmers see one of the architects of that loss, their new head coach Todd DeSorbo. Following the departure of Augie Busch, director of athletics Craig Littlepage an- nounced Aug. 9 that DeSorbo had been named the Cavaliers' head men's and wom- en's swimming and diving coach after serv- ing as the associate head coach in Raleigh. "I'm excited to welcome Todd to the Vir- ginia athletics family," Littlepage said in a statement. "He will bring great passion and energy to our swimming and diving programs. "Todd has developed world-class student- athletes and he's played an instrumental role in the transformation of NC State's program to a championships level." Oddly enough, DeSorbo said both the men's and women's team also seem excited about having that reminder of what hap- pened last year at his old school around. "One of the reasons I think they are ex- cited about having me as their head coach is that for the last six years they've seen me from across the pool," he explained. "They've seen the rise of that program. They see the energy and passion and elec- tricity that I bring to the pool deck. "I'm really energetic and passionate about it. I love coaching." At NC State, DeSorbo worked primar- ily with the Wolfpack sprinters and was a developmental specialist. He oversaw the programs' recruiting, training and day-to- day operations. In 2017, his athletes earned seven indi- vidual ACC titles and garnered 14 All-ACC honors, helping to lead both the men and women to conference titles. Additionally, DeSorbo coached 13 athletes to the 2017 NCAA Championships where they col- lected more than 30 All-America honors on the way to the teams' highest NCAA finishes in program history (fourth for the men, seventh for the women). Asked why Virginia, DeSorbo responded, "Why not?" "At some point when I was trying to fig- ure out whether I was going or not, I came to the conclusion, why would I not go to Virginia," he continued. "When I was going through the process, to me it was, I'm not going to go somewhere I'm not confident we can be competing and performing suc- cessfully internationally and at the NCAA level. "One of the things I'm most excited about is the reputation of academic excellence UVA has and the selling point that provides to young prospects." DeSorbo comes to Virginia with a reputa- tion for producing high-end sprinters, but says he understands the Cavaliers' history of distance events, the longer individual medleys and the 200 strokes. "I don't intend to turn every miler at UVA into a sprinter," DeSorbo explained. "I fully intend to uphold the integrity of that side of the program and continue to build on those strengths while also trying to develop the sprint side of things to balance the program out." He noted the team has been open and supportive of the new staff and that they're ready for more success. "They are in a really good place, both men and women," he said. "Both teams are capable of a lot more and obviously we're excited as a coaching staff to be able to bring that out in them. I know that they're hungry and the team is excited for the change." — Greg Waters DeSorbo helped rebuild NC State into a national power during the last six years as an assistant, lead- ing its men's and women's teams to best-ever NCAA finishes in 2017 before being hired to direct the UVA programs. PHOTO BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA

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