Carolina Adds Stefanski To Swimming Staff
Pittsburgh graduate and assistant coach becomes UNC's fifth full-time coach.
July 2, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - University of North Carolina head swimming coach Rich DeSelm added to his coaching staff Monday with the hiring of Eric Stefanski as the Tar Heels' fifth full-time swimming and diving coach. Stefanski, a University of Pittsburgh alumnus, joins DeSelm, diving coach Kevin Lawrence and assistants Catherine Vogt and Mike Litzinger in completing Carolina's largest full-time staff in the history of the program.
"We are thrilled to add Eric Stefanski to our coaching staff at North Carolina. Eric brings tremendous coaching knowledge and experience that will have an immediate impact on our program," DeSelm explained.
"His recruiting skills will enhance our efforts in that critical area and his additional background in sports psychology, video analysis and master's and triathlon training will benefit all our of aquatics programs here at UNC," DeSelm went on to elaborate.
Stefanski began his coaching career at the high school level in 1998 and commenced his college coaching tenure in 2002. Coaching was always the career of choice for Stefanski, who entered the field immediately after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Pittsburgh in 1998. He went on to merit a Master of Science degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports psychology at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., in 2002.
As a Panther student-athlete, Stefanski was an NCAA Division I qualifier and a 1998 Big East individual champion. He was a two-year selection as the team's Most Valuable Performer while also captaining the team from 1995-98. In April 1998, Stefanski earned the University of Pittsburgh's Senior of Distinction Award from the athletic department. Individually, he made a four qualifying times and competed in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Most recently Stefanski has coached at his alma mater, Pitt, since 2004 as assistant coach and coordinator of men's recruiting. For one season, 2003-04, he garnered head coaching credentials at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) where he simultaneously served as aquatics director. Stefanski had been an assistant coach at UR for one season after arriving in 2002. On the club side, he was the head master's swimming coach in 2002-03.
While at Pittsburgh, he coached two women's NCAA qualifiers, five Big East Conference individual champions, seven U.S. Swimming National Championships qualifiers and two U.S.S. finalists. At the University of Rochester, he was the UAA Conference Women's Coach of the Year in 2003-04 as his team improved four spots in the conference meet from seventh to third. He had a freshman swimmer make two national finals in Division III and be named an All-America as well.
While earning his master's degree, Stefanski was a teaching assistant at GSU from 2000-02 while at the same time bulking up his experience level with a two-year gig as swimming coach of the Statesboro Bulloch County Sharks. Prior to going to Georgia Southern, he served a two-year coaching stint at the Seneca Valley Swim Club in Zelienople, Pa., and with the Seneca Valley School District.