Men's & Women's Team Honored for the Ninth Consecutive Year
Rams Add Seven Athletes For Next Season
2013 Senior Day at the Messmore Aquatic Center
2010 Atlantic 10 Women's Swimming & Diving Champions
Entering his 20th year at the helm of the Fordham Men and Women's Swimming & Diving programs is Head Coach and Director of Aquatics, Steve Potsklan. One of the longest tenured coaches at Rose Hill, Potsklan has witnessed the team's move towards the top of the Atlantic 10, highlighted by the women's team earning its first-ever Atlantic 10 Championship title in 2010, with the men's team tying its best-ever finish at the Championship in 2010.
In addition, Potsklan has been the Atlantic 10 Women's Swimming Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010, as well as Fordham Coach of the Year, receiving the Iron Major Award for the second and third time, respectively.
In 2012, Potsklan once again had the team in contention for the conference championship with the women placing second for the third time, while the men were fifth. Individually, the Rams had four individuals, Brienne Ryan (50 free), Courtney Collyer (100 & 200 butterfly), Devon Morris (50 free), and Shintaro Noguchi (100 butterfly), and two relays (200 men's freestyle & 800 women's freestyle) win events, while Ryan, Collyer and Morris earned Mid-Major All-American Team honors by CollegeSwimming.com.
On top of the team's accomplishments, Potsklan saw one of his swimmers, Brienne Ryan, qualify for both the NCAA Championship and the U.S. Olympic Trials in the backstroke events, becoming the first Fordham female swimmer to compete at both meets.
2012 followed two incredible seasons for the Rams under Potsklan. The 2010 season was a magical one for Fordham swimming & diving, as the women's team won the Atlantic 10 Championship for the first time, posting an undefeated mark in dual meet competition, while the men's team tied their best mark at the championship, tying for fourth. For the women, it was the first postseason Atlantic 10 title by any Fordham women's sport, since joining the conference in the 1995-96 season.
Throughout the 2009-10 season, a total of 17 women's records were broken, as well as one men's record. On top of that, Fordham bested its own Atlantic 10 record in the women's 800 freestyle relay. Individually, a team-best ten athletes earned All-Atlantic 10 honors with seven earning multiple All-Atlantic 10 accolades. Brienne Ryan was the leader of the group, earning All-Conference honors in six events, and posting NCAA "B" qualifying marks all six of those events. She also earned Division I Mid-Major All-American honors by CollegeSwimming.com. On top of Ryan's success, Caitlin Napoli and Courtney Collyer defended their individual titles in the 500 freestyle and 200 butterfly events, respectively, while the women's 800 freestyle relay broke its own Atlantic 10 record by winning the event in 7:20.82. The women's 200 medley relay also won their event giving Fordham four First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors.
Fordham had a number of Second Team All-Atlantic 10 performances as well from Tressa Dunn (100 free), Napoli (200 free, 200 fly), Megan McGorry (500 free, 1650 free), Ryan (100 and 200 backstroke), Nicole Marshall (100 breast), Collyer (200 and 400 IM), Andrea Krok (1M Dive), the 400 medley relay, and the 400 freestyle relay.
Not to be overlooked on the men's side, Ryan Coombs defended his Atlantic 10 title in the 200 butterfly to earn First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors, while Michael DiDonato received Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors in the 200 breaststroke.
Potsklan followed that campaign with another strong one in 2011, as 13 Rams received All-Atlantic 10 honors, led by A-10 champion performances from Courtney Collyer (200 butterfly), Brienne Ryan (200 backstroke - set A-10 record), and Kelly Bunster (100 butterfly). Collyer, Ryan, and Megan McGorry also received Mid-Major All-American honors form Collegeswimming.com. For the team, the Fordham women placed second, giving them three straight years of finishing in the top two, while the men's team was sixth.
The teams have also been getting it done in the classroom under Potsklan as both the men's and women's squad was named a CSCAA Academic All-America Team in 2010-11, the eighth straight year both teams have earned that honor.
The 2010 run came just one year after the women's team took second at the 2009 Atlantic 10 Championships and the men's team placed fourth, Fordham's best team finishes at the championship at the time. The women's squad set 16 school records at the championship meet and the men added five more. And if that wasn't enough, two Atlantic 10 championship records were broken by the women's team.
Leading the Fordham women was Courtney Collyer, who won two events at the championship, setting one conference mark in the process. Collyer took gold in the 200 butterfly in Atlantic 10-record setting time after winning the 400 IM earlier in the meet. For her exploits, Collyer was named the Atlantic 10 Female Rookie of the Meet, the first Fordham woman to earn the honor. Fordham also set the Atlantic 10-record in the women's 800 freestyle relay, as Caitlin Napoli, Tressa Dunn, Kelly Bunster and Collyer also took home gold, breaking the record set by Richmond in 2007 and destroying the school record by close to 14 seconds. On the men's side, Ryan Coombs also earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 in the 200 butterfly, marking the second time he has won an event at the Atlantic 10 Championship. In all, Fordham had 11 All-Conference swimmers, most in multiple events.
In 2007-08, the Ram swimmers set four records on the men's side and four more on the women's side, while diver Donnie Callara earning Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors while setting school marks on both the one and three meter board.
Besides the women's third place finish in 2006-07, the season was another record-setter for the Rams, with four individual and one relay record falling. Leading the record-setters was Caitlin Napoli, who won the 200 freestyle at the Atlantic 10 Championships in a school-record time of 1:51.71, and Ryan Coombs, who was named the Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Rookie after earning First Team honors by winning the 500 free while also taking home Second Team accolades for a second place showing in the 200 freestyle.
The 2007 team finish at the Atlantic 10 Championship surpassed the 2001-02 season in which the men's and women's teams each placed fourth at the championship meet, a feat the women's team repeated in 2002-03. For his team's accomplishments, Potsklan received the 2001 Iron Major Award as Fordham University's Coach of the Year.
With 150 Fordham records and several other conference marks set by student-athletes during his tenure, Potsklan's teams have enjoyed much individual success, including 42 Atlantic 10 and three ECAC individual titles since 1995-96.
Under Potsklan, Akira Kosugi was named the Atlantic 10's Most Outstanding Performer in 1996 while Paul Delo was named Diver of the Meet at the Atlantic 10 championships in 1996 and 1997. In 1999-2000, Maik Wiedenbach, one of the top sprinters in the Atlantic 10, received the Vincent T. Lombardi Award as Fordham's top male athlete as he set the school 50 and 100 freestyle records at the Atlantic 10 championships. In 2000-01, Potsklan saw freshman Keanan Faruq earn Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Rookie Performer at the championship meet while in 2001-02 the Rams set four school records at the Atlantic 10 Championships. In 2002-03, the women's squad set nine school records with Katie Griener becoming the second Fordham woman to win an event at the Atlantic 10 Championships, winning the 500 freestyle in school record time. The women followed that season with eight school records in 2003-04 and two Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors. In 2005-06, Fordham had three performers earn All-Atlantic 10 honors, including two, who won two events at the championship in John Stoneburner (200 and 400 IM) and Erika Newell (100 and 200 backstroke). In 2006-07, Napoli also earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors in both the 100 back and the 200 butterfly while Ashley Ukleja took second place in the 1650 freestyle.
Prior to his arrival at Rose Hill, Potsklan served as an assistant coach at Yale University for five seasons, helping that program regain Ivy League dominance. At Yale, the squad had a rapid rise from the bottom of the conference to Ivy League Champions.
Potsklan also served on the staffs at West Virginia and Penn State, coaching several NCAA and Senior Nationals finalists. He has also coached at the Omni Swim Club, Mountaineer Swim Club, and the Texas Longhorn and Alabama Swim Camps. He is currently the director of the SwimAmerica program which offers swim lessons for children and adults in the Fordham area. A 1985 graduate of Penn State, Potsklan went from a non-scholarship walk-on to the team's MVP, setting six school records and winning an Atlantic 10 title in the 100 freestyle twice. He also holds a Master's degree from West Virginia.
Potsklan and his wife, artist Jacqueline Matute, have two children: Chloe Simone (17) and Emma Noel (14).