POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y - Marist College announced the hiring of Jim Billesimo as a new assistant coach for Larry VanWagner and the Marist Swimming and Diving program on Tuesday. Billesimo joins the Red Foxes after coaching in the college ranks, most recently at Lehigh University.
The Red Foxes first-ever women's coach, Billesimo rejoins the Marist coaching staff after stops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Billesimo started his association with the college in 1977 as an age group coach for the Marist Swim Club. In 1983, he was given the reigns of the collegiate women's team. The highlight of his four years in charge was finishing runner-up in the Metropolitan Swim Conference.
Billesimo then moved onto New Jersey, where he was the head coach of Montclair State University. While there, his women's team secured top 20 finishes at the NCAA Women's Division III Nationals. Outside of college athletics, he was the Director/Head Coach of the Montclair Aquatic Club for six years from 1987-1993.
Beginning in 1995, he became the Associate Head Coach of the Atlantis Aquatic Club in Bethlehem, Pa. During his eight years, he saw six members qualify for the Olympic Trials, including one finishing fourth in the 2000 Trials for the 200-yd Butterfly. Billesimo also had four of his swimmers post times to rank in the top 100 of the world.
With his success at Atlantis, he moved back into the collegiate ranks in Bethlehem as a volunteer assistant/stroke clinician at Lehigh. He served on the Mountain Hawks staff for six years before returning to the Hudson Valley as the coach of the Senior Squad of the Red Fox Aquatic Club.
"We are very excited to have Jim join our varsity staff" said VanWagner. "With his educational background in physical education from Springfield College and his past association with the Marist Swim Club, he will complement our coaching philosophy tremendously."