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- Phone: 607-777-7946
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- Phone: 607-777-2817
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- University of Maine ‘10
- Phone: 607-777-3483
The Binghamton swimming and diving program enters its seventh season under the helm of head coach Sean Clark. During his five-year tenure, Clark’s excitement and enthusiasm has made Binghamton a constant threat in the America East with his team consistently challenging the conference’s best.
From the beginning, Sean Clark has led his teams to success. After joining the program as an assistant for the 2004-05 season, Clark has led the men’s squad to five winning dual meet seasons for an admirable overall record of 45-26 (.634). Clark has recently led the BU women to back-to-back winning dual meet records, the women’s first time doing so since the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. The 2010-11 Bearcat women finished their dual meet season with a 6-3-1 (.650) record while the men posted a 5-4 (.556) mark.
Clark and his program made a splash at the 2011 America East Championship crowning four champions and taking home Co-Coach of the Year honors for both the men and women. Each squad placed two champions atop the podium in Baltimore last February, with Nolan Slesnick (400 IM) and Joe Perez-Rogers (100 back) winning gold for the men and Tiffany Siu (200 fly) and Amanda Ciccone (200 fly) doing the same for the women.
Though the men and women finished as predicted by the coaches in the conference’s preseason poll (men – third, women – fifth), the Bearcats still earned the respect of their peers by earning Co-Coaching Staff of the Year honors. A total of eight Binghamton swimmers and divers were named to the all-conference team (top-three finish), while 18 school records fell during the four-day meet.
During Clark’s time at Binghamton, the program has produced 24 America East gold medalist, 150 all-conference performances and five top-three team finishes at the America East Championships. Upon Clark’s arrival, the program has manufactured four America East Outstanding Swimmers (Brenno Varanda, David Holmes and Kaan Tayla, twice) and one America East Most Outstanding Rookie (Nolan Slesnick) under his tutelage. Three swimmers have also been name America East Scholar-Athlete of the year (Varanda, Brian Koizim, twice, and Robert Kaczynski). Clark has also witnessed three swimmers receive the coaches’ award for most points scored in a career at the championship meet (Varanda, Koizim and Kaczynski).
The Bearcat men enjoyed a banner year in 2006-07. In Clark’s first year at the helm, David Holmes ‘07 became the first male NCAA qualifier in school and conference history placing 22nd in the 200 free. The team produced a 6-3 dual meet record, and concluded the season by delivering a championship performance for the ages at the America East meet.
Binghamton captured a conference-best 11 gold medals and broke nine school records en route to a runner-up finish. The Bearcats were honored with three league awards. Holmes earned America East Most Outstanding Performer honors, Brian Koizim ‘07 captured the Senior Coaches Award, and Clark, along with diving coach Anna Tutunnikova and then-first-year assistant Aimee Bourassa garnered America East Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
A week later, the efforts of the Bearcat coaching trio was again recognized, garnering the top staff honors at the ECAC Championship meet. A nine-man Bearcat squad delivered a spirited effort claiming four individual titles and three relays gliding to a sixth-place finish at the regional competition. Holmes, Binghamton’s most decorated D-I swimmer, once again led the way winning three individual titles and earning Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet honors for the second time in as many years.
Binghamton’s memorable 2006-07 campaign made waves regionally among the collegiate swimming ranks. In addition, to the program-best sixth-place finish at the ECAC meet, the Bearcats earned their highest-ever ranking (No. 13) in CollegeSwimming.com’s Mid-Major poll - marking the second straight top-15 finish for the program.
The 2007-08 men faced the difficult task of replacing its most storied senior class in program history. Despite the major losses to graduation, a deep Bearcat squad once again proved it is a program on the rise.
After dropping its first four dual meets, the Bearcats reeled off a Division-I era record seven consecutive wins to close out the season for their fourth straight winning season (7-4). At the 2008 conference championship, Binghamton produced four gold medals and 13 overall medals (top-three finishes). The Bearcat diving corps enjoyed its finest season in 2007-08 as well. Ryan Graham ‘09 set school records on both the one- and three-meter boards becoming the first Binghamton diver to qualify for NCAA Zones.
While the team’s successes in the pool over the last five years have instantly put Binghamton on the map within the Northeast’s swimming circles, Clark has committed to fostering an environment where success is expected in all facets of life. For Bearcat swimmers and divers, that committment begins in the classroom.
Upon BU’s arrival to the America East in 2002, the program’s student-athletes have consistently been among the finest the conference has to offer. Under Clark’s watch, Binghamton’s swimming and diving program has continued to excel academically.
This past season both programs earned Scholar All-American Team honors from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) for the 2009-10 academic year. The men ranked No. 35 out of 143 Division I programs with a 3.10 overall GPA while the women placed 67th out of 200 programs with a 3.28 GPA. The women finished with the highest GPA of any team coached by Clark. In order to earn CSCAA Scholar All-America Team honors, a program must have at least a 3.00 GPA. Amanda Ciccone was also awared the SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete award, becoming the third Bearcat to earn such an honor (Kaczynski in ‘05 and Yun Qu in ‘04).
Both Bearcat squads had already seen success in the classroom. Binghamton posted the highest number of men on the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll (GPA of 3.5 or higher) with four. The women, meanwhile, had 27 individuals post at least a 3.0 GPA overall—which tied for the most in the conference.
Clark has enjoyed success at every level of his collegiate swimming career. He came to Binghamton after serving as a volunteer assistant from 1994-96 and as the lead assistant coach from 2000-03, at his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts. During his tenure, the Minutemen won the Atlantic-10 Conference title four times. They also had their first national qualifier in 2001.
While an undergraduate at UMass, Clark swam both the sprint freestyle and backstroke events for five years and was on three varsity record-breaking relays. As a fifth-year senior, he served as team co-captain.
At the head coaching level, Clark also comes well prepared. Of his five previous head coaching stints, the two most significant were at South Hadley High School (during the 1995-96 and 1999-00 seasons) and with the Amherst Tritons swim team (2000-03).
Under Clark’s leadership, South Hadley won the 1996 women’s division title and as the head coach of the Tritons, Clark worked with several assistants in the education and training of 120 swimmers from the ages of 5-18.
Clark earned his bachelor’s degree from UMass in biochemistry in 1993.
A former Binghamton captain and standout, Palumbo enters his first year as an assistant coach for the 2012-13 season.
Palumbo spent the past two years as the head coach of the Tampa YMCA Stingrays and Aquatics Director of the New Tampa YMCA where he supervised nine coaches and over 300 swimmers. While in those positions Palumbo was extremely successful, having 21 swimmers qualify for YMCA Nationals, two YMCA All-Americans and two third-place finishes at the YMCA State Championship in 2011 and 2012.
Prior to his time in Tampa, Palumbo spent a year as the head coach of the North Pinellas YMCA where he grew the program from 20 swimmers to 90 swimmers in just eight months. Palumbo began his coaching career as an assistant of the Yorktown Swim Team in 2006 and then took over as head coach of his former club team in 2008. Palumbo is a member of the American Swim Coaches Association.
A 2009 graduate of Binghamton University, Palumbo earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Path. While at Binghamton, Palumbo starred on the men’s swim team capturing a 2009 America East title in the 100 breast and the former captain still ranks second on Binghamton’s all-time top-ten list in both the 100 and 200 breast.
Graham, a former diver for America East foe University of Maine, begins her first year as the diving coach for the 2012-13 season.
Graham, a native of Vestal, returns home to assist Clark after battling his squads while diving for the University of Maine. During her four years at Maine, Graham was a three-time finalist at the America East Championships and earned the Miller Diving Award and Chandler Comeback Award from her alma mater. She ranks second all-time at Maine on the one-meter board.
The 2010 University of Maine graduate joins the Binghamton staff after spending the past year coaching at Vestal High School. While there, Graham was responsible for the men and women divers which will be her focus at Binghamton. She coached three men and three women divers to top-12 finishes at the Section IV Championships. Graham is a member of USA Diving and has spent several years coaching at camps in Binghamton and Maine.
Graham earned her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and has a K-12 teaching certification in the state of Maine. Her brother Ryan Graham dove for Binghamton from 2005-2009 and still holds the one-meter and three-meter diving records.