DeMotte resigns to take post at Arkansas
Assistant coach Back to take over both swim programs

Binghamton University head swimming coach Benji DeMotte has resigned in order to accept a position as assistant women’s swim coach at University of Arkansas. Patrice Back, who was DeMotte’s assistant coach for five years, has been elevated to head coach for both the men’s and women’s programs.

DeMotte, who served as head coach at BU for five years, was named 2003 America East Coach of the Year after leading his men’s team to the conference championship this past winter. He also advanced two women to the NCAA Championship — the only school in New York to do so.

"This opportunity is the second opportunity of a lifetime that has come my way," DeMotte said. "The first opportunity was getting the chance to coach in my hometown (Binghamton). For Binghamton to have given me this chance and for me to have been recruited by a school in the Southeastern Conference speaks volumes of the University."

“Benji has done a terrific job of transitioning our program to Division II and now Division I,” Athletic Director Joel Thirer said. “It’s a great credit to him and to our program that he was highly recruited by a top program in the Southeastern Conference. We wish him great success.”

DeMotte had a knack for recruiting talented international student-athletes, and that skill made him attractive to the Lady Razorbacks. This season alone, the Bearcats had swimmers from six foreign countries (England, China, Sweden, Egypt, Poland and Turkey).

In five years, DeMotte’s teams won seven conference titles, and he was named conference coach of the year six times.

Back, a former captain and school record holder at University of Delaware, spent five years as DeMotte’s full-time assistant, where she was instrumental with year-round training and on-deck coaching.

“While we’re sad that Benji is leaving, we have absolute confidence in Patrice’s ability to take over,” Thirer said. “She has had a high-profile position here for five years, and is a poised coach who carries herself with dignity. The program is in very good hands.”

"I am very excited to be stepping up into this position," Back said. "Having worked with this program for five years, I am confident that we will continue to be successful."

"This will be a smooth transition for Binghamton," DeMotte said. "Patrice has worked as a partner with me in building up this program. Any team honor we have gotten over the years has had a lot to do with her."

Back holds two degrees from Delaware—a bachelor’s degree in business administration (1992) and a master’s degree in physical education (1998). Before coming to Binghamton, she served as an assistant coach at Delaware for two years.


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