First-year Virginia swimming and diving head coach Augie Busch has managed to pick up where his well-decorated predecessor left off.
Busch was named 2014 ACC women's coach of the year on Thursday, after leading the UVa program to a seventh consecutive conference title. The Cavaliers also finished 11th at last month's NCAA Championships, the highest of any ACC team and UVa's best performance since 2010.
Busch thanked his coaching staff and swimmers in a statement released by UVa on Thursday.
"These women deserve to be commended for the way they dealt with the transition to a new coaching staff," he said. "They bought into different coaching styles and personalities, came together and fought for one another. I am very proud of them and can't wait for the future.”
Busch took over the UVa swimming and diving program last summer, following the July retirement of longtime coach Mark Bernardino. Bernardino earned 31 ACC coach of the year honors in his 35 years at UVa -- including 13 on the women's side -- and 27 total conference titles.
The Cavaliers' Leah Smith was also named the ACC's freshman of the year on Thursday. Smith earned All-America honors in the 1,650 free (third place) and as part of UVa's 800-free relay (fifth place). She also set new school records in both events, and won ACC titles in both, as well as the 500 free.
Smith joins junior Ellen Williamson and sophomore Courtney Bartholomew as current Cavaliers who have been named the ACC's top freshman.