Augie Busch Head Coach
Augie Busch completed his third season in charge of the Virginia swimming and diving programs in 2016. Busch had previously been the head coach of Houston's women's squad for two seasons.
In three seasons under Busch's guidance, the Cavalier women have won three-consecutive ACC Championships and UVA has posted back-to-back fifth-place finishes at the NCAA Championships. The fifth-place finishes are the highest in program history. Among the accolades UVA has garnered under Busch, Leah Smith has won four NCAA titles, including both the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle in 2015 and 2016, and Courtney Bartholomew was a four-time NCAA individual runner-up (100- and 200-yard backstroke in 2015 and 2016). The Cavalier women have also posted the highest relay finish in school history (second in the 400 medley relay in 2015) and have had recorded the most championship-finalist relays in a single year in school history with four in 2016.
In addition to winning their ninth-consecutive ACC Championship in 2015-16, the Cavalier women came home with 10 event wins, the most since 2010. The Virginia men improved two positions to sixth at the ACC Championships and finished 28th at NCAAs, which included Yannick Kaeser becoming the first UVA male swimmer to make a championship final since 2012.
In 2014-15, Busch mentored the Cavalier women to the ACC Championship and their highest team finish (fifth-place) at the NCAA Championships. The UVa women won two NCAA titles (Smith in the 500 free and 1,650 free) and had four second-place finishes (Bartholomew in the 100 back and 200 back, Laura Simon in the 200 breast and the 400 medley relay), the most ever in program history. In addition, Busch guided Bartholomew to the second-fastest time ever in the 100 back (50.01) at the Georgia Fall Invitational. The Cavalier men placed ninth at ACCs and 33rd at NCAAs.
Busch led the Cavalier women to the ACC Championship in 2014 and an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. This included Courtney Bartholomew (200 back) and Leah Smith (1,650 free) earning third-place finishs and the 800 free relay placing fifth at the 2014 national meet. The Cavalier men placed fourth at ACCs and 26th at NCAAs.
[ Read More ]
Under Busch's tutelage, the Cavaliers have had 11 individuals earn 19 All-America honors and 20 honorable mention All-America honors, and have had eight All-America relays and five honorable mention All-America relays. In three seasons, the Cavaliers have broken 27 school records, seven ACC records and three NCAA records. For his efforts, Busch has been named the ACC Women's Swimming Coach of the Year in all three of his seasons at the helm.
The Cavaliers have also been strong academically under Busch, with 28 student-athletes being named to the All-ACC Academic Teams and Ellen Williamson being recognized on the 2014 Captial One Academic All-District squad. Both Williamson and Haley Durmer earned an ACC Postgraduate Scholarship.
In addition to coaching UVa, Busch was an assistant women's coach for the United States' 2015 World University Games squad, where Smith captured gold medals in the 400m free and the 4x200m free. Busch also served as an assistant women's coach for the U.S. at the 2015 Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool.
In his two seasons at Houston, Busch led the Cougars to a fourth-place finish in Conference USA in 2012 and to a program-best second-place league showing last season.
At Houston, Busch improved the profile of the Cougars athletically and academically. The Cougars recorded personal-best times in 90 percent of their swims and broke seven school records in 2013 while achieving a program-best 3.42 team GPA.
Sam Busch Assistant Coach
Sam Busch was hired as an assistant swimming and diving coach in the summer of 2013. Busch serves as the Cavaliers' recruiting coordinator and works primarily with the UVA sprint group.
In 2015-16, Busch helped guide the Cavalier sprinters and the 200-yard freestyle relay to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, which is tied for the best finish in the event in school history (1983).
In three seasons, Busch has mentored Cavalier sprinters to 17 all-time top-10 times at UVa and the women's 200 free relay and 400 free relay school records. In addition, Cavalier sprinters helped UVA's women break the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay school records and the 400 medley relay ACC record. Ellen Thomas was the anchor on the 400 medley relay that finished second at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
Before coming to Charlottesville, Busch spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Auburn, where he helped lead the Tiger men to two top-ten NCAA finishes, including a sixth-place mark in 2012.
Cory Chitwood Assistant Coach
Cory Chitwood finished his third season as an assistant coach in 2016. Chitwood works primarily with the Cavalier distance group.
During the 2015-16 season, Chitwood mentored Leah Smith to successfully defend her NCAA titles in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle. Smith also captured the ACC titles in both events and set new NCAA records in the 1,000 free and 1,650 free at the ACC Champpionships. Chitwood also guided the 800 free relay to an ACC and UVA record and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Chitwood also aided Kaitlyn Jones to ACC titles in the 400 IM and 200 butterfly and Jones and Megan Moroney to honorable mention All-America honors.
Following the collegiate season, Chitwood coached Smith to an Olympic appearance by qualifying in three events, the 400-meter freestyle, the 800m free and the 4x200m free relay. Smith won gold in Rio with the relay, earned a bronze medal in the 400m free and placed sixth in the 800m free.
In three seasons at UVA, Chitwood has coached Cavalier swimmers to three NCAA records, four ACC records, seven Virginia records and 23 UVA all-time top-10 times.
Clif Robbins Assistant Coach
Clif Robbins was named an assistant swimming and diving coach at Virginia in the summer of 2013. Robbins works primarily with the middle distance stroke/IM swimmers.
During the 2015-16 season, Robbins aided Laura Simon and Yannick Kaeser to All-America honors in the breaststroke discipline. Simon finished seventh in the women's 100-yard breaststroke, while Kaeser placed seventh in the men's 200 breast. Simon also won the 200 breast ACC title and was a part of the 400 medley relay that finished third and the 200 medley realay that placed fourth at the NCAA Championships. For his work with the Cavalier women at the ECAC Championships, Robbins was named the ECAC Women's Coach of the Year.
In 2014-15, Robbins mentored Laura Simon to a second-place finish in the 200 breast at the NCAA Championships, as well as an ACC title. Simon was also part of the 400 medley relay that placed second at NCAAs and the 200 medley relay that finished fourth. In addition, Simon touched fourth in the 100 breast at the national meet. Ellen Williamson and Yannick Kaeser broke school records in the women's 100 fly and men's 100 breast and earned honorable mention All-America honors in the women's 200 IM and men's 100 breast, respectively.
In his first season, Robbins helped guide three Cavaliers, Luke Papendick (men's 200 back), Kaeser (men's 200 breast) and Simon (women's 200 breast) to honorable mention All-America honors, while the trio along with Ellen Williamson combined for six school records.
Lizzy Lagasse Operations Assistant
Lizzy Lagasse joined the Virginia swimming and diving program in January 2016 as an operations assistant. She came to Charlottesville from Temple University where she worked as a graduate in the compliance and student-athlete affairs office for two years.
Lagasse served as an assistant director of lacrosse operations at Penn during the 2015 season while earning a master's degree in sport business with a concentration in athletic administration from Temple in May 2015.
The Roswell, Ga., native graduated with a degree in recreation management from Appalachian State in May 2013.