FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
University of Houston and University of Virginia
Bridger Bell founded the American Swimming Association University League (ASA U.) as a swimmer at the University of Houston and, as President, went on to oversee the league's growth to sixty-eight teams across the country divided into seven regions, each hosting a regional championship-and all meeting for a National Championship each year.
Under Bridger's leadership, the league facilitated and supported the creation of over twenty-five new collegiate club swimming teams and introduced innovations such as 25-yard races of all strokes, dive-in backstroke races, flip turns in all events, medley relays swum strategically in any order, and a self-disqualification option to promote integrity.
Bridger secured for ASA U. its recognition by the CSCAA's as the first and only collegiate club swimming league in the United States and the CSCAA's subsequent support and inclusion of collegiate club coaches in the broader college swimming community.
Through Bridger's tenure, ASA U. led the way as the only college swimming organization never to allow "tech suits," banning them before they were ever used in competition; other college swimming organizations finally followed suit in 2009.
2010 ASA U. LEADERSHIP AWARD
Penn State Club Swimming
with Special Recognition of Matt Smiddy and Darcy Norton
Penn State Club Swimming's leadership as a club shone brightly at the 6th Annual ASA U. Collegiate Club Swimming National Championships at Emory University, April 17-18, 2010. Penn State benefited from the leadership of their Club President, Matt Smiddy, who organized a full roster of competitors from their club to compete at Nationals. Penn State's exceptional organization and strength as a club was demonstrated by their hosting of meets including the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, their ability to fill all the entry slots possible at Nationals, and the conscientious and engaged leadership of Matt Smiddy, who worked closely and cooperatively with ASA U. to get the most out of the season for his club. The club chose to be pioneers on ASA U.'s rule innovations, highlighted by Darcy Norton's standout ready-position from the blocks in the first finals event of the meet. This inspired others to follow suit as the meet progressed. More importantly, the club was a model of friendly competition, positivity, focus, and fun at the meet. ASA U. is grateful to Penn State for their positive contributions to collegiate club swimming and is pleased to honor them with this award.
2008 ASA U. LEADERSHIP AWARD
Luke Morin of the
University of Colorado-Boulder
Luke Morin served as President of Colorado Swimming and Diving from Spring 2006 to Spring 2008, during which time he led his team to three consecutive ASA U. National Championship Titles. Morin is credited by administrators at UC-Boulder and by his teammates as having an exceptionally professional leadership style. He not only helped facilitate his own club's success, he also helped two clubs in his region get off the ground: The University of Nebraska and University of Kansas, who attended the first-ever ASA U. Western Region-B Championship Meet at Colorado in March 2008. Morin engaged his duties as President and as his club's ASA U. Team Representative passionately, giving thoughtful feedback and suggestions that have helped shape the growth of the organization. ASA U. is pleased to have the opportunity to recognize Luke Morin's outstanding contributions to collegiate club swimming with this award.
2007 ASA U. LEADERSHIP AWARD
Mark Salzillo of
Mark Salzillo founded Northeastern University Swim Club in Fall 2004 and served as club president through Spring 2006. Northeastern University was one of four founding ASA U. Member-Teams and is the only club to have attended every ASA U. National Championships. Salzillo has shared his love of club swimming with, not only his own club, but with numerous clubs by acting as a promoter and advocate of ASA U. and facilitating events through personal sacrifice and generosity, for example, by hosting visiting club teams in his own home that otherwise would not have the means to participate. ASA U. is pleased to have the opportunity to recognize Mark Salzillo's outstanding contributions to collegiate club swimming with this inaugural award.