With one of the widest vote variances in our ratings, men's swimming came out with a final placement of tenth. Individual achievements have been strong, but offset by the same substandard facilities that plague the women's program and a tough recruiting challenge, the men's program has many different facets to analyze.
The spread of points, though, gave the men a comfortable one point lead in the final ratings over men's soccer, and narrowly missed edging out the #9 program, which we'll reveal shortly.
Greg Hunter: (13th) West Virginia has long had a respectable men's swimming and diving program. This past season at the Big 12 championship a Mountaineer was named the league's top male swimmer (Tim Squires) and WVU's Vic Riggs was the honored as the coach of the year. Still, for the second consecutive year, West Virginia finished in third place among the three men's teams that compete in the Big 12. And WVU and TCU will usually be looking up at Texas, which is among the nation's best. In addition, WVU's Natatorium was inadequate the day it was built in 1971, as its 25-meter pool is half the length of an Olympic venue. West Virginia's best men's team, which wound up 13-0 in 2007, won its only Big East title that year and finished a program best 20th at the NCAA championships. Despite all that, WVU's coach, Sergio Lopez, left the college ranks after that season to take a coaching position at a Florida prep school.
Matt Keller: (7th) Men's swimming and diving gets the seventh place nod with its last place finish in the Big 12 the main issue. But the squad did finish 23rd national in the NCAA championships, with Big 12 Swimmer of the Year Bryce Bohman. The way the scoring is set up, however, a couple of exceptional swimmers can carry a team to a decent finish – meaning if basketball's Juwan Staten had a similar scoring metric, he might have pushed the Mountaineers into a top 30 status as well.
Michael Carvelli: (11th) Both the WVU men's and women's swimming teams have had a lot of success as of late, with swimmers like Rachael Burnett and Bryce Bohman earning big individual accolades. And it's kind of amazing that they have been able to have the success they have with the lack of great facilities they have to work with. Once West Virginia gets a full-size pool, things could start to get even better for Vic Riggs' team as he continues to prove each year why he's one of the most underrated coaches at WVU.
Kevin Kinder: (8th) The team vs. individual accomplishments stand out in swimming and diving, and make it a tough call to rate the program as a whole. You can't discount those national honors, though. The lack of a 50-meter pool has to be a negative drag on recruiting, but the men's team overcomes that with typical WVU determination in the face of adversity.
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