Congratulations go out to Anne Barbeau on her new position as head coach of Plymouth State University’s women’s swimming and diving team. Anne is the fifth head coach in the program’s 33-year history.
Barbeau, whose coaching career spans some 50 years, will take over for former head coach Al Switzer, who led the Panthers for the last 27 years. Switzer will remain with the program to work with the divers.
“Anne comes to PSU with many years of experience in the world of women’s swimming and diving,” said Assistant Director of Athletics Lauren Lavigne, who chaired the search committee. “Her knowledge of the area and the immediate connection she made with our current team will propel the program while building upon the foundation of success from Al [Switzer].”
Barbeau had a decorated swim career that covered roughly 35 years as a sprinter in Canada. In addition to competing in the 1972 Canadian Olympic trials, the four-time medalist at the Canadian University Championships has also swam in the CEGEP Championships and more recently in the Canadian and World Masters Championships.
“I’m thrilled to be going back to my passion of swimming and coaching,” said Barbeau.
Barbeau has spent the last 17 years as a swim coach and private swim instructor at the White Mountain Athletic Club in Waterville Valley, while also teaching French at the Waterville Valley Academy.
Barbeau got her start as a pool manager, swim coach and lifeguard at the Rosemère Curling Club in Rosemère, Québec, in the late 1960s, before taking on the role of assistant swim coach at Vanier College (Montreal), where she also taught Physical Education, in 1979.
In 1983 Barbeau moved to Laurentian Regional High School in Lachute, Québec, where she started the swim program, while teaching PE, Religion and History and also coaching the ski and soccer programs.
Barbeau also spent 11 years as the swim instructor at Waterville Valley Elementary School.
“Intercollegiate sports is often the culmination of a lifelong sports career and many student-athletes do not earn the chance to compete on this level,” added Barbeau. “I want to provide these women the opportunity to excel, enjoy and learn from the sport of swimming.”
Barbeau inherits a young team with plenty of promise, as five of the six returners will be sophomores or juniors. Junior diver Casey Allaire (Mattapoisett, Mass.) swept the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships each of the past two years, while sophomore Cammie Turell(Bowie, Md.) is coming off a strong rookie campaign and will be the top returning swimmer after posting the fastest times among all returners in nine of her ten events.
Last winter the Panthers finished 2-7 in dual meets, while finishing fifth at the Little East Conference (LEC) Championships and 15th at the NEISDA Championships.