NORTON, Mass. – Wheaton College Interim Director of Athletics John Sutyak '00 has announced the hiring of Barrett Roberts '07 as head men's and women's swimming & diving coach. Roberts replaces Jean-Paul Gowdy, who resigned in May after eight seasons at the helm of the programs.
"We are thrilled to welcome Barrett back home to Wheaton," said Sutyak. "Barrett was the epitome of a scholar-athlete, one who was equally as impressive in the classroom as he was in the pool. He helped put our swimming & diving teams on the map both in New England and nationally, and I look forward to him continuing that tradition as the leader of our men's and women's programs."
Roberts returns to Norton after spending the 2010-11 season as a graduate assistant coach at New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival Springfield College. With his assistance, the Pride established nine school records and three NEWMAC records this past season. Roberts also saw seven of his student-athletes post national qualifying performances, four post All-America performances, and one post an All-America honorable mention performance.
"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to come back to Wheaton and coach a group of student-athletes who excel in the pool as well as the classroom," said Roberts, who was responsible for coaching Springfield's sprint group, designing dry-land and lifting programs for the squad, and home meet management duties. "Wheaton's swimmers and divers have always been exceptionally motivated individuals, and I look forward to working with the team as we strive to win our first NEWMAC championship."
Prior to his appointment at Springfield, Roberts spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Tufts University (2008-10), helping the Jumbos score nine All-America performances during that span. He also spent two years as a waterfront and aquatics director at Camp All-Star (2005-07).
As an undergraduate at Wheaton, Roberts was a standout swimmer for the Lyons, earning All-America honors three times (2005-07) and NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year accolades in 2006. He was a three-year co-captain who earned College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America honors in 2004 and 2005. As a senior, Roberts took home the Linda Frances Epstein Award and the Outstanding Male Athlete Award. The Epstein Award is presented to a graduating senior who embodies respect for and commitment to the traditions of Wheaton in the achievement of academic excellence and dedicated performance in athletics.
"Barrett's time at both Tufts and Springfield, coupled with his experience here at Wheaton, make him an ideal candidate in continuing to recruit and retain high level student-athletes who will help us achieve our goal of winning NEWMAC championships," added Sutyak.
Roberts, who left Norton with a bachelor's of arts degree in economics and political science after graduating magna cum laude, is currently working toward earning his master's degree in physical education from Springfield. Concentrating in athletic administration, he is set to graduate next May.
Wheaton is a selective national liberal arts college with 1,550 students drawn from every state and nearly 70 countries.The college distinctive liberal arts curriculum emphasizes the connections among the academic disciplines in the arts and sciences and between scholarship and contemporary concerns - through internships, jobs and volunteer service - to help students make the connection between theory and practice. Since 2000, more than 130 Wheaton students have won prestigious scholarship awards, including three Rhodes, nine Truman and more than 150 Fulbright scholarships.