After each taking the top spot in this year’s Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships, the Texas men and Texas A&M women headline the 2011-12 Big 12 Swimming and Diving postseason awards. The Longhorn men swept the honors, while the Aggies claimed four of five accolades on the women’s side. Honorees were selected by a vote of the league’s coaches.
It is the fourth time since 2003 that the Texas men have claimed all five awards outright, after also accomplishing that feat in 2003, ‘04 and ‘08. Texas A&M with its four selections on the women’s side repeats a standard that it set in 2010 with a quartet of representatives receiving a postseason honor.
For the fourth consecutive year, Texas’ Jimmy Feigen was tabbed Swimmer of the Year on the men’s side. The senior becomes the first Big 12 swimming and diving athlete to claim a postseason award four times in a career. He also individually won the award in 2011, while sharing the accolade in 2009 and 2010. This season, Feigen was part of three national championships, winning the 50 and 100-yard freestyle national titles and anchoring the 400-yard freestyle national championship relay. The senior captured seven All-America honors in total.
Freshman Kip Darmody (Texas) was named Newcomer of the Year after claiming a national championship as part of the 800- yard freestyle national championship relay for Texas and also placing seventh in the 100 backstroke at NCAA’s. At the Big 12 Championships, he was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Meet. He captured Big 12 titles in the 800 freestyle relay and 200 backstroke while also taking second in the 100 backstroke. Darmody continues the Texas hold on the Newcomer of the Year award. The Longhorns have claimed that honor every year since 2003.
Texas’ Drew Livingston follows up his NCAA Diver of the Meet award with his third Big 12 Diver of the Year honor. The senior won the national championship in the 1-meter, finished second in the 3-meter and was fourth in the platform at NCAA’s. At the Big 12 Championships, he won both the 1-meter and platform while taking second in the 3-meter to earn his fourth consecutive Big 12 Diver of the Meet honor.
UT men’s head coach Eddie Reese garnered his 10th overall and seventh straight Coach of the Year accolade. The eight-time NCAA Coach of the Year guided his squad to its 16th consecutive Big 12 title and 27th NCAA top-3 finish. For the last five years, Texas has finished either first or second at the NCAA Championships. UT diving coach Matt Scoggin received his sixth career men’s Diving Coach of the Year recognition after leading the Longhorn divers to four top-five finishes at the NCAA’s.
On the women’s side, Texas A&M sophomore Breeja Larson was tabbed as the Swimmer of the Year. She broke the NCAA, U.S. Open and American records in the 100-yard breaststroke event at the NCAA Championships with a time of 57.71, while also grabbing third place overall in the 200-yard breaststroke at the event.
Missouri’s Shara Stafford was the lone athlete not from Texas or Texas A&M to be recognized. The senior, who transferred into Missouri this year, was honored as the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year. During the season, she set individual all-time Missouri records in the 50 Free (21.79), the 100 Free (48.54), the 200 Free (1:43.62), the 100 Fly (52.44), and the 200 IM (1:59.11). Stafford is just the second Missouri athlete, male or female, to claim a Big 12 postseason swimming and diving award, after Loren Figueroa was named the Diver of the Year last year.
On the heels of receiving the Diver of the Meet award at the 2012 NCAA Championships, Jaele Patrick (Texas A&M) has won the Big 12 Diver of the Year award. She placed first in the 1-meter springboard event with a score of 410.15, marking the first NCAA Championship win in Texas A&M diving history. She also finished runner-up in the 3-meter springboard event with a score of 348.90. It is her second Big 12 postseason award, after also being recognized in 2010.
The Texas A&M coaching staff swept the Big 12 honors as swimming coach Steve Bultman and diving coach Jay Lerew both earned Big 12 Coach of the Year awards in their respective areas. Bultman guided Texas A&M to its fourth Big 12 title in the last six years and a top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships for a sixth straight year. It is the fourth career Big 12 honor for the Aggie head coach. On the diving side of things, Lerew tallies his second Big 12 award, after first earning the distinction in 2010. This season, he helped nurture Patrick and teammate Janie Potvin to four top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships and was named the Diving Coach of that meet as well as at the Big 12 Championships.
Swimmer of the Year: Jimmy Feigen, Texas
Diver of the Year: Drew Livingston, Texas
Newcomer of the Year: Kip Darmody, Texas
Swimming Coach of the Year: Eddie Reese, Texas
Diving Coach of the Year: Matt Scoggin, Texas
Swimmer of the Year: Breeja Larson, Texas A&M
Diver of the Year: Jaele Patrick, Texas A&M
Newcomer of the Year: Shara Stafford, Missouri
Swimming Coach of the Year: Steve Bultman, Texas A&M
Diving Coach of the Year: Jay Lerew, Texas A&M