Women's Swimming Press Conference

Uploaded by UNCAsheville on 01.02.2012

Alright ladies and gentlemen, if you would
go ahead and find seats.
Tell them they're being live-streamed.
This event is being live-streamed on UNCAbulldogs.com. So I would
like to say hello to everybody watching on the world wide web.
At this time I'd like to introduce director of athletics
Janet Cone. [applause]
Thanks for the applause I could use that these days.
Thank you so much for being here. This is an exciting and historic
day for UNC Asheville Bulldogs because we are re-introducing
our women's swimming program which would allow us
to have our 15th sport. And that is very very important
for all of our Bulldogs.
It's also a special day when you get to allow and help someone
to realize their dream and to become a head coach
for the very first time.
And I would say, I won't be like Eddie and reminisce too far back,
but I do remember there's certain moments in your athletic career
where you make a team or you know you get to compete in a
championship or to be called the head coach
or an athletic director. So this is a special day.
And before I introduce our new head coach,
our 15th head coach at UNC Asheville,
I do want to recognize her mother who drove over.
Thank you so much for being here.
And do you know she already has her UNC Asheville gear on.
So we really love that. [applause]
So thank you for being here.
I'm here to introduce you today to Elizabeth Lykins.
Elizabeth has a stellar career in swimming.
But before we talk about her athletic career I also want
to recognize the fact that she herself was a collegiate swimmer
at the College of Charleston.
And actually was an outstanding academic student athlete
where she led that team academically and also was
an MVP and captain at the College of Charleston.
And we all know that's one of our sister schools. That is a
wonderful academic institution.
And also I think it's very important to realize not only
was she a stellar athlete herself but she has begun her career and
has worked her way to this day where she is now going to be a
head coach. She was an assistant coach at Colgate.
She was also an assistant at Georgia Southern where she got
her master's degree.
And presently she is in her fifth year as assistant coach
at Florida Gulf Coast which is a school that she is
now going to compete against because they will be
in the swimming conference that we're in.
And I think her words to her team as they are getting ready
to compete in the championship is you better enjoy this
last championship because the Bulldogs are going to be there
trying to knock them off in the future.
Without any further ado let me introduce you to Elizabeth Lykins
our 15th head coach and the head coach of our women's
swimming program. Elizabeth. [applause]
We want to make sure as of
today February 1st that she is recruiting in the right attire.
Thank you very much. You're welcome.
Oops I'm taking her paper.
Good afternoon, thank you everyone for joining us today.
I am both humbled and honored to have this opportunity
as the head women's swimming coach here at UNC Asheville.
I can't think of a better place to begin my career as a head coach
than this university and in this wonderful city.
I've had the pleasure of coaching with many coaches and mentors
in the past 10 years. And I'd like to thank a couple of them.
I'd like to thank Nicky Alvarez,
Stephen Young Bluthe,
and most recently Neal Studd,
for all of their advice and mentoring
they've given me over my assistant coaching career.
The UNC Asheville Athletic Department has made great
strides on and off the field.
And the women's swimming program will be no different.
We will work equally hard in the pool and out of the pool
to uphold the pride that the Bulldogs already have.
As swimming is revitalized on campus, as Janet pointed out,
we'll be joining the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association.
This conference is the same conference in which all Big South
universities that support swimming and diving compete.
I'm coming from a program that's currently a member of that.
We were a start-up program five years ago and
Florida Gulf Coast University really set the benchmark
by winning three straight conference titles.
In years to come we hope that Asheville
will not only meet that standard but also surpass it.
I plan to start recruiting immediately.
Thank you Eliza for already introducing yourself. [laughter]
And I'm so fortunate that the state of North Carolina
has incredible USA swimming club programs already in existence.
I'll search high and low for the best student athlete I can find.
But I hope that my program's backbone will be from
home-grown athletes.
By the way
if any of you out there have any remaining eligibility
I'd like to speak with you afterwards. Let me know.
I will expect a lot from my athletes.
But most importantly I expect they'll have fun,
they'll grow as individuals,
they'll receive a quality education,
and they'll represent the university
to my standards and those of my peers.
I'd like to thank Janet
and your staff and the search committee for putting together
this wonderful occasion.
Thank you very much.
Thanks Mom for driving up from Athens to surprise me.
And I can't say it enough how excited I am for this opportunity
and "Go Dogs!". [applause]
Do we have any questions for Coach Lykins?
Can you educate us on the composition of the
swimming team? How many members, disciplines, and so forth.
Sure. A full squad consists of 18 swimmers
and that's what you're allowed to take to the conference meet.
You don't have to have 18 to start with but obviously you
have a better chance at scoring the most points with that.
The disciplines include the four strokes,
butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle
in varying distances, depending on the abilities of that athlete.
There are sprint events all the way to the distance event.
The longest collegiate event is the mile.
There is diving and swimming as well. At the moment
we will not be participating in that portion of it,
maybe in future years to come.
And we also hold the individual medley and that's where you
combine all four strokes as a discipline.
What does a typical team datewise look like?
What are you going to teach?
You're allowed to start practice the 1st day of your
school's, of university.
So usually in late August the team will gather and
start practicing.
Your first dual-meet is sometime around
late September early October.
Championships run through February. This year
conference championships are February 16th, 17th and 18th.
with NCAA Division I Nationals being March 15th, 16th and 17th.
Talk a little bit about the conference because they say we're
so used to the Big South and Sure.
This is a different kind of conference for us.
Right the Costal Collegiate Swimming Association is four
conferences put together. It's a bit of a mega conference.
Every university that participates in swimming
from the Big South, every university participates
in swimming from the Southern Conference,
the Atlantic Sun, and the MEAC.
We make the 14th women's swimming program.
And I believe there are six or seven,
don't quote me on that, men's programs in the
Coastal Collegiate Conference.
So it allows for better competition by putting all
of those conferences together. And no one would like to host
a conference championship with just three teams. So when you
put all those conferences together we gain a super conference.
And it makes it very competitive.
Listen, talk about where the championships are presently held.
Sure. Currently or this year and for the previous year
we've been holding our conference championships in Athens, Georgia
at the University of Georgia facility, the Ramsey Center
is the name of that.
They have an incredible facility and lucky for us
the SEC championships are the same weekend, so they're away.
So it works out for us that we can rent their facility
which is world class. And it gives our conference
an incredible environment for our student athletes to succeed.
[indistinct] Sure.
Can I ask a question? do you need to talk about I assume
maybe the pool here is not regulation? or is it?
The pool here is 6 lanes and 25 yards, and that is regulation.
Do you plan to host any of these [indistinct] dual-meets?
Sure we would like to host home dual-meets.
We'll also be on the road for a bit. There are a
couple accommodations that we would make to the pool.
And if we're able to get those in, prior to the next
school year starting, then we'll be able to host home meets.
If not then I think in the next two years we'll be able to.
But we will be hosting home dual-meets or tri-meets.
When you just hold more than one team and that's fine
and in swimming you can do that.
Actually that's a great question, because a listener in
Arden asked me to [indistinct]
her plan that a starting block. It looks like what happens in
track. You now hire people to come in and time these
events like track meets do. They bring in somebody else
comes in and does all of the electronic timing.
So you don't have to have that capability here.
She's already planning, so we may have what we call the
"all-comers meeting" and we want all of you
to come swim a couple laps and then we'll [indistinct].
[laughter] Are you up for that? Michelle raised her hand.
Thanks Michelle we'll hold you to that. [laughter]
Well thank you so much for the opportunity
I really appreciate it. [applause]
Oops I don't want to trip. I want to step back over.
Tonight... And I know Pat does a great job.
We are going have Bulldogs live tonight at Luella's at 6:00 p.m.
And our new head
women's swimming coach is also going to be part of that show.
We'd love for you or any of your friends and family to join us
tonight. Eddie and Betsy will also, Eddie will be calling in.
But it's one more chance to introduce our community
to our newest Bulldog.
And we're certainly excited about that opportunity.
So I think is there anything else Matt you have for this?
I think we're good.
Well thank you again for coming and be sure to stop and
say hello because that is one of our trademarks at UNC Asheville.
We always welcome people to our campus and try to help them
in any way that we can.
So we want Elizabeth and her mom today to feel like they've got 20
new friends before they leave. So thank you so much. [applause]
Thank you very much. Thank you for the polo as well.
Oh yeah.