Brad Thornton was officially named the head coach of the Stevens Institute of Technology men’s and women’s swimming programs, replacing Trevor Miele who recently departed for New York University. Thornton came to Stevens for the 2008-09 season and has been a key part in turning both teams into national powers, serving as the top assistant coach, associate head coach and most recently the interim head coach since May 7.
“Brad has already proven to be an outstanding swimming coach during his time at Stevens,” Director of Athletics Russell Rogers said. “His technical knowledge of the sport, recruitment style and strategy and vision for where he wants to take our programs leave us very excited about the future of Stevens swimming. The special rapport he has built with our student-athletes is quite apparent and I very much look forward to the 2012-2013 season under Brad’s leadership.”
During his time in Hoboken, Thornton has brought in countless impact student-athletes as the Ducks have combined for 125 All-America and honorable mention All-America finishes over the last four seasons with each team becoming one of the top programs in the country. Stevens has achieved numerous academic honors as well, with over 20 swimmers earning Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) honors and the team placing amongst the country’s elite. Since become a member of the coaching staff, Thornton has helped Duck swimmers break every single school-record, truly taking the program to new heights.
“I want to thank Russell Rogers, Dr. Maureen Weatherall, Daniel Gallagher and Shane Topping for this opportunity,” said Thornton. “Their level of support for the swim program is a big reason why we have been so successful, and I’m honored they would select me to be the next head coach. This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m very excited to take this next step in my career.”
Since arriving on Castle Point, Thornton-coached teams have steadily raised the bar each year. In 2011-12 he assisted the Ducks to team-best finishes on both sides, with the men placing 11th at the national meet and the women taking fifth. Both squads earned Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) titles and academic honors from the CSCAA, and a school-record 17 swimmers went to the NCAA Division III Championships. Stevens combined for 45 All-America finishes and the women’s program had its second NCAA Champion in freshman Brittany Geyer (Brunswick, Ohio). The men swept the Empire 8 end-of-year awards and Geyer swept the E8 women’s honors herself as the Ducks were the top conference finisher on the national level on both sides – men and women – for a third-straight year.
In 2010-11, the program continued its steady rise to national prominence as the women were sixth in Division III and the men were 14th – both program bests at the time. In total, the two teams combined for 48 All-America or honorable mention All-America finishes and both groups had the Empire 8 Swimmer of the Year. The men won the ECAC title, each team was second at the E8 Championship meet, and both squads earned Scholar All-America team honors with cumulative GPA’s eclipsing 3.25.
Thornton helped push 2011 grad Laura Barito (Arkadelphia, Ark.) to a national title in the 50-yard freestyle and his work with the Stevens sprint teams has elevated those student-athletes to new levels. He is a tireless worker, a strong recruiter and one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the nation, earning Honorable Mention Assistant Coach of the Year by CollegeSwimming.com for the 2010-11 campaign.
His second season, 2009-10, saw the Ducks continue to raise its standards. Thornton helped the women place second in the conference and 12th in the nation, while the men won the Empire 8 and took 17th at the NCAA’s.
In his first year on Miele’s staff (2008-09), Thornton helped the Stevens squads to strong seasons as both programs re-wrote the record books, had best-ever finishes at the ECAC Championships and Empire 8 Championships, and made their mark on the national level. He helped guide the women to an 11th-place finish at the NCAA’s, with the men taking 40th overall.
“I’ve spent the past four years helping to build up our team, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future,” added Thornton. “We have an incredible group of student-athletes currently on the roster, and I’m looking forward to working with an impressive class of incoming freshman.”
As a student-athlete at NYU, Thornton was a six-time NCAA Division III All-American and nine-time honorable mention All-American. In addition to reaching All-America status 15 different times at NYU, Thornton won six Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships and six University Athletic Association championships. The UAA Rookie Swimmer of the Year in 2004-05, Thornton broke NYU records in 11 different events and held nine school-best times when he graduated.
Thornton excelled academically as well for the Violets. In 2007 and 2008, he was a first-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection. Prior to coaching, Thornton worked as an account coordinator for Acronym Media, LLC in New York. He currently is the volunteer director for the New York City Triathlon.
Thornton graduated from NYU in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management. He has been involved in all facets of the Ducks’ swimming program (practice planning, recruitment, development, etc.) the last four years and currently lives in New York, N.Y. Thornton recently received his Master’s degree from Stevens in Management. He is also the Founder/Owner of Hoboken Masters, LLC, which is a United States Masters Swimming (USMS) registered swim team. Thornton currently resides in New York, N.Y.