Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lycoming Swimming - Hammaker announces retirement from coaching

Jerry Hammaker won 220 dual meets and a MAC title in 17 years as Lycoming's head coach.
(Photo courtesy of Lycoming Sports Information)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – After a record-breaking 17-year career as the head coach of the Lycoming College men’s and women’s swim programs, Jerry Hammaker announced his retirement from the program.

“I have been incredibly blessed to be a Lycoming College swim coach for the last 18 seasons,” Hammaker said. “I would like to thank (longtime director of athletics) Coach (Frank) Girardi, Dean (John) Piper and President (James) Douthat for their faith in hiring me. Over the years, I have been humbled with the opportunity to work with hundreds of exceptional students, a great group of assistant coaches as well as a tremendous alumni base in a great family atmposphere.”

A national search for a successor will begin immediately.

The Warriors wrapped up the 2017-18 season by setting six records at the MAC Championships, while Hammaker mentored a MAC Champion and earning three total All-MAC honors. Both the men and women finished with 5-4 records, marking the 13th winning season for the men’s program and 16thwinning season for the women in Hammaker’s tenure.

The college’s swim team reached levels of unprecedented success under Hammaker, with the men’s team winning 65 percent of its dual meets and the women winning 67 percent. Along the way, 24 individuals or relay teams earned Middle Atlantic Conference titles and he coached 233 individual All-MAC honorees and 131 All-MAC relay teams. Lycoming swimmers set 96 new school records in the past 17 years.

Lycoming was also represented on a national level, with two of his swimmer earning NCAA ‘B’ qualifiers and one reaching the NCAA Championships and earning All-American honors.

Hammaker rewrote the school's record book. He holds the program record for overall career dual meet wins (220), most wins with the men's program (107) and most wins with the women’s program (113). The Warrior women posted 15 straight winning seasons under Hammaker from 2001-16 while the Warrior men had 15 straight .500 or better seasons.

The high-water mark for Hammaker and the swim program, though, may have come in 2009-10 when a young Warriors squad took the school’s second Middle Atlantic Conference women’s swimming team championship and Lindsay Hunsicker was named the first MAC Swimmer of the Year in school history.

The program enjoyed another banner year in 2012-13, as the program tied the best mark in Hammaker's tenure by breaking eight school records at the MAC Championships. The men's team enjoyed one of the finest seasons in program history, posting an 8-1 dual meet record, including an eight-meet winning streak, both the best marks in nearly 50 years. The team also tied its high-water mark by finishing third at the conference meet thanks to 14 all-conference selections.

Academic success was also paramount for Hammaker’s swimmers, as four of Hammaker’s student-athletes earned CSCAA Scholar All-American status and two others were Capital One Academic All-Americans. The women’s swim team has won CSCAA Scholar All-American Team honors for posting a team GPA better than 3.0 in at least one semester in each of the last 14 years. The men’s swim team has earned the honor in eight of the last 13 seasons.

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