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The Xavier men's swimming team became the first team at the university to win a BIG EAST Championship since the school joined the league in July of 2013. The Championship was not only the first BIG EAST crown for any sport at XU, but it was also the first ever league title for the men's or women's swimming programs. Xavier swimming head coach and BIG EAST Men's Swimming Coach of the Year Brent MacDonald and Men's Most Outstanding Swimmer Chad Thompson discussed the accomplishment with GoXavier.com.
The Xavier swimming team will compete three times at home this year. The team will also compete against some of the nation's top talent at the University of Texas and stay in Ohio for the Atlantic 10 Championships this season.
Xavier student-athletes were honored today at the Scholar-Athlete Awards Program which is part of the university's All Honors Day.
Two Atlantic 10 Conference championships will be held in the near future for the Musketeers. The track and field team will run at the A-10 Indoor Championship this weekend while swimming starts next week. Both tennis teams are also in action.
Brent MacDonald took over the reigns of Xavier's men's and women's swimming program's in 2009, after previously serving as interim head coach during the 2008-09 season and as an assistant coach at XU from 2006-08.
During the Musketeers' inaugural BIG EAST season in 2013-14, MacDonald led the Xavier men's team to a first place finish at the BIG EAST Championship, marking the first conference title in program history, as well as the first BIG EAST title for Xavier Athletics. The women's team also performed well at the BIG EAST Championship, earning a third place finish. MacDonald was named the 2014 BIG EAST Men's Swimming Coach of the Year.
In both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, the men's team matched their best finish ever in the A-10 Swimming and Diving Championships with consecutive third-place showings. Following the men's performance in 2011-12, MacDonald was tabbed the A-10 Men's Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year.
During his tenure with the team, MacDonald coached one of the most decorated swimmers in Xavier history in Michael Zennedjian. A 2012 graduate, Zennedjian was named the 2009 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year and twice earned the A-10 Most Outstanding Performer (2011, 2012). He finished his career at Xavier with 11 individual and five relay A-10 Championship medals.
MacDonald, a four-year swimmer and record-holder at Valparaiso University, came to XU with extensive coaching experience at the high school and club level. In addition to his duties at Xavier, MacDonald also currently serves as the head satellite coach of the Cincinnati Marlins club team, which he joined in October of 2006.
Prior to working with the Cincinnati Marlins, he served as the assistant swimming coach at Noblesville (Ind.) High School. MacDonald has made a couple of other coaching stops in his career including a stint as the girls' swimming team head coach at Marshfield (Wis.) High School. He also spent two years as the aquatics director at the Marshfield YMCA before taking the Noblesville position.
MacDonald graduated in 2003 from Valparaiso with a degree in sports administration. He has a wife Krista and two children, Carys and Teague.