- Aquatics Director & Head Coach, Men's Swimming
Trip Breen enters his 14th season as the head men and women's swimming coach at Wilmington with the same philosophy that has made his team successful both in and out of the water.
"I want these kids to walk away with memories of the total experience, not just their fastest time in whatever event," said Breen, a former member of Centerville High School and Wright State University's swim teams. "I want the experience to be the most memorable thing for them. And that isn't just swimming. It could be spending time with teammates, everything that's involved in the sport. They'll remember their college years more fondly because of being involved in swimming here at Wilmington College."
Breen's formula for success has worked. Since pushing Wilmington's program into the water in 1998, he has twice been named Ohio Athletic Conference Women's Coach of the Year and also was named OAC Men's Coach of the Year. His teams also have consistently been among the top academic squads in the nation. Wilmington College swimming is the epitome of Division III athletics.
"After swimming at Wright State, my first job as an assistant was at Wittenberg University," Breen said. "I fell in love with Division III and Division III athletics. When this job came open, it just seemed like a perfect fit. What I like most about Division III is that everyone that's here wants to be here — they're not doing it for a scholarship or anything else. There's a lot of work that goes into swimming: morning practices, a lot of time and commitment. The benefit that these student-athletes get from competing at this level is being on a team and being part of something very special."
Breen and the WC swim teams have earned the respect of the Division III community by working hard and competing fairly. No gamesmanship. Just total commitment and effort from all involved.
"We want to be a team that other teams want to compete with," Breen said. "It seems like, in this day and age, sportsmanship and things like that aren't stressed. I don't ever want to see our team as being one that people are shooting at. I want us to be a team that people want to compete with because it's good competition. I want to build positive rivalries."
With a solid track record and a growing reputation, recruiting student-athletes to Wilmington College is an opportunity — not a challenge — for Breen.
"We want people who want to be on a team," Breen said. "You can tell kids who want to be part of a team. We really push for seeing swimming at the collegiate level as a team sport. We look for kids who are goal-oriented, both academically and athletically. We also look for mastery of the sport. We want kids that are going to come here and be competitive."