Roth introduced as SBCC’s new aquatics leader

New SBCC women's swimming coach, Brian "Chuckie" Roth, right, with UCSB head swimming coach Gregg Wilson.

New SBCC women’s swimming coach, Brian “Chuckie” Roth, right, with UCSB head swimming coach Gregg Wilson.

Santa Barbara City College officially introduced Brian “Chuckie” Roth on Thursday as the first coach for the new women’s aquatics program at an organizational meeting held in the Sports Pavilion.

Those making statements at the event included UCSB swimming coach Gregg Wilson, City of Santa Barbara Aquatics Director Rich Hanna, SBCC Superintendent Dr. Lori Gaskin and SBCC Athletics Director Ryan Byrne.

A handful of high school and college athletes were in attendance to learn about the new program and what it would take to join.

“I can’t tell you how exciting it is for a program like this to be added,” Wilson said during his remarks, crediting Byrne and SBCC for making the move to increase opportunities through aquatics.

Roth graduated from UCSB after transferring from Citrus Community College. At UCSB, Roth competed for the swimming team under Wilson and has remained active in the local aquatics community by becoming a coach at San Marcos High School and the Santa Barbara Aquatics Club.

“Although it’s so often about the championships that we win, I truly believe it’s about the relationships that we form,” Roth said. “And I know that if we start by forming relationships, we provide opportunities like Ryan’s speaking about, and we support student-athletes in what they need to do, that they can be successful later in life.

“My philosophy is really simple, hard work and dedication, learning to face the challenges, you teach kids to overcome challenges and step up to challenges, then those kids can be successful.”

Roth will retain his role as the girls head coach for water polo and swimming at San Marcos, where the SBCC team will train.?The SBCC women will begin competition in the spring of 2014. A women’s water polo program is being considered. There were at least nine student-athletes already committed to participate in the program’s first year.

Emily Wheeler, a nursing student at SBCC, swam for Roth while at San Marcos and swam for the Santa Barbara Swim Club from when she was five years old until 18.

She’s thrilled to have the opportunity to compete again, especially with Roth as her coach again.

“Chuckie was by far the best coach I’ve ever had,” Wheeler said. “He’s a coach but he’s also a friend.”

It’s not the first time SBCC has competed in swimming. A men’s swimming program existed in the late 1960s early 1970s.

Santa Barbara City Aquatics Supervisor Rich Hanna, who is also President of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, voiced his support for the resurrection of swimming at SBCC.

“First of all, congratulations to Ryan, the athletic department at City College, and the entire college for adding more aquatics programming right here in this community,” Hanna said. “It doesn’t take brain science to look around and see that we’re surrounded by water and we just do not have enough aquatic programs.”

On a personal level, Hanna has dealt with Roth frequently through the tight-knit aquatics community.

“I have no doubt that the coach that is going to lead this program has brought honor, integrity, and strength back to San Marcos High School swimming and water polo, and I know that he’s going to bring that to Santa Barbara City College,” Hanna said.

SBCC will compete in the Western State Conference, which currently has eight women?s swimming programs, including Ventura and Cuesta. With the addition of SBCC and Hancock, there will 10 women?s swim teams in 2014.

To learn more about the SBCC swimming program, contact the athletic department via email?HERE

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