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Goodman James announces resignation as Lady’Back swim coach

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Goodman James announces resignation as Lady’Back swim coach

FAYETTEVILLE –Anne Goodman James announced her decision to step down as the head coach of the University of Arkansas swimming and diving program on Friday afternoon. “I value the opportunity that I have had being the head swimming coach here for the past ten years, but this is the right thing for me right now and the right thing for the program’s future,” Goodman James said. “I have valued the chance to lead these fine young women who have been a part of our team, and the hard work of our student-athletes. I also have a great appreciation for the Women’s Athletics Department staff.” The 10-year veteran head coach made the announcement at a team meeting with the Lady Razorbacks on Friday. A nationwide search for Goodman James’ replacement will begin immediately. “We appreciate Anne’s service to the university and her commitment to her athletes over the years,” UA Director of Women’s Athletics Bev Lewis said. “She has conducted herself with great integrity as a coach and administrator. We wish her the best of luck in whatever she chooses to pursue.” The 2005 recipient of the College Swim Coaches of America Association’s Richard E. Steadman Award, Goodman James guided the Lady’Back swimming and diving program the past decade to some its best performances. Her teams produced 11 all-Americans, including 2003 NCAA national runner-up Mandy Moran. She also coached two Olympians during her Arkansas tenure — Zsuzsa Czobanki, who swam for Hungary at the 2004 Athens Games, and Natalia Kodajova, a 1996 Olympian from Slovakia – and American hopeful Peggy Stoner, who made the cut to participate in the 2004 U.S. Trials. Her teams were highly ranked in the classroom, and in 2003 were number one in the nation for team GPA at 3.644 – men’s or women’s teams over all divisions. One of her athletes, Kattie Shepherd, was named the NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Arkansas in 2003. “I take great pride in the academic achievements of our team, and the fact that they were truly student-athletes,” Goodman James said. “What I’ll remember most about my time here is the excitement of being a part of the lifetime bests and the national qualifying and all-America performances of our athletes.” Goodman James led Arkansas to its best finish in school history for the SEC meet in 2004 with a seventh place finish, and the highest national score at the NCAA meet since the late 1980s at 27th. This past season, Arkansas finished ninth out of the nine member institutions that sponsor women’s swimming at the SEC Championship. One of her greatest overall seasons came in 2002-03 as the Lady’Backs finished eighth at the SECs, and that same season captured the CSCAA award for the highest GPA in the nation. Arkansas advanced seven athletes to the NCAAs that spring, and had six all-Americans on the 2003 squad to score 31st at the NCAAs. Arriving at Arkansas in 1996 after building Northern Michigan into a Division II powerhouse, Goodman James coached 28 Division II national champions and three Division II national swimmers of the year before joining the Lady Razorbacks. Her 1992 team was the national runner-up, leading to the first of her two Division II national coach of the year awards. The past president of the CSCAA and a member of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Committee, Goodman James began her coaching career at her alma mater, Texas Tech, in 1976.



Sports Category : Swimming & Diving (W)