After finishing in the nation's top four in each of the previous six years, the Tennessee Volunteers finally brought home the NCAA swimming and diving title in 1978.
The Vols dominated the 55th annual NCAA Championships held in Long Beach, Calif., piling up 307 points to 185 for SEC rival Auburn. Tennessee took a 24-point lead on the first day of competition and was never seriously challenged on the way to victory.
The Vols were led by Andy Coan, who earned individual national championships in the 50 and 100 freestyle races. For his efforts, Coan was named Outstanding Swimmer at the championships. John Newton, Kent Martin, Marc Foreman, Gary Faykes and Tim Foreman also had impressive showings for the Volunteers.
The squad shaved coach Ray Bussard's head after returning to the Student Aquatic Center and tossed many of those on hand into the pool.
Tennessee claimed its 10th overall Southeastern Conference title in 1996, as John Trembley's Vols blistered a tough field in front of a partisan crowd at the Student Aquatic Center. UT posted a school-record 846 points in becoming only the second school in league history to break the 800-point barrier.
The Volunteer effort was bolstered by a strong relay performance, as Tennessee took four of five relay wins. UT's 200 medley team of Craig Gilliam, Jeremy Linn, Jim Rumbaugh and Ricky Busquets shattered the American Record with a time of 1:25.86. Busquets swept the 50 and 100 freestyle races, while Linn won the 100 breaststroke, Gilliam claimed the 100 backstroke and Falco Fleischmann finished first in the 200 butterfly. Evan Stewart swept both springboard events, while Adam Terrell finished second off the platform.
Tennessee reeled in its share
of awards following the competition, as Busquets was given the Commissioner's
Trophy and was also named SEC Swimmer of the Year. Stewart and Terrell split
Men's Diver of the Year recognition while Trembley and Dave Parrington were
named Men's Swimming Coach and Men's Diving Coach of the Year, respectively.