Men's team finishes second, women edged out for third
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The conferences have changed: SWC, WAC, C-USA, MWC and now Big 12. With all the movement TCU Athletics has had in the past, the Horned Frogs swimming and diving program has had one man at the helm. Richard Sybesma enters his 35th season in charge of TCU's men's and women's swimming and diving program. With him he brings the entire history of the team, his winning record, his keen leadership and intuition and half of his life. In 1978, he took the reigns of the TCU swimming and diving operation, and made it into what it is today.
Sybesma has coached in more than 700 dual meets, and his overall career record now stands at 425-288-4 (.596).
Through the leadership of Sybesma, TCU was able to make a solid transition to the Big 12 Conference. At the conference championships, the Horned Frogs men finished second with the women taking third, only a couple points out of second place. The Big 12 Championships also saw the crowning of Cooper Robinson as the Big 12 Champion in the 200 backstroke.
Robinson had an enormous second season for Sybesma's Frogs. He was a consistent presence in the 200 back, going below the NCAA `B' cut for the event seven times and setting three pool records in the event during the season. He also finished fourth in the 200 IM and fifth in the 100 back at the Big 12 Championships en route to earning the TCU Swimming MVP Award.
Altogether, the Frogs had 25 student-athletes earn 42 All-Big 12 honors at the conference championships. The Frogs' busy season consisted of both the men's and women's squads recording winning dual meet seasons, and each team getting its first ever Big 12 dual meet wins at West Virginia. There were also 16 TCU records set throughout the season and 49 NCAA `B' cuts were swam by Sybesma's Frogs.
In 2011-12, the women's team finished with an 8-6 record in the dual meet season. Junior Sabine Rasch had a season of accomplishments galore. She became the first woman to represent TCU at the NCAA Championships since 1996, competing in the 50 and 100 free. She took down individual school records in the 50, 100 and 200 free and as a member of the 400 medley relay and 200, 400 and 800 free relay teams.
The men's squad finished the year with a 6-3 dual meet record. Sybesma and the Frogs said good bye to two of the program's better swimmers wrap up their careers. Laszlo Gyurko took down the school record in the 100 fly and 100 back along with being a member of record breaking squads in the 200 and 400 medley relay and 800 free relay.
The other was Edgar Crespo. While Crespo had an impact on the school record books, leaving with the records in the 100 and 200 breast and as part of the 200 and 400 medley relay, Sybesma was able to help transition Crespo's talent to the international level. Through his work in Fort Worth, Crespo qualified for his second Olympic Games, representing Panama in the 100-meter breaststroke.
Sybesma's ability to get top international talent to come to Fort Worth and develop has been evident during the Olympics. For the second consecutive summer Olmypiad, TCU was represented by two swimmers. Along with Crespo, Alejandro Gomez qualified for Venezuela. At the 2008 Olympics, Crespo and Lili Guiscardo of Argentina represented the Horned Frogs. TCU's first Olympic swimming qualifier was Walter Soza of Nicaragua at the 1996 Olympics.
Among the members of the 2011-12 TCU men's and women's squads, nine student-athletes competed at various Olympic Trials competitions around the world.
The legendary coach saw TCU claim another individual conference title in 2011 as Sabine Rasch won the Mountain West crown in the 100 free. Sybesma led her to only TCU's second individual title on the women's side and first since 2007.
In 2010, the Horned Frog men captured their first dual meet Mountain West conference championship. He led the Frogs to a 7-0 record, including a 5-0 record in the MWC. At the MWC Championships, Sybesma led the men to a fifth-place finish and the women to a seventh-place finish.
Sybesma helped lead Edgar Crespo to the NCAA Championships, becoming the first Frog since 2008 to qualify for the NCAAs and only the second since 1997. Crespo won the MWC individual title in the 100-breast, headlining a group of 14 Horned Frogs on the all-MWC team.
In 2009, the Frogs rewrote 13 new school records, had 16 All-Mountain West Conference team members and enjoyed one MWC individual champion. The women's squad finished the campaign with an 8-3-1 overall record and a seventh place finish in the MWC Championship standings, while the men earned a 4-5 record and a fifth place finish in Oklahoma City.
The Frogs' 16 All-MWC members compiled honors in 23 events, as TCU also ended the season with eight MWC Swimmer/Diver of the Week award winners. Out of the water, both squads earned Academic All-America status for their outstanding achievements in the classroom.
In 2008, Sybesma had 11 student-athletes earn 22 All-Mountain West Conference selections. The men put together a successful year setting three new school records and compiling 11 MWC weekly honors. Senior Jonathon Berrettini became the first TCU swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships since 1997, recording a time of 56.69 in the 100-meter back, the fifth best time nationally among collegiate swimmers.
In 2006-07, he led the Horned Frogs to a 19-7 dual meet record and tallied his 350th career win on Nov. 18, 2006 against San Diego State and Centenary. Sixteen Frogs were named to the All-Mountain West Conference team in 2007, and Guillermo Ramirez and Cheryl Townsend both claimed MWC Individual Titles.
In TCU's inaugural year in the Mountain West Conference in 2006, the women's squad set a school record with 15 victories and also swam to a strong fourth-place showing at the conference championships. Overall, the men and women held a dual meet record of 21-6.
Prior to joining the Mountain West Conference, the Frogs spent four seasons in Conference USA. During that time, TCU collected five conference titles and tallied an overall dual meet record of 78-20.
In 2004, Sybesma led the Horned Frogs to a 21-3 dual meet record and the first ever single-school sweep at the C-USA Championships. Craig Chapman earned Swimmer of the Meet honors, after the junior notched three individual titles and was a member of two winning relay teams. On Feb. 7, Sybesma tallied his 300th career win after the Frogs swept a dual against Centenary.
During his tenure, he has also coached 18 All-Americans, seven National Champions, 26 Olympic trial qualifiers and four Olympians. In addition, all TCU swimming and diving records have been set during his coaching career and during the 1999-2000 campaigns, the men ranked among the top-25 in the nation.
Sybesma has been honored as the Coach of the Year four times in his career. In 2004, he received the honor after leading the Frogs to a Conference USA sweep. In 2002, Sybesma earned the Coach of the Meet honors at the C-USA Men's Invitational Championship after the men claimed their first of four consecutive conference titles.
As a coach in the Southwest Conference, he was named the Coach of the Year on three different occasions (1981, 1989, 1991). On the national level, Sybesma was honored with the Master Coach Award in 1992 that is given by the College Swim Coaches Association.
In addition, he was also the recipient of the C-USA Student Athlete Advisory Committee's Coaches Award (SAAC) as voted on by student athletes from around the conference. This honor is given to the coach who exemplifies a commitment to creating a positive academic and athletic atmosphere while fostering the student-athlete's development and welfare.
His resume doesn't end there. In 1996, Sybesma coached the Nicaraguan Olympic swim team at the Atlanta games. He took Walter Soza and Jason Flint to the NCAA Championships, where in 1997, Flint placed 16th in the 200-yard breaststroke. That same year, Sybesma tallied his 200th dual meet win. In 2001, in memory of former Horned Frog swimmer Matt Walter, he carried the Olympic Torch through the TCU campus.
In 2003, Sybesma was invited to coach at the NCAA Division I Men's Swimming Youth Education Through Sports (YES) in New York.
Sybesma's swimmers not only excel in the pool, but in the classroom as well. The College Coaches Association has named his women's team to its Academic All-American swim team for 40 consecutive semesters. The men have also tallied that honor 14 times under his guidance.
The 2012-13 season saw 22 swimmers and divers make the Academic All-Big 12 squad. Sabine Rasch brought home TCU Athletics' highest academic honor by being named the Dutch Meyer Female Student-Athlete of the Year.
In 2009, 26 swimmers and divers were named to the Academic All-MWC Team, which led all other TCU sports. Twelve Frogs were also named MWC Scholar-Athletes for earning a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Sybesma is also extremely involved in the community. He has conducted swim lessons and clinics in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Malaysia, as well as here in Fort Worth. His international connection also extends to Fort Worth's sister city, Reggio Emilia, Italy, where he coached in 1987. Sybesma has also been a speaker at the NISCA Clinic, TIS--CA and the Southwest Coaches Clinic.
Sybesma graduated from Texas Tech University in 1975 with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education. While with the Red Raiders, he was a three-year letterman and captain of the swim team. In 1992, he earned his Master of Liberal Arts degree from TCU. Sybesma has two daughters, Courtney (27) and Katy (25), who both graduated from TCU in May 2007. Katy married Ryan Eliott in May 2007.