GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Head Coach Ned Skinner, Diving Coach Ron Piemonte, junior Kaylea Arnett and freshman Jan Switkowski, all of the Virginia Tech swimming and diving teams, have been honored with Atlantic Coast Conference end-of-season awards, as announced by the conference on Thursday morning.
Skinner and Piemonte were named the ACC Men’s Coach of the Year and ACC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year, respectively, while Arnett was named the ACC Women’s Diver of the Year and Switkowski was tabbed as the ACC Men’s Freshman of the Year.
This is the second time that Arnett has garnered the Women’s Diver of the Year award, as she also earned the honors as a freshman. After winning the 1-meter and 3-meter events and taking third in the platform at the ACC Championships, the Spring, Texas native became just the third female diver to claim three ACC Championship Most Valuable Diver honors. At the 2014 NCAAs, Arnett placed third in the one-meter and snagged honorable mention All-America status in the three-meter and platform disciplines.
“In my opinion, Kaylea’s amazing performances at the ACC Championships, coupled with a third-place finish and two other Honorable Mention All-American honors at NCAAs, makes her undoubtedly the most worthy candidate for this honor,” Piemonte said. “I am very proud of Kaylea’s accomplishments this year and I am thrilled she achieved this title.”
Switkowski earned Virginia Tech’s first conference freshman award since 1998 after putting together a standout first season as an H2Okie. At the ACC Championships, he earned Tech’s only gold medal, taking first in the 500 freestyle and defeating his nearest competition by nearly two seconds en route to the H2Okies’ first-ever ACC Men’s Championship. After just one season at Tech, Switkowski owns a pair of individual school records (200 free, 500 free) and is a member of three school record-holding relay teams (400 free, 800 free, 200 medley).
“Jan earning Freshman of the Year means a lot to us, because our freshman class was so instrumental in winning the ACC Championship,” Skinner said. “He has been such a force, both in and out of the pool for this men’s team. I’m also so happy that Kaylea was recognized for a truly outstanding season. She has meant so much to our program, both as a leader and as a performer in the pool.”
Piemonte, considered among the nation’s best diving coaches, earned his first career Diving Coach of the Year award after guiding the H2Okie divers to another historic season, as Arnett was named ACC Championship Most Valuable Diver and advanced to earn a trio of All-American honors at NCAAs, including a bronze medal in the 1-meter event.
“It is a great honor to have been awarded this title,” Piemonte said. “In addition to Kaylea’s outstanding year, credit also needs to go to ever-important ACC finalists and NCAA qualifiers Kelli Stockton and Ashley Buchter for a terrific and noteworthy season.”
Skinner led the Virginia Tech men to their first-ever ACC championship in 2014, snapping a string of six consecutive titles by in-state rival Virginia. At the NCAA Championships, the Hokies placed 20th overall, their third-straight top-20 finish, while registering two All-America honors and three honorable mention All-Americas. This is Skinner’s fourth career Men’s Coach of the Year award and second since joining the ACC. He also earned the honors after the 2012 season.
“I’m so happy for Ron to win Diving Coach of the Year, because he put so much into this program and his diving team, and it’s very exciting for us to see him rewarded for his hard work,” Skinner said. “I’m accepting my award on behalf of our staff. In my opinion, it’s truly a ‘Staff of the Year’ award. I know that sounds easy to say, but it really is the case in our sport, where all of our coaches are in this together. It makes me feel good that all of our colleagues acknowledged the success we had at Virginia Tech this season.”
Of the 10 post-season awards handed out by the conference on Thursday, the H2Okies’ four were twice as many as the nearest school, as Virginia and Duke each earned a pair of awards. A complete list of the awards can be seen below and a link to complete coverage from the ACC is above.
Complete ACC Awards:
Men’s Swimmer of the Year – Pavel Sankovich, Florida State
Men’s Diver of the Year – Nick McCrory, Duke
Men’s Freshman of the Year – Jan Switkowski, Virginia Tech
Men’s Coach of the Year – Ned Skinner, Virginia Tech
Men’s Diving Coach of the Year – Nunzio Esposto, Duke
Women’s Swimmer of the Year – Emma Reaney, Notre Dame
Women’s Diver of the Year – Kaylea Arnett, Virginia Tech
Women’s Freshman of the Year – Leah Smith, Virginia
Women’s Coach of the Year – Augie Busch, Virginia
Women’s Diving Coach of the Year – Ron Piemonte, Virginia Tech
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