Rowan swimming head coach Tony Lisa announced Monday that he is retiring after over three decades at the helm of one of the school’s most successful programs.
During his 35-year tenure at Rowan, Lisa compiled a record of 469-155-1, including 265-90-1 as the men’s head coach. In 26 years as women’s coach, Lisa went 204-65. He will officially step down on June 30.
“This is difficult, leaving the position of swim coach at Rowan University,” Lisa said in a press release. “I feel like it is the only thing I have done my entire adult life. Glassboro State/Rowan University has been my home for 48 years. I have grown up here as a person and a professional.”
Lisa spent two separate stints as Rowan’s swim coach during his illustrious career. In 2007, after leading the Profs for 30 years, he left the school to pursue an opportunity as the assistant swim coach and recruiting coordinator for the U.S. Military Academy. He returned to Glassboro for the 2009-10 season and has remained in the head coaching position ever since.
This past winter, he coached the men’s team to a 10-1 record, while the women’s finished 9-2.
“I am excited for our team and the university with the prospect of bringing in a new young coach,” Lisa continued in the release. “The team is very strong and will compete well for championships next year. Watching the new coach take this team to a higher level will bring a big smile to my face.”
Under Lisa, the women’s team won nine consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference titles from 1991 to 1999. He also guided three athletes to NCAA Division III Championships and was named the NJAC Women’s Coach of the Year four consecutive times during the mid-1990s.
A graduate of Glassboro State College in 1975, Lisa is a member of both the Gloucester County and Salem County Sports Hall of Fame.
“I am so appreciative of those who hired me as a professor, [former football] Coach Richard Wackar and [past baseball coach] Mickey Briglia, and then told me that I was the swim coach even though I had never swam or even been to a swim meet,” Lisa said. “I am thankful that my colleagues at Rowan have always been so supportive of my team, family and me. In addition, I am thankful that the parents sent their children here and allowed me to coach them.”
Rowan has yet to announce any details in regards to who will replace Lisa for the 2014-15 season.