Coaching change for Acadia swim teams

John Decoste
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Stone heading west, Fry comes out of retirement to replace him for 2014-2015

Chris Stone has resigned as head coach of the Acadia and Wolfville Tritons swim teams to take a position in Fort McMurray, AB.

The Acadia swim teams got some bad news and some good news on Aug. 14. The Acadia swimmers will return to the pool this fall with a new head coach.

At the same time as the departure of Chris Stone was confirmed, it was announced that Acadia alumnus and former Dalhousie head coach David Fry will assume the head coaching position for the 2014-2015 season.

Stone, the Acadia swim coach since the program was resurrected in 2009, will be heading west to become head coach of the Fort McMurray Manta swim club in Fort McMurray, AB effective Sept. 1.

With Stone’s departure, the Wolfville Tritons swim club will also be in the market for a new head coach.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision to leave,” Stone said in an Aug. 14 release. “My time here at Acadia will always be a career highlight for me, not because of the wins, but because of the people I was able to work with, in and out of the water.

“I consider myself very lucky to have been part of such a storied program in this new phase of its history, and of the lives of such an exceptional group of young men and women.”

Stone had the most successful season of his five years at Acadia in 2013-2014, as the Acadia teams combined for a third-place finish at the AUS championships – the men were second overall, and the women fourth.

Acadia’s final medal count at the AUS meet included six gold, seven silver and four bronze medals, the highest number since the return of the program.

Three Acadia swimmers - Hayden Adams, Kristen MacPherson and Luc Boudreau – qualified for the CIS championships, where Boudreau won a silver medal in the 200-metre breaststroke.

Kevin Dickie, Acadia’s Director of Athletics, said he was proud of Stone’s accomplishments.

“Acadia thanks Chris for the tremendous job he has done resurging and energizing our swim program. I know he will go on to have a great coaching career, and we wish him the best of luck with his new appointment in Alberta," Dickie said.

"As hard as it is to lose a young coach of Chris’s calibre, to have David Fry become a part of our Acadia family in such a short period of time is almost unbelievable.”

Fry, who retired in 2012 after 16 years as head swim coach at Dalhousie, brings a wealth of experience to the position. Fry led the Tigers to 30 of a possible 32 AUS championships during his 16 years as head coach.

Fry’s development of swimmers at Dalhousie culminated when David Sharpe earned a berth of the 2012 Canadian Olympic team.

His coaching career began soon after his graduation from Acadia in 1972. He holds a B.A. from Acadia, a B.Ed. from Queen’s, an M.A. in Coaching Science from Lakehead and a law degree from Dalhousie.

Dickie said Fry’s interest in coaching at Acadia “is a springboard for our whole department as we head into the fall season. David’s history has been about producing perennial national Top-10 programs, national and Olympic calibre swimmers, and most importantly, very good people.”

For his part, Fry said he is itching to get back on the pool deck following his short retirement.

“After rekindling a desire to get back to coaching, I was excited by the opportunity to coach the varsity men’s and women’s teams at Acadia,” he said.

“For me, it’s like going home. I was a varsity swimmer there for four years, my family is in the area, and I’ve always admired the value shown to varsity sport and excellence by the university. I’m excited to get back on the pool deck.”

Organizations: Tigers

Geographic location: Acadia, Fort McMurray, Alberta Lakehead

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