Amidst the news of two new massive college swimming jobs opening up following the departure of Mike Bottom as Michigan’s head coach and Tracy Slusser as the Stanford women’s assistant coach, Boston University has taken one of the open coaching positions off the board. BU Athletics Director Drew Marrochello announced Thursday morning that James Sica has been hired as the head coach of the Terriers’ men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs. Sica comes to the team following the retirement of Bill Smyth, who was at the helm of BU for 18 years.
Sica comes to Boston from MIT, where he has been serving as the associate head coach, as well as recruiting coordinator. Sica recently completed his sixth season with the Engineers, during which time MIT won the men’s and women’s NEWMAC titles and never finished outside the top ten at Division III NCAAs.
Speaking on the hire, Marrochello said in part “His coaching career is filled with stops at prestigious institutions, and it’s clear he’s driven to develop true scholar-athletes. He has enjoyed a strong run during his tenure at MIT and as we got to learn more about him and his coaching philosophy, it’s apparent that one of his top strengths is his ability to connect with and mentor athletes.”
Prior to his six-year stint at MIT, he spent several years as an assistant coach at Carnegie Mellon. His first collegiate coaching job was as a volunteer assistant at Harvard during the 2014-2015 season. Sica completed his Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science during his time at Harvard. He competed collegiately for Ithaca College, where he was named captain for his senior season.
“It is a tremendous honor to be named the next head coach for swimming & diving at Boston University,” Sica began his statement on his hiring. “I am excited to contribute to the swim & dive program’s future success while creating a student-athlete experience that enriches the world-class academic opportunities that Boston University has to offer,” he continued.
The Terriers women’s team took home a fourth-place finish (out of ten teams), while the men’s team took fifth (out of ten teams) at the Patriot League Championships in February.