BALTIMORE—UMBC head swimming and diving coach and director of aquatics Chad Cradock has been chosen by the UMBC Alumni Association as the 2010 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in Social and Behavioral Sciences. The award reflects career and professional achievement, as well as service to the university.
"I want to thank the Alumni Association for selecting me for this great honor and, I'd also like to congratulate the other recipients," Cradock said. "The success of this program is the culmination of the hard work of everyone in the athletic department, my coaching staff, the parents, the wonderful support of our alumni and of course, the student-athletes."
A native of Barrie, Ontario, Canada, Cradock earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from UMBC in 1997 and was a four-year letter-winner for the Retriever swimming and diving program. He was awarded the Matt Skalsky Outstanding Scholar-Athlete honor his senior season.
While at UMBC, Cradock swam at the U.S. Open and was fifth in the 400-meter freestyle at the Canadian Olympic Trials in 1996. A mid-free and distance swimmer, he capped his senior season of 1997 by earning ECAC Swimmer of the Meet honors after winning the 200-, 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle events and breaking pool records in the 200 and 500 free to lead the Retrievers to a second-place finish. The previous season, he won both the 500 free and the mile at ECAC's. He was inducted in to UMBC Athletics' Hall of Fame in 2003.
A former school record holder, Cradock joined the UMBC coaching staff as an assistant for the 1997-98 school year and was named head coach in 2001. Since he took over the program, the Retriever men have won nine consecutive conference championships, including seven straight America East titles. The women have won four conference crowns and have finished first or second in eight out nine seasons. Thirty-seven out of the 40 school records have been shattered by Retriever student-athletes under Cradock's tutelage. Cradock and his staff have been named Coach/Coaching Staff of the Year six times during his tenure, including 2010 America East Coaching Staff of the Year.
"I have never met a person who is more upbeat," UMBC Director of Athletics Dr. Charles Brown said. "Chad is always positive about his responsibilities and the people in the community that he serves. He has developed a model program for the university, the State of Maryland and the region."
Cradock and the other recipients of the Outstanding Alumni of the Year will be honored during UMBC's homecoming festivities Oct. 14.