The College of Staten Island Swimming & Diving program will have an addition to the assistant coaching ranks, as James Callaghan has been added to the staff. Callaghan will begin in time for the 2019-20 season, which starts officially in the coming days with preseason conditioning in time for the varsity competitive season in October.
A Staten Island native, Callaghan recently completed a decorated collegiate career, and has been immersed in coaching and instructional work for some time.
“We are very excited to add James to our coaching staff,” said Head Coach Michael Ackalitis, who is beginning his 9th year at CSI. “James has competed at the college level and won multiple conference championships in the middle distance events and we feel our team can greatly benefit from his experiences. James also has a goal to one day run his own college program so coming into our program with his willingness to learn is something we hope to hone in on and grow together.”
A standout at Monsignor Farrell High School on Staten Island, Callaghan then moved on collegiately to Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, where he earned the captaincy in 2018, and graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health & Exercise Physiology. There, he was a school record holder and a Centennial Conference silver medalist in the 400 Individual Medley, posting a gold medal in the 200 Butterfly event in 2016. During hus undergraduate career, Callaghan also served as a lifeguard and swim instructor. He hopes to transition nicely to the CSI waters, where he has a great deal of familiarity from swimming and instructing as a youth.
“I’m really excited,” said Callaghan. “Coaching is always something I wanted to do. Being from Staten Island, I know the facility here very well and I’ve been around the College a long time. Having an opportunity here to coach and be a part of the program, just feels like something I am meant to do. I’m very excited for the opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”
On top of Callaghan’s day-to-day duties at Ursinus, he also spent his summers as a Head Swim Coach for Great Kills Swim Club on Staten Island, working with students ages 4-18. Prior to that, Callaghan did the same at Staten Island Academy. He is a Certified Lifeguard and a member of the American Swimming Coaches Association. He is enthusiastic at having the chance to mentor the next wave of student-athletes at Staten Island, especially in light of the school’s recent move to NCAA Division II.
“Going to Ursinus and having the chance to swim for a high-quality Division III program, I had the chance to meet and compete against many Division I and Division II athletes, ” he said. “There are a lot of similarities to the standards we hope to meet here at CSI. Moving to Division II, I hope to provide general assistance and support so that our program can get better and better and be highly competitive as a Division II program.”
The Dolphins will officially start their 2019-20 campaign in late-October, when they start a string of five-straight home meets on Saturday, October 26, against FDU-Florham, at the Sports & Recreation Center.