Steve Collins

SMU to dedicate Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, 2017

Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center, SMUSMU will dedicate the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, the new home of SMU’s international championship swimming and diving programs, at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. The 42,000 square foot center, located on the East Campus at 5550 SMU Boulevard, makes a big splash in Division I swimming and diving with facilities, coaching and training technology designed to prepare men’s and women’s swimmers and divers for the highest level of competition.

“For more than 70 years, SMU swimming and diving has produced Olympians, All Americans and NCAA champions,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The completion of the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center affirms SMU’s commitment to providing first-rate facilities to support our student-athletes.”

The Aquatics Center natatorium, named for legendary Mustang swim coaches A.R. “Red” Barr and George “Mac” McMillion ’55, features an indoor Olympic-sized pool configured for eight 50-meter competition lanes or twenty-two 25-yard lanes. Its diving area boasts a 10-meter diving tower with four springboards. Just like cupolas on campus and the Mustang on Expressway Tower, the diving tower will be lit in red when Mustang swimming is victorious.

The natatorium also features seating for 800 spectators on the mezzanine level. Three large high-definition video boards across from the seating area display swimming times, live video or graphics and swimming and diving scores.

As a practice facility, the center features the SwimPro video system, with underwater and above-water cameras to analyze swimmers’ performances. Video can be viewed on the pool deck or downloaded for review by coaches and student-athletes. The diving well also features cameras to capture 1-meter, 3-meter and platform diving.

“The video can be shown on mounted TVs on the deck so the coaches can review technique with the swimmers while practice is going on,” said Steve Collins, head coach of Mustang women’s swimming. “Video can also be viewed in the conference room for more detailed study with the swimmers or divers. The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is setting up a similar system.”

The pool deck also includes men’s and women’s varsity and visitor locker rooms, a student lounge and classroom, and coaches’ and administrative offices. Public locker rooms are also available for community events, such as competitions and swim lessons.

“Recruits will see SMU’s commitment to swimming and diving the minute they walk in the door of the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center,” said Eddie Sinnott ’76, head coach of Mustang men’s swimming. “Combined with SMU’s outstanding academic reputation and the great city of Dallas, SMU swimming and diving will offer a great opportunity to student-athletes for many years to come.”

“I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved with SMU swimming while attending SMU,” said donor Bruce Robson. “My family and I are honored to be part of helping honor the legacy of Coach Barr and Coach Mac and the swimmers and divers who built this incredible program. This new aquatics center will do its part in helping the current and future coaches at SMU to attract the top swimming and diving talent to SMU for years to come.”

— Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

Five staff members receive awards at 2012 Recognition Ceremony

SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Cyndi Heath, Cindy Gautreaux, Patricia Ann LaSalle, Niraj Bhagat and Tommy Newton at the 2012 Staff Recognition CeremonyFour exceptional SMU staff members received 2011 President’s Staff Recognition Awards during the 2012 Staff Recognition Ceremony in McFarlin Auditorium. The honors recognize individuals who have shown outstanding performance, commitment, and ability.

In addition, the Staff Association presented the 2011 Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award to Tommy Newton, director of recruiting in Meadows School of the Arts. The award was endowed in 2005 by Loretta’s son, Dallas E. Hawkins II, to recognize and reward outstanding performance among University employees.

This year’s President’s Award recipients are:

  • Cyndi Heath, certified medical assistant in the Memorial Health Center, received the President’s Award for New Employee Excellence, given to an individual who has been with SMU for one to three consecutive years.
  • Cindy Gautreaux, project coordinator in Central University Libraries, received the President’s Award for Continuing Excellence, given to an individual who has been with the University for four or more consecutive years.
  • Patricia Ann LaSalle, associate vice president and executive director of public affairs, received the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership, given to a staff member who supervises one or more benefit-eligible employees and who “demonstrates exceptional leadership ability within his or her unit or across the University.”
  • Niraj Bhagat, manager of information systems and environmental health and safety in the Office of Risk Management, received the President’s Award for Innovation, given to a staff member whose “creative, innovative ideas … significantly improve a work process or system or greatly increase the efficiency of an operation or unit.”

The event also honored the following staff members who celebrated their 25th SMU anniversaries this year:

  • Carol Baker, Central University Libraries/Fort Burgwin Library, SMU-in-Taos
  • Steve Collins, Head Coach, Women’s Swimming
  • Patricia Feldman, Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center
  • Janelle Hampton, Registrar/Academic Services, Perkins School of Theology
  • Sam Ratcliffe, Central University Libraries/Jerry Bywaters Special Collections
  • Billy Townsend, Special Events/Facility Services
  • Michael Washington, Mail Central

Left in photo, SMU President R. Gerald Turner honored the winners at the 2012 Staff Recognition Ceremony (left to right): Cyndi HeathCindy Gautreaux, Patricia Ann LaSalleNiraj Bhagat and Tommy Newton.

Olympic Watch 2008: Athletes and coaches head for China

Originally published July 30, 2008.

Beijing Olympic medalsSMU will be part of the action at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, as nearly 20 SMU students, alumni and coaches get ready for the games. The games begin Aug. 8.

The following alumni and student-athletes – some of them past Olympians and medalists – are confirmed to compete for their nations:

  • Camilo Becerra (’05) – Swimming, Columbia
  • Laura Reback Bennett (’97) – Triathlon, USA
  • Anja Carman (’08) – Swimming, Slovenia
  • Libor Charfreitag (’00) – Track and Field, Slovakia
  • Florence Ezeh (’00) – Track and Field, Togo
  • Lars Frolander (’98) – Swimming, Sweden
  • Petra Klosova, senior – Swimming, Czech Republic
  • Maroua Mathlouthi, sophomore – Swimming, Tunisia
  • Martina Moravcova (’98) – Swimming, Slovakia
  • Gaelle Niare (’08) – Track and Field, France
  • Sara Nordenstam (’06) – Swimming, Norway
  • Flavia Rigamonti (’06) – Swimming, Switzerland
  • Michael Robertson (attended 2003-04) – Track and Field, USA
  • Angela San Juan Cisneros (’08) – Swimming, Spain
  • Denisa Smolenova, first-year (incoming) – Swimming, Slovakia
  • Aleksander Tammert (’96) – Track and Field, Estonia

In addition, these Mustang coaches and alumni will participate:

  • Swimming Head Coaches Steve Collins and Eddie Sinnott each have accepted positions with Beijing-bound teams. Collins will be head coach of the Slovakian national team for the fourth time, while Sinnott will be an assistant team leader with the United States team.
  • Swimmer turned rower Dr. Rania Elwani (’99) is a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes Commission. She was elected to the position by her fellow athletes at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.
  • Tennis letterwinner Rodney Harmon (’83) has been named head men’s tennis coach of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, as announced by the United States Tennis Association. Harmon achieved a singles ranking of No. 1 in the country during his time at SMU.

(Above, the reverse design of Beijing’s Olympic medals – gold, silver and bronze discs inlaid with Chinese jade.)

Read more at the SMU Athletics site
See a list of past SMU Olympians (PDF format)
Official website of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Hot Links: SMU salutes Girls and Women in Sports Day

National Girls and Women in Sports DaySMU celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day Feb. 23 prior to the women’s basketball game against Houston, with sports clinics and booths featuring the Mustang women’s varsity teams. Read more.

Two members of the women’s swimming team had top-10 finishes at the Missouri Grand Prix Feb. 18. First-year Elzanne Werth picked up 10th place overall in the 100 LC meter butterfly final, while junior Petra Klosova placed 9th in the 100 LC meter back final. Her performance qualifies her for the Olympics, representing her home country of the Czech Republic, according to Head Coach Steve Collins. Read more.