|Alma Mater:||James Madison|
Atlantic 10 Champions: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
Matt Barany has helped to establish a tradition of excellence as the head swim coach at the University of Richmond.
Out of the water, Barany focuses on the “athletics is education” concept. The swimming & diving Spiders work hard to balance success in the water with the rigors of college academics at Richmond. The program has come to set the standard for academic excellence on campus.
The Spiders have earned Scholar All-America Team by the College Swimming Coaches Association (CSCAA) eight consecutive years. In 2013, Kelley Yang and Mali Kobelja received Scholar All-America honors. Individually, five other Spiders have earned Academic All-America distinction – Caitlin Geary (2007), Katie Sieben (2008 and 2010), Lauren Beaudreau (2009), Nicole LePere (2010 and 2011) and Lauren Hines (2012). Additionally, in 2012 Kobelja was the first Spider (and first swimmer in Atlantic 10 history) to be named an A-10 Scholar of the Year.
The 2017 season was a memorable one for the Spider Swim & Dive program. Barany led the program to its seventh consecutive Atlantic 10 title while he won Coach of the Year honors and Hannah Gouger was named the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer. In addition, the 2010-11 team was inducted into the Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame as the Team of Distinction. The 2011 team captained by seniors Chrissy Brodt, Nicole LePere and the late Natalie Lewis, began a streak of what is now seven straight A-10 titles. The Spiders dominated the championship meet with 755 points, defeating its closest challenged by 177 points.
In 2016, Barany led the Spiders to their sixth straight Atlantic 10 title and 14th overall in the last 15 years with 653.5 points, which is the highest point total in the last three years. Richmond won medals in four of five relays while Richmond swimmers and divers took home 11 medals. For the second consecutive season, the Spiders had a diver win the Most Outstanding Diver at the A-10 Meet, as well as having the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer after Nicole Piercy scored 46 points with two medals. The Spiders have now had the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer for the 11th time in 15 seasons, including the last five honors.
The 2014-15 team won the title with a larger conference field. The Spiders won four of the five relays and an additional eight medals, including four golds, adding four fourth-place finishes and five fifth-place in aid of the team’s win. For the first time in school history, Richmond had a diver win the Most Outstanding Diver, and Annie Lane was tabbed as the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer.
At the 2014 Championship, the Spiders swept the relays and added eight individual medals, including three golds. Every swimmer and diver that competed in the meet scored points for the team. Individual accolades included Kobelja being selected as the championship’s Most Outstanding Performer for the third consecutive year, a first for a female swimmer in Atlantic 10 Conference history.
Under Barany’s tutelage, a total of 65 school marks in 16 events have been registered by Richmond swimmers.
The Spiders continued to make their presence known on the national stage when Lauren Hines raced to Honorable Mention All-America honors in the 100 back at the 2012 NCAA Championship. With Hines’ qualification for NCAAs, Barany has coached four NCAA qualifiers (Jessica Witt, Beaudreau, Sieben, and Hines), and had a pair of All-Americans (Witt in 2006 and 2007, and Hines in 2012) during his tenure at Richmond.
The success of the Spider program has also been visible at the Olympic Trials. Spider swimmers have participated in the last three Olympic Trials. In total, the program has seen seven Olympic Trials qualifiers since 2008.
Barany practices what he preaches, earning his MBA from Richmond in 2014. For his Capstone Project, he worked in conjunction with The DO School to support the growth of MGI Enterprises. The DO School is a German non-profit located in Hamburg, Germany focused on developing social entrepreneurs from around the world. MGI is a group of social entrepreneurs working to create energy and technology solutions for rural western Kenyans. He worked with MGI to analyze their day-to-day operations and to survey potential opportunities, mainly the implementation of solar energy, in their attempt to improve the lives of the Kenyan rural poor.
He visited The DO School (May 20-24) to present his Capstone and to assist in the development of the next generation of DO School entrepreneurs. He maintains a relationship with The DO School and MGI.
He was selected as the 2014 Outstanding Graduate of the Year by the MBA Alumni Society. He is also still very connected to the campus community and serves as the Vice Chair of USAC.
A native of Midlothian, Va., Barany swam for James Madison University. The Dukes' captain as a senior, he swam freestyle on teams that captured four-straight CAA Championships (1992-95) and three ECAC titles (1993-1995). Barany was a two-time recipient of the Steve Miller Award - an annual team honor that recognizes athletes who best exemplify enthusiasm, energy, dedication and love for the sport.
Barany earned his undergraduate degree from JMU in 1995 with a B.A. in English. He earned a secondary education certificate in 1996. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Barany taught English in the Laikipia region of Kenya from 1996-1998.
In 1999, Barany helped launch the women's swimming program at Randolph-Macon College. During his final season (2001) in Ashland, VA, he earned Old Dominion Athletic Conference, Atlantic States Conference and Randolph Macon Coach of the Year honors.
Barany returned to Harrisonburg in July 2001 as the head men's swimming coach - a position he held for the next three seasons. Barany assumed the role of director of swimming & diving for the Dukes, coaching both the men and women's programs in 2004.
A graduate of Clover Hill High School in Midlothian, Va., Barany currently resides in Richmond.