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Diving Back In

Bulldogs assemble the first women's swim team in 36 years

By Mike Gore

Elizabeth Lykins

Elizabeth Lykins, head women's swimming coach

For the first time in almost four decades, a Bulldogs swim team will compete again. Earlier this year, Janet Cone, UNC Asheville director of Athletics, announced that the university will reinstate the women's swimming program for competition in the 2012–13 academic year. Women's swimming will become the eighth women's sport and 15th varsity program at UNC Asheville.

Cone said the decision to build a new team was based on the increased interest in competitive swimming across Western North Carolina and a desire to add another women's program. Cone also announced the hiring of Elizabeth Lykins as the Bulldogs new head women's swimming coach.
Lykins comes to Asheville from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla., where she has served as an assistant coach for the past five seasons. During her watch, the team earned four straight conference titles from 2009 through 2012.

Lykins will revive a Bulldog swimming program that competed from 1972–1976.

So far, the bulk of her work has been aimed at recruiting the first season's team. Lykins hopes to have at least 11 swimmers signed on when practice starts in August. In the future, she would like up to 20 swimmers.

Hall of Fame

Power Players

UNC Asheville inducts two into the Hall of Fame

Former volleyball head coach Lisa Rhodes and former men's basketball player Tony Bumphus were inducted into the UNC Asheville Hall of Fame as part of its ninth class. Also during this year's ceremony, a new home in the Sherrill Center was unveiled for the plaques honoring each of the 35 inductees.

Lisa Rhodes coached the Bulldog women's volleyball program from 1989–1993 and led the program to three Big South Conference regular-season championships, two tournament titles and the school's first-ever post-season trip in the Division I era. The Bulldogs won the 1990, 1991 and 1992 regular-season titles. In 1992, Asheville finished with a 32-6 record and became the first team in league history to go unbeaten in the regular season and in the league tournament.

Tony Bumphus played for the Bulldogs from 1974 until 1978. He was a three-year starter and is the university's 10th highest scorer in career points with 1,429. He is the program's second all-time leading rebounder with 968 grabs. Among other credits to his name, Bumphus also played in a school-record 121 games for the Bulldogs.

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