H EAD C OACH: Jim Bolster
Jim Bolster, Head Coach
In 20 years as head coach of the Columbia men's swimming team, Jim Bolster has forged a successful program which has captured one Eastern Swimming League title and one runner-up place, while totally rewriting the Columbia record book. The Lions won the 1988-89 EISL championship (with Princeton) with an 8-1 record, and were second to the Tigers in 1989-90, posting a 7-2 mark.
More than 30 school records have been set since Bolster came to Columbia, 20 of them in the 1990's alone. His teams set a similar pattern of success at Ohio's Denison University during his five years as head coach, Denison finished in the nation's Top 10 two consecutive years, placed seventh in the 1984 NCAA Division III Championships, and virtually rewrote the Big Red record book.
A native of Princeton, New Jersey, Bolster was one of the finest athletes in Denison history. Twice named the school's Most Valuable Swimmer, he won an NCAA Championship in the 200 butterfly in 1976, five conference titles in the 100 and 200 butterfly, and was a six-time NCAA Division III All-America. He also starred in soccer and lacrosse, earning four letters in each of the three sports. He graduated in 1977.
Selected in the first round of the 1977 North American Soccer League draft by the Connecticut Bicentennials, he played two years with Connecticut and Washington. He then utilized an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and earned a master's degree from the University of Michigan.
Bolster thrives on athletic competition. He has developed into a world-class amateur triathlete, twice placing fifth in his age group in world championship races, and completing the Ironman distance race in Martha's Vineyard in the fall of 1994. Moving on from triathlons, Bolster has begun competitive cycle racing he took ninth a year ago in the prestigious Tour of Killington, a five-day stage bicycle race. In the summer of 1994, he summitted Washington's imposing Mt. Ranier.
Bolster lives in Manhattan with his wife, Sharon Rose Kelly, an exercise physiologist. Members of large families he is one of 14 children, she is one of 12 they have three sons: Jake Thomas, Luke Charles, and Clay Murdoch.
A SSISTANT C OACH: Eric Scheingoltz
Eric Scheingoltz returns to the Lions coaching stuff this season as the program's first three-quarter time assistant. He came to Columbia in 2001 after spending five years working with various swim clubs throughout the New York area.
From 1996 to 1998 Scheingoltz was the head swim coach at the West Point Swim Club in Highland Falls, New York. From there he moved to the Big Apple Marlins in the Bronx where he served as the Head Assistant Coach and coached the senior team. While with the Marlins he ran a group at the New York Sports Club.
Scheingoltz, while a student at the University of Florida swam for one year and was the Gator student volunteer-manager for three years. He graduated from the Gainesville school in 1996 with a B.A. in coastal morphology and currently resides in the Bronx.
D IVING C OACH: Gordon Spencer
Gordon Spencer, in his 19th year at Columbia, has built the Lions' diving program into one of the most respected in the East, most recently with Leah Berger, Jodi Norton and 1995 Eastern placewinner Danette Daniels.
While his Columbia divers have been a deciding factor in many a Lion victory, Spencer has also made a name for himself away from Morningside Heights. In 1991 he was named the Junior Olympic Zone A Coach of the Year.
Spencer came to Columbia from Kent State University, where he built a diving power in just two years. A native of Canton, Ohio, he was a three-time state finalist at Canton McKinley High School and attended Indiana University, where he competed under the legendary Hobie Billingsley, reaching the national championships. He later coached at Billingsley's diving school.
After his 1977 graduation, Spencer became an assistant diving coach at two Miami high schools. He returned to Kent State in 1981 and earned a master's degree in athletic administration.
Spencer is very active in the diving scene outside of Columbia. He has served as a judge for the Senior National Diving Championships. He coaches an elite U.S. Diving club comprised of some of the best Junior Olympic divers in the nation. The program consistently produces East Coast champions and national age group finalists on both platform and springboard. In fact junior Daniel Brown, one of Spencer's top divers, dived for Spencer's famed Morningside Muggers.
Spencer, his wife Bertica and their 13-year old daughter Caitlin reside on Morningside Heights.