Williams Named NEISDA Coach of the Year; Simpson Named Senior High Point Scorer

Williams Named NEISDA Coach of the Year; Simpson Named Senior High Point Scorer

WESTON, Mass. – Simmons University's Mindy Williams (Hampstead, N.H.) was named the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Women's Charles Silvia Coach of the Year and senior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) was tabbed the Kay Fromer Senior High Point Award Women's Swimming Recipient, following the NEISDA Championship meet on February 21-24 at host Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., it was announced by the organization. 

Williams receives the honor, which is voted on by the association's coaches, for the third straight year and the fourth time in six years. She becomes the first coach to receive the accolade in three consecutive years and joins Bentley University Head Coach Mary Kay Samko as the only coaches to receive the award four times. 

The 11-year Simmons Head Coach guided the Sharks to their second straight NEISDA crown with a 153.5-point victory over runner-up Roger Williams University. Williams' squad won six individual events and three relay races during the meet and saw 14 competitors combine to achieve All-NEISDA status 49 times by virtue of a top-eight individual or top-four finish in a relay. Simmons also combined to win 30 medals, including 18 golds and broke a school and meet record during the weekend. 

The former Colby College standout guided the Sharks to their sixth consecutive season with double-digit victories after posting an 11-2 dual-meet record. Williams coached Simmons to its 15th straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship in early February, including 11 of those titles with her at the helm. 

Williams has enjoyed tremendous success in just over a decade at the Fenway school, compiling a 94-35 (72.9%) dual-meet record, including 64-10 (86.5%) over the past six seasons. The Sharks have shown a steady progression at the NEISDA Championship, ascending from 11th-place, in Williams' first year as the team's mentor, to three straight years of third, the runner-up trophy in 2017 to a pair of crowns in each of the last two campaigns. In addition, Simmons has broken 26 of the 27 individual and relay records that stand in the school's record books during her stay in Boston. 

Simpson becomes just the second Shark to earn the Fromer Award, joining Miriam Swisher (2014-17), who earned the honor in 2017. The senior capped an outstanding career by earning All-NEISDA status four times at this year's meet to give her a four-year total of 19 All-NEISDA efforts. The Boyertown High School product has accumulated 319 individual points at the NEISDA Championship meet and has won 17 medals, including two individual golds and five relay golds. She finished second in both the 1650 and 1000-yard freestyle events, while placing third in the 200-yard freestyle at this year's meet. The four-year swimmer helped Simmons win the 800-yard freestyle relay in each of her four years, while breaking the school mark in the event multiple times.   

During her tenure at Simmons, Simpson has registered 81 top-three finishes, including 41 first-place showings. 

The Sharks will compete again on March 20 when junior Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) competes for Simmons at the NCAA Championship in Greensboro, N.C.