As promised with the prior recruiting year the season promised to be filled with excitement and end of year movement towards the top. Throughout the season the Royals Men and Women ranked second in the Nation based on schedule strength and performance. Our mid season performances led to a National Record in the 200 Backstroke at the US Nationals by freshman Matt Josa and many school records along with national leading times. Both teams once again claimed mid-season academic All-American status continuing our streak.
Both the men's and women's programs had record setting performances and both finished second with the men leading up to the final event and the women moving from third to second, both programs setting a school record in points scored. Matt Josa was named swimmer of the meet and Coach Dugdale accepted the Bob Busby Award for Men's Coach of the Year in the BMC. The men swept all relays and the women won two for the first time in Royals young history. When all said and done twenty two student / athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships in Geneva, OH at the Spire Institute.
The NCAA Championships proved to be exciting as the Royals finished third in the Women and fourth in the Men, the highest finishes to date and brought home the Universities first ever NCAA trophies. Kristin Diemer (JR) made the first statement by winning the Elite 89 for the highest GPA at the meet another first for the University. She also became our second CoSIDA All American and All District. Freshman Matt Josa made a statement by winning three individual events, was a member of two winning relays, and set four National Records on his way to earning NCAA DII Swimmer of the Year and NCAA (All Divisions) Breakout Swimmer of the Year. Meridith Boudreaux (SO) continued our distance tradition in winning the mile. Hannah Peiffer (FR) won the 100 Fly in record breaking time, Caroline Arakelian won the 200 Back in the NCAA record breaking fashion. In All the Royals own National Records in both the Men's and Women's 100 Butterfly & 200 Backstroke as well as the Men's 400 Medley Relay. The men were under the National Record in the 200 Med. Relay and 400 Free Relay however finishing second. The 800 Free Relay finished first just missing the record. In total the Royals proudly displayed hardware representing nine National Champions, eight National records, 19 school records, 15 academic Scholar All Americans, two academic All American programs, and momentum going into next season.
The summer of 2012 was one for the books for Jeff Dugdale. Dugdale, who is also Director of High Performance for SwimMAC Team Elite, assisted in placing five athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team that returned to Charlotte with three gold medals and three silver. He also watched his mentor David Marsh once again assist in leading Team USA in its best ever games to date. Coach Dugdale was not going to sit back and be content knowing that he had recruited a very talented freshman class to join a program that was hungry to move into the top ten.
The Dugdale led program leveraged the momentum from the 2012 Olympic year to accomplish the following:
In his second season at the helm of the Royals, Dugdale saw a great deal of success. There were 42 school record swims, six conference records, 54 all-conference swims, 15 All-American swims and 25 All-American Honorable Mention swims. In addition, John Long was named the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Co-Swimmer of the Year. Long, along with Joe Skuba and Nic Eriksson, qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials. To cap off the season, Dugdale was voted by his peers to serve as President of the Bluegrass Mountain Conference.
A native of Kenosha, Wis., Dugdale joined the Royals in the summer of 2010 from the SwimMAC Carolina, where he assists Head Coach David Marsh in all aspects of running Team Elite whose members include Olympian Cullen Jones and record holders Nick Brunelli, Nick Thoman and Josh Schneider.
Prior to joining SwimMAC Carolina, Dugdale was an assistant coach at Duke University, where he helped lead recruiting and leadership development. While at Duke, Dugdale had a hand in seeing both the men and women break all but three school records while moving up the ACC and NCAA ranks. In 2008, he spearheaded the merger of two club programs, Tar Heel Aquatic Team and Blue Devil Aquatic into Duke Aquatics, currently a Silver Medal program.
“Jeff is not only an exceptional on-deck coach, but a dynamic individual with a wealth of knowledge in how to develop and grow a program to an elite level,” said Dan Colella, head men’s and women’s coach at Duke. “He is a great recruiter of not only potential student athletes, but supporters for the program. He knows how to inspire and bring out the best in everyone, swimmers, alumni, and staff. We miss having him with us here at Duke, but Queens is fortunate to have one of the best as a member of their staff.”
David Marsh has worked with Dugdale for more than 20 years, dating back to the time when both were at Auburn University together.
“His enthusiasm and passion coupled with his desire to make a positive impact in the sport of swimming make him a tremendous leader,” Marsh said.
Dugdale was a member of the men’s swim team from three year letter-winner, 1989-1991, before getting his start in collegiate coaching at his alma mater in 1992. Like many of the Queens swimmers have done in this first year, Dugdale helped to transition the Tigers’ program into the one it is today with countless NCAA and SEC Championships.
As a junior, Dugdale was tapped as Marsh’s first recruiting coordinator and helped Marsh recruit the university’s first SEC and NCAA Championship Team. He assisted in coaching 218 All-American honorees, 16 Academic All-Americans, and one Olympian, Yoav Bruck of Israel.
Dugdale earned a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance at Auburn in 1995. Dugdale has two children, Sydney and Colby.
Jon Lau enters his third season as associate head coach with the Queens University of Charlotte swimming program in 2021-22.
Amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic during the 2020-21 season, Lau coached the Royals to their 6th pair of men’s and women’s NCAA Division II National Championships, in addition to securing Bluegrass Mountain Conference (BMC) Championships for both genders as well. Queens tallied 61 All-American honors at the National Championships and captured 11 individual and relay national championship titles (Francesca Bains 1650 Free, Lexie Baker 100 Free, Giulia Grasso 500 Free, Alex Kunert 200 Fly & 200 Free, Danielle Melilli 100 Breast & 50 Free, Men’s 800 Free Relay, Women’s 800 Free, 200 Medley, and 400 Medley Relays). Melilli was named the CSCAA Swimmer of the Year for NCAA Division II.
In 2019-20, Lau helped lead Queens to the 2020 Men's & Women's BMC Championships as well as two NCAA Division II National Titles in the Women's 200 IM (Lexie Baker) and the Women's 200 Medley Relay before the championship meet was cut short due to COVID-19.
COACHING BEFORE QUEENS
Lau joined the Royals after successfully serving the Lindenwood University Lions (St. Charles, MO) in various coaching roles for eleven seasons, most recently as the top assistant for both the men’s and women’s programs.
He was instrumental in Lindenwood’s climb to NCAA Division II national prowess after transitioning from the NAIA. This period was highlighted by a 2016 National Runner-Up finish by their men’s team. In their first six years of NCAA Division II competition the Lions captured 76 All-American recognitions, 8 individual NCAA National Titles, set 4 NCAA National Records, and captured 6 conference team championships during this span. During the NAIA period, Lau coached the men’s team to back-to-back 3rd place NAIA National finishes in 2010 and 2011, while his athletes set 64 school records, gathered 9 All-American (Top 3) nods, captured 3 individual National Championships (Sarah Billiamosa 400 IM 2010, Sergio Molina 200 Breast 2010, Javier Hernandez 200 Fly 2011), and set an NAIA National Record (Hernandez 200 Fly 2011).
As a student-athlete for the Lions from 2004-08, Lau was a 6-time NAIA All-American (Top 3). He was a member of Lindenwood’s first relay national championship in program history (400 Medley Relay 2006) and in 2016, this relay was inducted into the Lindenwood Athletics Hall of Fame. Lau was the first athlete in program history to earn All-American recognitions during each of his four seasons. He served as the men’s team captain from 2005 to 2008 and held school records in the 100/200 fly, 200 IM, 200/400 Medley Relay, and 200 Free Relay.
Lau has served as an assistant coach at the University of Texas Longhorn Swim Camp (summer 2011 and 2013-2018). He has worked closely with Olympic Coach Eddie Reese and Carol Capitani, along with Olympic gold medalists and former world record holders Ian Crocker, Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Ricky Berens, Garrett Weber-Gale, and Josh Davis.
Lau also has experience coaching at the Indiana University Swim Camp (summer 2018 & 2019) working with Olympic Coaches Ray Looze, and Coley Stickels.
In 2019, Lau served as a USA Swimming Sport Development Camp Assistant Manager at the Southern Zone Select Camp (University of Louisville).
Lau earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Lindenwood in 2009. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Health Management from Lindenwood in 2010 and an MBA in 2012. Lau is a certified Level 4 Coach with the American Swimming Coaches Association.
An avid US Masters swimmer, Lau is a 2-time national champion (400 IM 24-29 age group 2013 & 100 fly 30-34 2016). His wife Amanda is also an alumnus of Lindenwood swimming.
Nic Eriksson begins his second year with the Queens University of Charlotte swimming program as a full-time coach in 2020-21. Eriksson has served as a volunteer assistant swimming coach for the Royals during the last four seasons while also spending time as a coach for SwimMAC Carolina.
In 2019-20, Eriksson helped lead Queens to the 2020 Men's & Women's Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships as well as two individual NCAA Division II National Titles in the Women's 200-Yard I.M. (Lexie Baker) and the Women's 200-Yard Medley Relay before the championship meet was cut short due to COVID-19.
A total of 30 Queens student-athletes were named to the CSCAA All-America list, registering a combined total of 101 individual and relay awards.
A decorate program alum, Eriksson was a two-time NCAA Division II National Champion in the 400-Medley Relay and helped guide Queens to its first national title as senior in 2015. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Eriksson was a 14-time CSCAA All-American and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2012, 2016, and 2020.
Eriksson graduated from Queens in 2015 with a degree in Biology and currently resides in Charlotte.