News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 16, 2013

College Report: South graduate becomes Wabash College swim coach

Joey Bennett
Tribune-Star correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — Brent Noble’s climb up the collegiate swimming coaches has taken another big step, after the Terre Haute South grad was recently named the new head swimming and diving coach at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.

Noble joins the Wabash program after serving for a year as the women’s head swimming coach at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

“We are thrilled to bring coach Noble to the helm of the Wabash swimming and diving program,” Wabash Dean of Students Mike Raters said. “His passion, experience, expertise, vision, enthusiasm, and Indiana roots combine to provide a great opportunity to both sustain and build upon the foundation he inherits. Due to his attributes and the excitement the current swimmers have about their new leader, Brent will make a smooth transition that will pay great dividends for not only the 2013-14 team, but those he’ll train at, and recruit to, the College in the future.”

Noble brings a record of success as an assistant and head swimming coach and as a student-athlete. The youngest head swimming coach in NCAA Division I, he tripled the size of the Sacred Heart roster. His swimmers set nine new school records and every member of the team turned in at least two lifetime-best results in their primary events. His team also excelled in the classroom, earning Scholar All-America team honors by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.

“We believe that Brent Noble embodies all of the qualities we were looking for in the next leader of our swimming and diving program,” Wabash director of athletics and wellness Joe Haklin said. “He knows the science of swimming and he knows how to convey that knowledge. Moreover, he is very enthusiastic about the sport of swimming and his energy will be pervasive in our program. His swim club background in the state of Indiana will be a major advantage in our efforts to recruit quality student-athletes to Wabash College. We now have our leader in place to grow a program which already has a solid foundation.”

Noble earned a bachelor of science degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2009, where he competed for four years as a member of the Panthers’ swimming team. He earned academic all-conference honors all four years, and was part of the winning 800-meter relay team at the 2007 Mid-Continent Conference championships, and made 15 finals appearances in conference championship events throughout his career. Noble is still listed on the top-10 list at Eastern Illinois in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley.

Noble graduated from Terre Haute South High School, where he earned varsity letters as a member of the swimming and cross country teams.

Noble is expected to earn a master of science degree in kinesiology from Indiana University in December. He has studied swim training and techniques at the Indiana University Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming in addition to his own research to help maximize potential in student-athletes.

Noble joined the DePauw coaching staff in 2010 as an assistant for the men’s program. He designed season and weekly training and workout plans, which helped send five swimmers to the NCAA Division III national championship meet.

Noble was hired as a sprint coach for the men’s and women’s teams at East Carolina in 2011, where his athletes posted seven school records, three freshmen records and 14 new individual times on the all-time top-10 list. His swimmers also earned five all-conference selections and produced four NCAA Division I “B” cuts.

“I am honored and eager to be named the new head swimming and diving coach at Wabash College,” Noble said. “I’ve always held Wabash in very high regard and it just felt like the perfect fit when I came on campus. I believe in what Wabash stands for and I look forward to mentoring this exciting young team and finding more motivated student-athletes to be a part of it.

“I am very thankful to Mr. Haklin and Dean Raters for granting me this opportunity and to the entire Wabash community for welcoming me. I am also thankful to everyone at Sacred Heart for a truly great tenure there.”

Bilberry off to great start — Freshman linebacker Vasco Bilberry of Kentucky Wesleyan is making a big impression early for the Panthers.

The 2013 Terre Haute North grade is a 5-11, 198-pound starting outside linebacker and had his biggest game of the year on Saturday in a loss to Missouri S&T.

Bilberry had three solo tackles, one assisted tackle, one tackle for loss, one interception (which he returned 34 yards) and one sack.

For the season, he ranks fifth on the team in tackles with 26 (17 solo, 18 assisted), is first in tackles for loss (4.5), has forced one fumble and broke up a pass.

Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil.