T.J. Davis is leading the Hamilton College men's and women's swimming and diving programs into his 12th season. The men have finished in the top 20 of the NCAA Division III championship team standings four times, while the women have accomplished that feat on six occasions. The highest finish for either team at the NCAA championships under Davis was 14th place by the women in 2003 and 2012. Davis guided the men to 15th place in 2003 and 2004. At least one Hamilton swimmer or diver has competed in the NCAA championships every year since Davis arrived at Hamilton. Maggie Rosenbaum '14 earned All-America honors in three events at last season's national meet.
Davis has coached 13 different Hamilton swimmers and divers to a total of 32 All-America awards. Rosenbaum became the first national champion in women's program history at the 2011 NCAA meet. Rosenbaum finished first in the 100-yard backstroke in 2011 and 2012 and has racked up a total of six All-America honors. Megan Gibbons '12 collected five honorable mention All-America awards before she made the All-America list for the 100 freestyle at the 2012 NCAA championships.
Todd Johnson '08 earned All-America honors in the 100 back at the 2008 NCAA meet, and diver Mike Salmon '06 won national titles in the 1- and 3-meter springboard at the 2006 NCAA championships. Davis' swimmers and divers have broken 32 different school records. A total of 34 athletes have earned 78 NESCAC all-conference honors under Davis' tutelege. Rosenbaum was selected the NESCAC swimmer of the meet after the 2012 and 2013 women's conference championships. Johnson captured the 2008 NESCAC Four-Year High Point Men's Swimmer Award and Diane Paverman '13 earned the 2013 NESCAC Four-Year High Point Women's Diver Award. Davis was voted the Liberty League men's and women's coach of the year after the 2003 and 2007 championship meets.
Davis was the head coach at Alfred University from 1996 to 2002. He coached 29 All-Americans, led the men's team to 15th place at the 2000 NCAA Division III championship and was named the 2002 New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year. Davis was an assistant coach at the University of Rochester (1995-96) and at Union College (1993-95). He has been a member of the American Swimming Coaches Association and the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) since 1993.
Davis' athletes excel in the classroom as well. Six Hamilton swimmers and divers were on the 2012-13 NESCAC Winter All-Academic Team, and Jim Baker '04 was his class valedictorian. In 2012, both programs earned CSCAA Scholar All-America Team honors for team grade point average. Megan Schlosser '13 was elected to the Epsilon chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, which is the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society, in 2013.
Davis, who hails from Norwich, N.Y., graduated from the University at Albany in 1993 and earned his master's in teaching from Union in 1995. Davis and his wife Marieke (Kearns) and their daughter Marielle reside in Clinton.
Astrid Escobar is in her first season as a member of the Hamilton College swimming & diving coaching staff. She comes to the Continental program after a stellar career at Sewanee (the University of the South).
A 2014 graduate of Sewanee, Escobar was an eight-time NCAA championships qualifier for the Tigers. She competed in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke four times, earning All-America honors in the 100 breast in 2012 and 2013 and the 200 breast in 2013. She served as team captain her senior year and captured a total of seven conference titles. Escobar holds Sewanee’s school and pool records in both breaststroke events and swam on school-record 200 and 400 medley relays.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and was named Sewanee’s senior athlete of the year in 2014. She was valedictorian of her high school class, graduating from Northview High School in Dothan, Ala., where she earned scholastic All-America recognition.
Tom Wells is in his eighth season as an assistant coach with the Hamilton College swimming and diving programs. Wells continues to enjoy a successful career as the New Hartford Senior High School head girls' swim coach. During his 44-year coaching career, his teams have racked up 13 Section III championships and 10 New York State Public High School Athletic Association titles. Wells was inducted into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Wells served as the Empire State Games Central Region director for swimming, the Section III high school swim chairman and head coach of New Hartford Aquatics. Wells was New Hartford's head track and field coach for 43 years. His teams produced six Section III championships and won more than 700 dual meets. His track responsibilities include assistant coordinator of New York State Boys' Track and a 25-year stint as the Section III chair for boys' track.
Wells retired from his position as New Hartford physical education teacher after 37 years. He graduated with a degree from Springfield College in 1966, and earned his master's from Syracuse University in 1971. The New Hartford resident has two grown children, Stacy and Jim. Stacy was a swimmer at Syracuse University and Jim was an all-American swimmer at the University of Southern California.
Jim Ray is in his 10th season as the men's and women's diving coach at Hamilton College. Ray helped guide Mike Salmon '06 to national titles in the 1- and 3-meter springboard events at the 2006 NCAA Division III championship. He was named a NESCAC men's diving coach of the year in 2006 after Salmon won both diving events at the conference championship. Ray mentored Diane Paverman '13, who earned the NESCAC Four-Year High Point Diver award after the 2013 women's conference championship meet.
Ray has been coaching since 1977. He developed the AAU Diving Club at Hamilton and has utilized several methods of technological advancement to train his divers for the past 10 years. He was also the diving coach at local power New Hartford High School in 2003 and 2004. The entire team competed in the sectional championship, where divers placed in the top 10 and one qualified for the state championship.
Ray coached state high school champions in Hawaii and New Hampshire. He has attended a number of clinics during his career and is a certified swimming and diving official through the National Federation of High Schools and the NCAA.
If you are interested in contacting coach Ray for more information about Hamilton diving, his cell phone number is (315) 225-1731 and his home number is (315) 339-0644.