Santa Monica, CA
The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees has selected Brian Eskridge to lead the Santa Monica College Aquatics program. Eskridge previously served as the part-time Head Swimming and Water Polo Coach and was recently selected to a Full Time tenure track position here at SMC.
Comments from Elaine Roque (Kinesiology Department Chair)
"We are excited to have Brian as a full-time faculty member of our department. He has done a fantastic job with both the water polo and swim teams. He has proven himself as an excellent coach and mentor for our student-athletes. As a part-time coach he wasn't able to work with many "regular" students. Now, he will have the opportunity to work with more students, teaching our swim classes."
Comments from Reggie Ellis (SMC Athletic Director)
"I am very excited about the hiring of Coach Brian Eskridge as the full-time aquatics director. As a part-time head coach for both the swim programs and the men's water polo program he has developed a culture of success in the classroom and winning in the pool. I am very excited about the future of our swim and water polo programs under his leadership. I am quite confident that SMC aquatics will be back on the map as one of the top programs in the state."
Coach Eskridge answered questions recently after accepting the position:
What were your first thoughts after you were offered the Head Coaching position here at SMC?
"We were at the CCCAA State Championships when I got the call so there was a lot of pride that the committee and President Jeffery had seen all the work our student-athletes and coaches have put in to get the program where we are and win our first WSC Conference Championship since 1990 and have so many athletes qualify for the State Championships. I also felt honored to be chosen to carry on the legacy of SMC Aquatics. I am the third Full-Time Aquatics Coach after John Joseph and Steve Contarsy, both of whom I have learned a tremendous amount from, and it feels incredible to be in such great company."
What would you like the SMC Community to know about you first and foremost?
"Both Aquatics and SMC have given me so much and I am truly grateful for both and love that I get to be part of SMC Aquatics for the rest of my career. I started swimming competitively when I was 5 and the water really helped shape who I am. I even met my wife on the swim team in high school! SMC has also helped shape who I am as well. My grandfather was Vice President here (the track is named after him), my parents met here, and in my 10 years here I have grown as a coach, teacher, and a person. I am excited for the next chapter here with the SMC Aquatics program and to be able to help so many more student-athletes achieve their goals and become better people because of their time here."
What is your coaching background?
"I started coaching water polo and swimming at Culver City High school while I was still in college. I came to SMC in 2009 as the Men's Water Polo assistant coach. In 2011 I took over as Head Coach for Men's Water Polo and an assistant coach for Men's and Women's Swimming. I took over as head coach of the Men's Swim Team in 2015 and of the Women's Swim Team in 2018."
What will be your goals here at SMC…what kind of program are you looking to build here?
We are looking to build a hard-working, competitive program while having some fun along the way. I want us to be get better each and every day to work towards a common goal. We have been able to get the Men's program to a point where both the water polo and swim teams are competitive and will always have a shot to win because of the hard work we have put in to be prepared. We are now looking to take the next step to win more conference championships and compete for state championships. The Women's program has started on that rebuilding path and has come a long way in the past two years. Now we will look to continue that so all 4 aquatics programs are something that SMC can be proud of. While we will always put in the work in the pool I also want to make sure our Student-Athletes are putting in the work in the classroom as well so when they leave our program they are well rounded individuals who are ready to take on whatever is next in their lives.
What type of student athlete are you looking to attract into your program?
"I want hard-working, dedicated, and tough (both mentally and physically) student athletes in our program. If you are willing to put in the effort and work hard then we want you as a member of this program because it will only make everyone else and the program as a whole better. No matter your skill level if you are willing to put out the effort, we can help you succeed. That goes both in the pool and in the classroom. No matter what the next step is in their lives, we want them to leave SMC Aquatics as a better person and a leader who is ready for whatever is thrown their way."
Any closing thoughts?
"I am extremely proud of where this program is and excited to see where we can go in the future. I want to work to bring our alumni back into the program as well as bring in future Corsairs who can keeping pushing us to the next level. I want to thank everyone at SMC and in the athletic department who has supported us. We have a great coaching staff here and an amazing group of student-athletes who are ready to lead the Aquatics Program to a great future, and I am humbled, honored, and excited to help lead it there."