Barry Parenteau enters his 38th season in 2012-2013 as coach of the Holy Cross swimming and diving programs. Parenteau has coached the Holy Cross women’s swimming and diving team since its inception in 1975 and took over the head coaching responsibilities for the men’s team in 1996 following the retirement of his father, Paul, who guided the Crusader men for more than 30 years. Parenteau assumed a full-time role at Holy Cross in 1983 when he was named Aquatics Director of the swimming and diving facility at the Hart Recreation Center.
Parenteau has had hundreds of student-athletes named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and his teams have repeatedly received Division I Academic Progress Rate public recognition awards from the NCAA. Parenteau has had two student-athletes named Patriot League Swimmer of the Meet (Jill Addessa, 1992 & Coleen Lynch, 1995) and one named Diver of the Meet (Kim Rinaldi, 2001 & 2002), two student-athletes named Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year and two student-athletes named to the Patriot League All-Decade team.
Both the men’s and women’s teams won the 2012
Worcecester City Championship. The women have won the title in all
11 years of the meet. At the 2012 Patriot League Championship,
Brian Power set the record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time
of 58.42 on the second day of competition. On the same day, the
200-yard medley relay team consisting of Jan Yburan, Power, Michael
Brower and John Vatalaro set a new school record finishing with a
time of 1:38.83. On the final day of action, Brian Lyons swam into
the record books in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of
16:42.43. The women’s team placed 18 members on the Patriot
League Academic Honor Roll, while the men’s team had 12
At the 2011 Patriot League Championship, Holy Cross saw six individual school records and two relay records fall. Brian Power set a new school record in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the men’s 200 medley relay team finished with a new school record. Gael Carter led the women’s team with three school record performances, while Kristen Desrosiers set a new school record in the 200 IM and was a member of the record-breaking 800 free relay team. Sixteen women and 11 men were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and Annie O’Shea earned Patriot League Swimmer of the Week honors. The women’s team successfully defended its title at the Worcester City Championship, winning the two-day event for the 10th consecutive year and Desrosiers was named Swimmer of the Meet after breaking three meet records.
In 2010, Parenteau led the women’s team to six record-breaking performances at the Patriot League Championship, including Alisha Carrazza in the 200 IM, O’Shea in the 200 butterfly and four relays. Three student-athletes received Patriot League weekly honors under Parenteau and the women’s team won 15 events at the Worcester City Championship to bring home it’s ninth title. Twenty-three student-athletes from the men’s and women’s teams were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.
In 2009, Parenteau had 26 student-athletes named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, three student-athletes received Patriot League weekly honors and three student-athletes competed at the ECAC Championship. The women’s team claimed its eighth title at the Worcester City Championship. Maggie Gousman reset her own school record in the 100 breaststroke and Adam DeVito broke school records on the one meter and three meter diving boards.
The highly respected Parenteau was honored as Coach of the Year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference after the 1984-1985, 1987-1988 and 1989-1990 campaigns. In 1986-87, the women’s team had its finest season ever, finishing with a 9-1 dual meet slate and a sixth place finish at the New England Championship. Parenteau has had three student-athletes receive the Honorable John P. Cooney Memorial Award and one named Crusader of the Year. Callie Taffe, the former school record holder in the 50 yard breaststroke, earned AIAW All-America honors in 1981. Taffe, Marie Kenny, Mary McNaughton, Colleen Lynch and Jill Addesa have all been inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame.
Parenteau began swimming competitively for the YMCA in Worcester as a youth. After graduating from St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, Mass., he continued his competitive swimming career at Bridgewater State College where he held school records in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events.
Parenteau has his American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Level III certification, in addition to being certified in lifeguard training and water safety, and standard first aid and adult CPR. He is a 37-year volunteer with the American Red Cross and is a nationally certified pool and spa director. Parenteau is also a member of the Central Massachusetts Conference of Football Officials, refereeing both high school and college football games. A popular and long-time member of the College’s Athletic Association, Parenteau makes his home in nearby Millbury with his wife Dale and their three daughters, Laine, Kaley and Malen.