NEAC Coaches Corner: Cedar Crest College

NEAC Coaches Corner: Cedar Crest College

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – Throughout the spring, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) will highlight a coach and student-athlete from each of our member institutions in a brief Q & A. Today’s Coaches Corner will feature one of the NEAC’s six associate members in Cedar Crest College and women’s swimming and diving head coach, Charlie MacDonald.

Charlie MacDonald just wrapped up his first season at Cedar Crest College, enjoying tremendous success as the leader of the Falcons swimming team. MacDonald was honored as the NEAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Co-Coach of the Year after leading his team to a second-place finish at the 2017-18 NEAC Swimming and Diving Championships. MacDonald helped guide the Falcons to the most wins in a single-season by a Cedar Crest swimming coach and the most points scored by Cedar Crest at a NEAC Championship. Fresh off his fulfilling first season at the helm, MacDonald shared some thoughts about his time as a collegiate coach.

Head Coach Charlie MacDonald

What inspired you to become a collegiate coach?

While competing as a Division III swimmer at Bridgewater State University, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. As I watched my coach and mentor Mike Caruso, I slow realized that I wanted to do what he was doing. I wanted to get the most out of student-athletes in and out of the pool and help get them ready for life after college. I had such a great experience as a college swimmer and I want to give student-athletes the opportunity to have that type of college career, where they can always look back and smile.

What is your favorite memory or moment at Cedar Crest College?

This has been a year full of great memories for me. The one moment that really stands out to me is when Tiffany Cuth, one of my outgoing seniors, finished in the fifth in the 100-yard freestyle at the NEAC Championships. She had limited swimming experience and she was very busy outside of swimming, but worked so hard when she was in the pool and wanted to be in that championship heat so badly. Seeing how happy she was when I told her that she got in made me love swimming even more because it was proof that working hard and wanting it really bad can lead to the success you want.

As a coach, how do you help your Division III student-athletes balance all aspects of college life?

Swimming is a long season and I know from personal experience how much work it can be to balance athletics with everything else. I try to be as open as I can to allowing athletes to practice at different times to work around their busy schedules. I also allow my team to take a certain number of personal days when needed so they have time to relax and be completely ready to go the next day. Division III student-athletes are here to earn a degree over everything else and I do everything in my power to help them with that. 

Outside of wins, losses and stats, what do you want everyone to know about your student-athletes?

I want people to know how much my team cares about one another. These athletes want to see their fellow athlete success and they are very close in and out of the water. They take classes together, live together and hang out together all of the time. Knowing that they are creating relationships that will last long after they leave Cedar Crest is a great feeling as a head coach.

To learn more about Cedar Crest College and Falcons athletics, visit

*Information compiled by L.J. Smith, Cedar Crest College Director of Athletic Communications and Media Relations


The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse, M Volleyball), Pennsylvania State University – Altoona (M Volleyball), and Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s tennis. For more information, please visit: