Head coach Brad Flood came to UB in the Fall 2003 semester to begin the job of developing the University of Bridgeport’s newest athletic program, assuming the responsibility of recruiting student-athletes, setting a schedule and preparing for the team’s inaugural season in 2004 – 05. In those three seasons he has built a program that has been incredibly successful athletically and academically at the dual meet, conference and NCAA level.
New program history continued to be made at the 2007 NCAA Championships in Buffalo, NY. Molnar (200 Freestyle) & Duma (100 Butterfly) earned UB’s first NCAA All-America honors on the second night, both finishing 6th in their respective events. Molnar followed up with a 6th place in the 100 Free as well. Byczynska (200 IM & 100 Back) & Molnar (50 Freestyle) also earned Individual Honorable Mention All-America honors for the Purple Knights. The UB relays were equally successful with Molnar, Duma & Byczynska combining with 3 separate Purple Knights on the 200 (Anna Zahova, Velingrad, Bulgaria) & 400 (Alena Gorlanova, Omsk, Russia) Medley Relays and the 800 (Matosic) Free Relay that earned Relay Honorable Mention All-America honors. As a team the Purple Knights finished 14th, improving 20 places on the team’s 2006 placing.
The UB Purple Knights’ 2006 – 07 academic achievements were equally impressive individually and as a team, As five Lady Knights (Byczynska – 4.00gpa, Duma – 4.00gpa, Gorlanova – 3.75gpa, Matosic – 3.69gpa and Zahova – 3.83gpa) earned College Swimming Coaches Association of America Individual Academic All-America honors. As a team UB placed second and third on the CSCAA Team Academic All-America lists for the Fall ’06 (2nd) and Spring ’07 (3rd) semesters, extending their string of consecutive appearances on the list to six semesters (every semester since the program began).
It didn’t take long for Flood to put the Purple Knights program sight’s on stellar athletic accomplishments and academic excellence. In the 2004 – 05 inaugural season UB Freshman Raluca Duma qualified for the 2005 NCAA Division II NCAA Swimming Championships (200 & 400 IM, 200 Free & Fly), making UB only the second NCAA institution to do so in their first season. Duma was also the 2005 Metropolitan Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference Champion in the 200 Individual Medley while leading UB to a 12th place team finish (out of 21) in the inaugural season. Academically the program achieved the CSCAA Team Academic All-America Award in both the Fall ’04 and Spring ’05 semesters and Freshman Nevena Vatachka (Bucharest, Romania) was recognized as UB’s 2004 - 05 "Outstanding Freshman Student".
Flood’s second season team used the successes of the ’04 – ’05 team as a springboard to even loftier heights. The Purple Knights achieved another milestone by winning the program’s first dual meet with a 109 – 76 victory over fellow METRO Conference member NJIT, on January 28, 2006. At the 2006 METRO Championships Duma defended her 200-yard Individual Medley title, shattering the conference record by nearly 2 seconds. Sophomore teammate Aleksandra Byczynska was crowned the 100 & 200 Backstroke champion, tying the conference record in the 200. As a team the UB Women moved up to 6th place in the team race and Byczynska was named 2006 METRO Conference "Rookie of the Year". Duma and Byczynska represented Bridgeport at the 2006 NCAA Division II Swimming Championships respectively finishing 16th in the 200 Butterfly and 15th & 16th in the 100 & 200 Backstroke scoring enough points to place the UB Women’s Swimming Team 34th at the NCAA Championships in just the second season. The pursuits of excellence were not limited to the pool as both Duma & Byczynska garnered CSCAA Academic All-America Honors and the team extended the string of CSCAA Team Academic All-America Awards, again achieving the prestigious honor in the Fall ’05 and Spring ’06 semesters.
Guiding teams and individuals to historical athletic accomplishments and academic excellence is familiar territory for Flood, who came to Bridgeport from Central Connecticut State University, where he was Head Coach of the Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Teams from 1996-2002.
In his first head coaching position, Flood developed the small New England, NCAA Division I program into perennial ECAC Championship Top-Five Men’s and Women’s Teams. The Women’s Team was also Northeast Conference Team Champions in 2000. Flood was honored as ECAC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year in 1999 & 2000 and NEC Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach of the Year in 2000. CCSU swimmers were voted ECAC Men’s Swimmer of the Year in 1998, 99 and 2000 and ECAC & NEC Women’s Swimmer of the Year in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. In Flood’s tenure all but one CCSU School Record was broken and his swimmers set numerous ECAC and NEC Conference and Pool records as well.
CCSU finished 36th & 24th at the Men’s NCAA Division I Championships in 1999 & 2000 respectively. Flood also guided Enfield, CT native Tammie Repass to CCSU’s first Women’s NCAA Division I Championship qualifier in 2002, competing in the 200 Butterfly and 200 & 500 Freestyles. Marcin Kaczmarek became CCSU’s first NCAA Division I performance All-America, in any sport, by placing 8th in the 200 Butterfly at the 2000 NCAA Championships. Additionally, Kaczmarek was CCSU’s first student-athlete in school history to compete in an Olympic Games, representing Poland at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Academically the CCSU teams excelled at an equal level or excellence. Both Men’s and Women’s Teams garnered CSCAA Team Academic All-America Awards consistently (21 of the 24 semesters) under Flood’s guidance. Dominik Matuzewicz earned NCAA Division I Academic All-America recognition in 1999, becoming CCSU’s first student-athlete to achieve this highest individual award for combined athletic and academic excellence, in any sport. Additionally, four of Flood’s swimmers (2 women and 2 men) were finalists for the prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship, the only CCSU student-athletes to achieve this honor.
Prior to taking the helm at CCSU, Flood worked as Head Assistant Coach & Recruiting Coordinator at Clemson University (1993-96) and as an Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator at Texas A&M University (1992-93) and University of Iowa (1988-92). While at Iowa, Flood coached Polish Olympian Artur Wojdat to nine NCAA Division I individual championships, including an NCAA and US Open Record in the 500 Freestyle (4:12.24) in 1989. Wojdat’s nine victories rank him third in individual wins in NCAA history, and he remains the only men’s swimmer to win the 500 Freestyle four straight years.
Flood also has experience on the international scene having worked with the Polish National Swimming Team from 1989-2005. He was the Head Coach of the 1992 Polish Olympic Swimming Team at the Barcelona Summer Olympics, where he trained Rafal Szukala, the Silver Medalist in the 100-meter Butterfly. Additionally he has coached Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists at the World Championships, World University Games and European Championships.
Flood is the father of two sons, Ian (1989) and Ryder (1992) and resides in Trumbull, CT.