Taffe will be entering his 25th season as the head coach of the men's and women's swimming teams at Springfield College. He also serves as an assistant professor of physical education.
Under Taffe’s leadership, the Pride has returned to its status as one of the best collegiate swimming and diving programs in Division III. On the women's side, Springfield won its 10th consecutive New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship in 2010 as he took home NEWMAC Coach of the Year honors.In 2005, the men' team placed ninth at the NCAA Div. III Championships at Hope College in Holland, Mich, which proved to be the highest ever finish recorded by an SC team.
As a team at the NCAA Championships in 2013, Springfield finished 14th thanks to a pair of national runner-up performances by Kellie Pennington. In 2012, Taffe coached Pennington to the NCAA 50 Meter Freestyle National Championship. The-then sophomore bested competition in 23 seconds flat to become Taffe's first national champion in swimming.
Taffe has coached countless NCAA All-Americans and conference champions at Springfield College. In 1991 and 1994, he received the Charles E. Silvia Award as the New England Men's Coach of the Year, and was named the New England Women's Coach of the Year in 1994 and 1998. He also received NEWMAC Women’s Coach of the Year recognition for four straight years from 2001 to 2005 and was once again honored in 2008 and 2010.
Taffe served as the head coach for the Netherlands-Antilles squad at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, coaching SC All-American Howard Hinds, a 2000 graduate.
Prior to joining the Springfield College staff in 1989, Taffe served as the men's and women's coach at Mount Union College in Ohio for one season and head women's coach at East Carolina University for two seasons.
A native of Haverhill, Mass., Taffe attended the University of Rhode Island, where he was a five-time New England swimming champion as well as a two-time All-New England water polo selection for the Rams.
Taffe received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from URI in 1985 and his master’s degree in education from East Carolina in 1988. Taffe graduated from Haverhill High School in 1980 and was a member of the 1978 squad that captured the state swimming crown.
Peter Avdoulos is regarded as one of the top diving coaches in the nation. The 1985 Springfield College graduate is in his 29th season as the diving coach for both the men's and women's programs at his alma mater.
Avdoulos was a standout diver as an undergraduate and received the Charles Batterman Award as the top New England performer over a four-year period.
Avdoulos has coached numerous All-New England and All-American divers, including eight-time All-American Lindsay Moore, the Division III Women’s Diver of the Year in 2002, who won a national championship on the one-meter board and finished second on the three-meter board at the 2002 NCAA Division III Championships. In 2003, senior Alison Mellage earned her seventh and eighth career All-America honors, finishing fourth in the one-meter dive and fifth on the three-meter board. The 2001 national champion on the three-meter board, Mellage was also named the NEWMAC Diver of the Year in 2003 after sweeping both diving events at the conference meet.
On the men’s side, Avdoulos coached four-time All-American Mike Shaw, the first SC male diver to win a national title. In 2005, Shaw won the national championship in both events and was named the NCAA Division III National Diver of the Year.
During the 2011 season, Springfield was the only school in the nation to bring three divers to the NCAA Championships, with Courtney Keefe and Jen Thompson earning All-America honors.
Avdoulos has been the NCAA Division III Women’s Diving Coach of the Year four times, and in 2005, Avdoulos was named the NCAA Division III Men’s Diving Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year, an honor he also received in 2003. He has been selected as the New England Diving Coach of the Year eight times since 1991, and was named both the NEWMAC Men’s and Women’s Diving Coach of the Year for the 2002-2003 season and the 2012 and 2013 campaigns. He was previously named the Men’s Coach of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The Syracuse, N.Y. native swam for four years at Ithaca. He set seven school records and had six national qualifying times in his senior year. Rapp will coach stroke and sprints with the men’s and women’s teams.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Movement Science with a concentration in Sports Medicine in 2012 from Westfield State University. Schmidt currently holds six school records at Westfield State and was a two-time team captain in her junior and senior years. She was an eight-time New England Champion, winning the one-meter and three-meter boards in all four years and was named Diver of the Meet four times.
She also won the Little East Conference Championship in her junior and senior years on both boards, earning Diver of the Meet honors and all-conference honors. As a senior, she was named Little East Conference Diver of the Year, earned the Most Valuable Diver award and was given the Outstanding Contributors Award.
A Longmeadow, Mass. native, she graduated from Longmeadow High School in 2008.