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MINISTÉRIO DA DEFESA/FLICKR VIA CC BY 2.0

The Stony Brook women’s swimming and diving team will return for the 2017-18 competitive season after a five year hiatus, according to Stony Brook Athletics. Due to maintenance renovations of University Pool, the team has not competed since the 2011-12 season.

“Stony Brook has a strong history of swimming and diving, and it is with tremendous pride that we announce the return of our women’s program,” Shawn Heilbron, the Stony Brook Director of Athletics, said in a statement. “Our commitment to women’s sports is a critical element of our five-year vision and we are excited to take this step forward as University Pool reopens.”

As part of the Together We Transform initiative, launched in summer of 2015, the department aspired to sponsor one additional women’s program within five years. Stony Brook has also expressed interest in adding a women’s field hockey team.

Renovations on the pool, which began in January 2015, are scheduled to finish in early 2017. The new pool will feature a movable floor in the shallow end, two one-meter diving boards and a three-meter diving board. An automated maintenance system will also be in place, along with new HVAC and dehumidification systems.

New bleachers will come in to replace the current wooden bleachers in order to meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

While the Seawolves have had rosters in place for the previous five years, the last time the team competed was in the 2012 America East Championships. Stony Brook, which had both men’s and women’s teams in place at the time, finished in fifth place throughout 103 events.

During the 2012 regular season, the Seawolves women had a record of 3-4. They placed ninth out of ten teams in the Terrier Invitational, hosted by Boston University.

A search for a coach will begin this winter. The head coach of the 2011 team, Dave Alexander, passed away in July 2012 after a two-year battle with appendix cancer. Alexander founded the women’s swimming and diving program and coached both the men’s and women’s teams from 1995 until the team’s hiatus.

According to the Athletics website, Chris Brandenberger is the team’s current head coach. Brandenberger was named interim head coach of the program in July 2012, shortly after the passing of Alexander. He was named assistant coach of the team in October 2010.

The women’s swimming and diving team will begin competing in the fall of 2017, once the pool is completed. No announcement has been made about a possible return of the men’s team.