Oct. 2, 2013
By Harley Boykin
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn University Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame is inducting seven new members this year. The inductees include All-Americans, NCAA national champions, a world champion, four Olympians, and one Olympic medalist.
Every member being inducted into the Auburn Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame has either coached or competed on an NCAA national championship team for Auburn University. The list of inductees includes, Bill Pilczuk (’93-’95), Nick Shackell (’95-’97), Brock Newman (’95-’99), Maggie Bowen (’99-’03), Cesar Garcia (’00-’04), Eileen Coparropa (’00-’04) and Margaret Hoelzer (’01-’05).
Bill Pilczuk was a member of the Auburn University Men’s Swim Team from 1993 to 1995 and was a three-time NCAA All-American. Pilczuk was the 1998 world champion in the 50-meter freestyle, defeating Russia’s Alexander Popov in what USA Today called the “Upset of the Decade.” Pilczuk, also a former Auburn swimming assistant coach, helped the men’s team to win their first ever NCAA Championship in 1997, and again with both men’s and women’s teams in 2003.
Nick Shackell was a member of the Auburn University men’s swim team from 1995 to 1997. Shackell, a member of the Auburn’s first NCAA championship winning swim team in 1997, had wins in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. He was also an 18-time NCAA All-American. Shackell competed for Great Britain’s Olympic team in both the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.
Brock Newman was a member of the Auburn men’s team from 1995 to 1999 and was a 22-time NCAA All-American. Newman was a member of the 1997 and 1999 NCAA Championship teams. Newman, along with his 400-yard freestyle relay teammates, swam a 2:50.90 to break the 1994 record previously held by Texas.
Maggie Bowen swam from 1999 to 2003. A member of the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Championship teams, Bowen also swam in the Pan Pacific Games in Yokohama, Japan. In the 2002 NCAA Championship, a women’s championship that was the first in Auburn history, Bowen set two American records as she took the individual titles in the 200-yard and 400-yard individual medley relays.
One of the greatest divers in Auburn’s history, Cesar Garcia was a member of the Auburn University dive team from 2000 to 2004. Garcia was a member of the 2003 and 2004 NCAA Championship teams where he was also the individual champion in the platform event. Garcia was a nine-time NCAA All-American while at Auburn and competed for the United States in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Eileen Coparropa was a member of the Auburn University women’s swim team from 2000 to 2004. Coparropa was a member of the 2002, 2003, and 2004 NCAA Championship teams and also competed for Panama in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
The final inductee, Margaret Hoelzer, was a member of the Auburn women’s swim team from 2001 to 2005 and continues to be one of Auburn’s most decorated swimmers nationally and internationally. Hoelzer was a member of the 2002, 2003, and 2004 NCAA Championship teams for Auburn and she also competed for the United States in both the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Hoelzer won a bronze medal in the 100 backstroke, a silver medal in the 400 medley relay, and another silver medal in the 200 backstroke.
These former Auburn swimmers and divers have made history in Auburn, American, and Olympic record books, but have also been major assets in the development of the Auburn swimming and diving program. Their legacy will now live on as the newest inductees to the Auburn Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.