Barry Parenteau enters his 43rd season in 2017-18 as coach of the Holy Cross swimming and diving programs. Parenteau has coached the Holy Cross women’s swimming and diving team since its inception in 1975 and took over the head coaching responsibilities for the men’s team in 1996 following the retirement of his father, Paul, who guided the Crusader men for more than 30 years. Parenteau assumed a full-time role at Holy Cross in 1983 when he was named Aquatics Director of the swimming and diving facility at the Hart Recreation Center.
Parenteau has had hundreds of student-athletes named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and his teams have repeatedly received Division I Academic Progress Rate public recognition awards from the NCAA. Parenteau has had two student-athletes named Patriot League Swimmer of the Meet (Jill Addessa, 1992 & Coleen Lynch, 1995) and one named Diver of the Meet (Kim Rinaldi, 2001 & 2002), two student-athletes named Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year and two student-athletes named to the Patriot League All-Decade team.
During the 2016 Patriot League Championship, three of the men's team relay records were broken. The 200 freestyle relay team consisting of Corey Manley, Jake Sbarbaro, Steve Tierney and Kevin Lagasse set a new school record with a time of 1:26.51. Additionally, Manley, Sbarbaro, Tierney and Tyler Wright broke the 400 freestyle relay, recording a time of 3:09.61, and Alex Young, Sbarbaro, Wright and Tierney set a new record for the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 6:59.65. Wright also broke the school's record for the 100 butterfly with a time of 50.94 and the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:54.75.
In the 2015-2016 season, Casey Sherman broke diving records for the women's team in the one meter (11 dives) with a score of 424.28 at the Worcester City Championship and in the three meter (six dives) verses Sacred Heart with a score of 292.35. Sherman competed in the NCAA Zone Diving Championship in both the one and three meter dives. Sherman finsihed 10th in the three meter dives at the Patriot League Championship.
Both the men’s and women’s teams won the 2012 Worcecester City Championship. The women won the title in 11 straight years of the meet's existence. At the 2012 Patriot League Championship, Brian Power set the record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 58.42 on the second day of competition. On the same day, the 200-yard medley relay team consisting of Jan Yburan, Power, Michael Brower and John Vatalaro set a new school record finishing with a time of 1:38.83. On the final day of action, Brian Lyons swam into the record books in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:42.43. The women’s team placed 18 members on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, while the men’s team had 12 selections.
At the 2011 Patriot League Championship, Holy Cross saw six individual school records and two relay records fall. Brian Power set a new school record in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the men’s 200 medley relay team finished with a new school record. Gael Carter led the women’s team with three school record performances, while Kristen Desrosiers set a new school record in the 200 IM and was a member of the record-breaking 800 free relay team. Sixteen women and 11 men were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and Annie O’Shea earned Patriot League Swimmer of the Week honors. The women’s team successfully defended its title at the Worcester City Championship, winning the two-day event for the 10th consecutive year and Desrosiers was named Swimmer of the Meet after breaking three meet records.
In 2010, Parenteau led the women’s team to six record-breaking performances at the Patriot League Championship, including Alisha Carrazza in the 200 IM, O’Shea in the 200 butterfly and four relays. Three student-athletes received Patriot League weekly honors under Parenteau and the women’s team won 15 events at the Worcester City Championship to bring home it’s ninth title. Twenty-three student-athletes from the men’s and women’s teams were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.
In 2009, Parenteau had 26 student-athletes named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, three student-athletes received Patriot League weekly honors and three student-athletes competed at the ECAC Championship. The women’s team claimed its eighth title at the Worcester City Championship. Maggie Gousman reset her own school record in the 100 breaststroke and Adam DeVito broke school records on the one meter and three meter diving boards.
The highly respected Parenteau was honored as Coach of the Year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference after the 1984-1985, 1987-1988 and 1989-1990 campaigns. In 1986-87, the women’s team had its finest season ever, finishing with a 9-1 dual meet slate and a sixth place finish at the New England Championship. Parenteau has had three student-athletes receive the Honorable John P. Cooney Memorial Award and one named Crusader of the Year. Callie Taffe, the former school record holder in the 50 yard breaststroke, earned AIAW All-America honors in 1981. Taffe, Marie Kenny, Mary McNaughton, Colleen Lynch and Jill Addesa have all been inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame.
Parenteau began swimming competitively for the YMCA in Worcester as a youth. After graduating from St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, Mass., he continued his competitive swimming career at Bridgewater State College where he held school records in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events.
Parenteau has his American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Level III certification, in addition to being certified in lifeguard training and water safety, and standard first aid and adult CPR. He is a 37-year volunteer with the American Red Cross and is a nationally certified pool and spa director. Parenteau is also a member of the Central Massachusetts Conference of Football Officials, refereeing both high school and college football games. A popular and long-time member of the College’s Athletic Association, Parenteau makes his home in nearby Millbury with his wife Dale and their three daughters, Laine, Kaley and Malen.