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Posted on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

Saline mistakenly awards swim coach Todd Brunty national coach of the year plaque

By Pete Cunningham

A national coach of the year award presented to Saline High School boys swimming and diving coach Todd Brunty was done so in error.

A plaque presented to Brunty on Thursday, Jan. 5 identified him as the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association coach of the year. NISCA officials informed that such an award does not exist.

"NISCA was not the organization that awarded Saline coach Todd Brunty the 'National Coach of the Year' award. Saline was awarded the Class 3 National Dual Meet Championship as a team, but we do not award a specific coach of the year," NISCA secretary Eve Julian said in an email.

An official with the National Federation of State High School Associations confirmed that Brunty was named the 2010 NFHS state coach of the year and the school’s boys swimming team won a 2011 NISCA national championship.

Saline athletic director Rob White said parents and administrators confused the awards and a plaque was made in recognition of an award they mistakenly thought Brunty had won.

"Everyone’s intentions in this were good, the word 'national' caused some confusion and unfortunately we presented a recognition that wasn’t accurate," White said. "It's an unfortunate mistake."

Contact Pete Cunningham at or by phone at 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.



Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

As fine a coach as is Mr. Brunty, those who know the swim scene in this region, know that the bulk of the Saline boys swim team talent was developed by age group coaches in year round club swimming from when they were very young. These coaches are nationally recognized for their ability to teach and build talent and instill a work ethic that produces results. They are outstanding swimmers now because of their training long before high school and during the rest of the year. Most high school stand-out swimmers are in year round training and competitions. This does not take away from coach Brunty and his success with these boys for the 15 weeks of boys swim season, but credit is due also to their other coaches and their parents for giving them the opportunity to train year round and compete in USA swimming events for the other 37 weeks of the year.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

Hey Harry Potter, Coach Brunty wasn't aware the award was being presented. Some surprise parties are more surprising than others.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

This is definitely sad to hear, but it does not take away from the quality of coach Brunty is. It's clear a few commenters are unfamiliar with the history of Saline swimming and that Brunty is largely responsible for much of the talent in the recent high school teams, having helped start and coach the middle school program where a good bunch of these kids (current and former swimmers) developed into competitive swimmers under his guidance.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

sorry...the fastest swimmers anywhere in these conferences are not from the middle school programs...not by a long shot. Try USA swimming.

Harry Potter

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

Some of these swimmers, yes. The fastest ones that run the most for him, for the most part no.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

So what? Good job, Coach!


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

You're so right!!! Good job, Coach!!! Congratulations on winning a national award your own school made up!

Harry Potter

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.

Thank you for the follow up. For being what people believe to be such a high caliber coach, Brunty should have known there was no such award. Wouldn't Ann Arbor Pioneer's coaching legend Denny Hill have won the award 12 times by now? As for Tue plaque, wouldn't it come from the people giving out the award. It sounds like some over involved parents acted a little soon. Still, Brunty is winning tons of meets with the pile of talent he stumbled on a couple of years ago.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 10:36 a.m.

I doubt any coach (for whatever sport) coaches because they want to win an award. Coaches coach for the love of the sport and for the love of kids who play the sport,not to win an award. I'm sure Brunty isn't worrying or keeping track of what awards are given. My guess is he's more concerned about how his swimmers are doing.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 12:48 a.m.

That's embarrassing... Good job, Saline parents and administrators.