Don Feinberg enters his 13th season as the head coach of the Hood women's swimming program as well as his ninth as the head coach of the men's swimming team.
Feinberg was voted the Capital Athletic Conference men's coach of the year by his peers after the team's outstanding performances during the 2011-12 season and at the 2012 championship meet. The team boasted 23 team record breaking swims during the season, 20 of which were swum at the conference championship meet. Fifteen records were set on the men's side and five from the women's. The men's team had its highest ever finish, fifth, and the women finished sixth. Hood had more than 80 lifetime best swims (that number includes relay swims), five season-best swims and only five swims the entire meet that weren't season or life bests. In terms of records set and best time percentages, it was the swim team's best conference meet ever. The Blazer men finished 5-6 overall, 1-5 in the CAC, and the women posted a dual-meet mark of 5-8, 1-5 CAC in 2011-12.
Feinberg's squads received national recognition in 2010-11 when both the men and the women received high marks for performance in the Feb. 4 rankings released by CollegeSwimming.com.
The Blazer women showed a 105.1 percent improvement in their season-best times during Hood's final regular season meet of the 2010-11 season on Jan. 29 against Penn State-Altoona and Juniata. That mark ranked No. 1 amongst all NCAA Division III schools in the nation. AvidaSports ranks teams each week based on improvement of an athlete's time compared to in-season best times (the higher the percentage the better).
Hood's men's squad boasted a 100.7 percent improvement in its season finale with Penn State-Altoona, the eighth-best percentage in all of NCAA Division III.
At the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, the Blazer men matched the program record for wins with five and boasted their first-ever winning season in dual meet competition (5-4). Hood also placed seventh at the Capital Athletic Conference championship and bested the school record in the 400 medley relay.
The Blazer women finished sixth at the 2011 CAC meet and posted a record of 3-7 overall (1-4 CAC).
Upon his arrival on campus in 2000, Feinberg quickly built the
women's program into the best in the former Atlantic Women's
Colleges Conference. After a 1-8 record in 2000-01 and a 6-5 mark
in 2001-02, the Blazers finished 8-3 in dual meets and won their
first-ever AWCC title in 2002-03. Feinberg was voted the AWCC coach
of the year in both 2001-02 and 2002-03.
After a tough 0-11 mark in 2003-04, Feinberg's squads rebounded to win consecutive AWCC championships in impressive fashion. In 2004-05, the Blazers posted an outstanding turnaround with a 7-4 record and dominated the AWCC championships, winning 13 of 16 events. Amy Kaufman was named the AWCC swimmer of the year and Lenore Brown was voted the AWCC rookie of the year.
In 2005-06, Hood went 8-3 in dual competition and came up one event shy of sweeping all 17 titles at the AWCC championships. The Blazers set an AWCC championship record by scoring 276 points en route to winning their second league crown in a row and their third in four years. Hood capped its season with a strong fifth-place showing at the Grove City Invitational, where it set five school records and improved two spots over the previous season's finish.
In 2006-07, Hood finished 5-6 overall, 1-2 in the AWCC, and 2-6 in its first season in the CAC. The Blazers placed third at the AWCC championships, and broke three school records at CAC's, where they finished eighth in the new conference. In 2007-08, the Blazers went 4-5 overall and 1-5 in the CAC while placing sixth at the conference meet. In 2008-09, Hood showed a record of 3-8 overall and 1-5 in the CAC and finished seventh at CACs.
Feinberg became the first Hood men's swimming coach when the
program began in 2003-04. He led the team to a respectable 2-3
record in its inaugural season before the squad went 0-6 in 2004-05
due to a limited roster.
In 2005-06, Feinberg led the Blazer men to a 4-4 finish in dual meet competition. Of the four losses, one came by a mere point while another was by just four points. Hood closed out its season by setting four school records at the Grove City Invitational, where it finished eighth, an improvement of two spots over the previous year.
In 2006-07, Feinberg helped the men attain a 5-6 overall record and a 2-6 conference record in their CAC debut. Ten school records where shattered over the course of the season and the men finished seventh at the CAC championships. Additionally, junior Jason Kinder became the first Hood swimmer to earn CAC all-conference accolades by virtue of a runner-up finish in the 1650 free. In 2007-08, with a roster of only six swimmers, Hood posted a record of 1-7 and 0-6 in the CAC and finished seventh at the conference meet. In 2008-09, another six-man roster went 1-8 overall and 1-5 in the CAC while taking sixth at CACs. In 2009-10, the men were 0-8 (0-5 CAC). The men finished seventh at CACs as three records fell during the weekend.
Feinberg, who earned the Hood College Coach of the Year Award in 2002, has put together an impressive résumé in his 35-plus years of coaching.
Feinberg has achieved unparalleled success in his career, coaching swimmers who have been ranked in the top 50 in the world (including one ranked in the top 10), swimmers who have placed as high as second at the United States National Championships and three swimmers who have qualified for the United States Olympic Team Trials (including one who placed sixth in two events).
As head coach at Frederick (Md.) High School, Feinberg led the Cadets to 136 consecutive victories over a 14-year period, a national public school record. During his tenure as head coach of the Monocacy Aquatic Club (MAC), he coached in two U.S. Olympic Trials and in numerous U.S. National Championships.
A long time resident of Frederick, Md., Feinberg was inducted into the Frederick County Sports Hall of Fame in February 2001 for his contributions to the sport both on and off the pool deck.
Feinberg, a former nationally ranked triathlete, is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in agricultural business management. He also earned a degree in physical education from Shepherd (W.Va.) College.
Andy Brabson began his first season with the Hood men's and women's swim teams in 2010-11.
Brabson was a two-time All-American during his four-year career at Denison University. At nationals, the Boonsboro, Md., native finished 14th with a time of 2:06.96 in the 200 breaststroke in 2007, and followed that up the next year with a 15th-place finish (4:07.98) in the 400 IM. He was selected as the freshman swimmer of the year and most improved swimmer in 2007 and earned all-North Coast Athletic Conference honors as a sophomore.
Brabson helped the Big Red to two second-place (2007, 2010) and two third-place (2008, 2009) finishes at the NCAA Division III Championships. Additionally, he helped Denison capture back-to-back NCAC titles in 2009 and 2010.
Brabson graduated from Denison in 2010 with a degree in communication and was a member of DSAAC, the Denison Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He also served as a strength and conditioning intern for the school's varsity sports.
A competitive swimmer for 14 years with the Hagerstown YMCA and the Monocacy Aquatic Club, Brabson was a three-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American with MAC. He swam in the sectional finals and qualified for junior nationals. A product of Boonsboro High School, Brabson also ran cross country in addition to swimming and was named all-state his senior year.
Brabson has been coaching swimming for seven years, including the past four with MAC.