Mary Kay Samko, now in her 23rd year as the Aquatics Director and Head Men’s and Women’s Swim Coach at Bentley University, has developed the Bentley swim program into one of the most competitive in the Northeast-10 Conference.
All of the school records have been bettered numerous times since she inherited a two-year-old program in 1996. Samko led Bentley to six straight NEISDA women’s championships from 2002-07, and also the 2010 and 2012 championships, and the men’s team captured the NEISDA title seven times from 2001-12 before leaving the organization. The Falcon men have twice captured the Northeast-10 Conference championship (2010, 2017), and the 2010-11 season saw Anne Kaduboski and Jessica Hodsdon become the first swimming All-Americas in Bentley annals.
During Samko’s first 22 years at Bentley, she’s led the women’s team to a 226-66 record, including a remarkable 107-14 from 1999-2008, and the men’s team to a 171-73 record, including 21-0 the last two seasons. The Falcons have finished in the top four of each of the first 13 Northeast-10 Conference championships. The 2012-13 season saw her top 300 victories as Bentley's head coach and 400 overall as a head coach.
Samko received the Charles Silvia Award as the NEISDA Men’s Swim Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2003, 2006) and wass the NEISDA Women’s Swim Coach of the Year four times (2002, 2003, 2011, 2012). She's also been the Northeast-10 Men's Swimming Coach of the Year in both 2010 and 2017.
Samko arrived at Bentley with 20 years of coaching experience, including 14 as a head coach at three different schools, including the University of The South in Sewanee, Tenn. from 1991-94 where she also served as pool director.
Samko was also the women’s swim coach at Southern Connecticut State from 1982-87 and at Tufts from 1976-82. Her tenure at Southern saw her take on a team on the verge of extinction to one that was undefeated in her final year and produced a pair of NCAA Division II qualifiers.
Her six years at Tufts were highlighted by eight Division III All-Americas, numerous New England championships and a sixth-place finish in the 1982 NCAA Division III Championships
Samko, a Short Hills, N.J. native, is a 1976 graduate of Boston College where she was a two-time swim MVP. She became the first woman inducted into the BC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982, and was the 1987 New England Coach of the Year.
Samko, a past member of the NCAA Men's and Women's Swimming Committee, now resides in Arlington with her husband, Bill, in his second year as an assistant football coach at Bentley. They have four children, including Michael, a graduate student and baseball player at Bentley.
The Samko Record
|91-92||Univ. of the South||4-6||5-4|
|92-93||Univ. of the South||4-3||7-1|
|93-94||Univ. of the South||4-3||5-3|