After earning a milestone 200th career varsity win against William Paterson University, I had the privilege of talking to the 24-year veteran. Reflecting on his monumental victory, Bishop was modest, and his response was always the same. No matter how the questions were worded, Bishop would just laugh and repeatedly give all of the credit to his team. Oddly enough, it was almost as if he was not aware of the true magnitude of the victory.
“It’s not a win for me, but a win for the program, and that’s the way I look at it because individual accomplishments always come second,” Bishop said. “Since 1989, when I first started with the team, we’ve had tremendous athletes come through and this is a great win for them, a great win for the College, and I am just glad to be part of it.”
Bishop, although he would never admit to it, essentially is TCNJ swimming. When he first arrived at Trenton State College, there wasn’t a men’s swimming team. The program was disbanded in 1975 due to a lack of funds. A few years after being hired to run the swimming facility, Bishop revived the men’s team and the rest is history.
One person who knew Bishop from the beginning is Jennifer Harnett, the current women’s head coach. She was a member of Bishop’s very first varsity team and recalls him as being the same humble man that he is today.
“He has always created a special ‘team before self’ philosophy since day one, and it’s only gotten stronger,” Harnett said. “You see that in his current team and in his alumni who are still very supportive.”
Throughout Bishop’s tenure, he disclosed that he is most impressed with how his past teams have dealt with adversity and sudden-death situations.
“There were a number of times where the meet came down to the last event where win or lose (determined the outcome),” Bishop said. “We were 10-1 in those situations so that was pretty cool reminiscing on.”
As of late, any team coached by Bishop has grown accustomed to winning. In his time coaching, he has led the Lions to 23 consecutive winning seasons. During that period, Bishop has won 15 MET Championships and four NJAC titles.
“He’s done a phenomenal job with the program,” Harnett said. “To see how much they’ve changed from his first year on varsity to the national caliber team that they are now is very impressive.”
With Bishop clinching his 200th win, the sky is now the limit as this accomplishment could not have happened to a better man.