John O'Neill begins his 27th year at Providence College as the head coach of the men's and women's swimming and diving programs. The 2016-17 season marks his tenth-consecutive season with the Friars, after serving five years as head coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point. O'Neill founded the Friars program in 1984-85 and spent 17 seasons leading the program through the 2000-2001 season.
Since returning to Providence, Coach O'Neill has consistently increased the number of BIG EAST qualifiers each year. During the 2015 season, a school-record 45 individual swimmers and divers qualified at the BIG EAST Championships. As head coach of the Friars, O'Neill has presided over some of the most successful squads in the history of the program. In 1986, he coached PC's first BIG EAST individual champion, Horace Bowden. On the women's side, O'Neill coached five different BIG EAST Champions who have won a total of 12 different events at the BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships. O'Neill has received many coaching accolades, including men's New England Coach of the Year (1999), New England Women's Coach of the Year (1990, 1992, 1993) and BIG EAST Women's Coach of the Year (1998).
O'Neill was the head coach of the men's and women's swimming and diving programs at the United States Miliatry Academy at West Point from 2001-2006. O'Neill was named Patriot League Co-Coach of the Year in men's swimming and diving in 2004. During his tenure on Army's pool deck, he coached 15 swimmers who set Academy records, 32 All-Patriot League performers, 11 Patriot League Champions and his teams earned 16 CSCAA Academic All-American Team Awards.
O'Neill is a 1981 graduate of Springfield College where he swam for three seasons on the varsity squad. A past President of both the BIG EAST and New England Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Associations, O'Neill was inducted into the Rhode Island Aquatic Hall of Fame in 1994. O'Neill and his wife Cindy have three children, Shannon, 31, a graduate of Springfield College, Tom, 29, a graduate of Providence College, and Meghan, 23, graduate of Providence College. The O'Neills reside in Cumberland, R.I.