Jim Brik took over Willamette's swimming program in 1974 and coached for 17 seasons through 1991. He was named NAIA Men's Swimming Coach of the Year in 1981 after the Bearcats finished sixth in the national meet. His 1983 women's team placed fourth at the NAIA national championships. Of his 17 men's teams, six won Northwest Conference titles and nine placed in the top 10 at nationals. Thirty-four of his swimmers won All-America honors 80 times. His best swimmer, Steve Koga, won more individual national titles (five) than any other Willamette athlete.