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April 26, 2007 at 11:36 pm #12545swimming1Member
With Matthew Kinney now in the UAA… how big of an impact will he have on CMU? How much (if any) of an upgrade is he over Dave Belowich?
April 27, 2007 at 2:05 pm #37743swim5599Member
Well the guy on this list with the most success is obviously Howell. Shively is a great coach also I do not know a lot about the other guys.
April 27, 2007 at 3:26 pm #37744JHUBreaststroke06Member
I hate to say it, but Kinney is a big downgrade from Dr. Dave, who was the best coach in the UAA. Coach Belowich was an outstanding coach and filling his shoes will be very tough for Kinney. I would put Howell #1, Shively, and Conlon 3rd
April 27, 2007 at 3:47 pm #37745
I wouldn’t be so sure that Coach Kinney will be a downgrade. He’ll certainly do things a lot differently than Dr. Belowich did and there will be some adjustments from the CMU swimmers, but Kinney did a great job with much more limited resouces at UMW. In fact, I would venture that the women at UMW have long been better than the CMU women. Pretty much all of those coaches with Kenyon petigree get it done. I would vote, Howell, Shively/Kinney (time will tell) then Conlon.
I also think it’s a huge stretch to say that Belowich was the best coach in the UAA. They never beat Emory (he has been there longer than Howell) and battled most years with WU. Brad inhereted a team that was not as strong as CMU when he took over at Wash U.
April 27, 2007 at 4:25 pm #37746JHUBreaststroke06Member
In defense of my point, Dr. Dave has had NCAA individual champions in 4 of 5 years(McCarthy, Pearson, Krz), he has a swimmer with an NCAA record (400IM), and has consistent top 5 finishes in the Men’s meet. Plus he has an NCAA coach of the year award. You are correct that they dont beat Emory, but they have much less support from their athletic department. WU has had a couple good years, but not sustained excellence on the NCAA stage other than their 2 studs. I would have put Belowich right up there with Howell. True EU has more results, but in pure swimming terms, I think Belowich has done alot with what he had. He earned my respect over the 4 years we swam against him. I even tried to get my little brother to go swim for him. Other than Kennedy, there would be no other guy in D3 I would have rather swum for.
I don’t mean to say that Kinney is a bad coach or won’t be successful, I’m just saying he has big shoes to fill. I really know little about him or MW. In my reccolection he has only had 1 guy at NCAAs in the past few years. I could be wrong. I hope he does a great job.
I just think its a shame Dr. Belowich got thrown by the wayside for no reason to get him.
April 27, 2007 at 4:47 pm #37747
I’m not sure how anyone can argue that one program has more support from administration. How do you know that? Without having been in either situation, it’s impossible to judge. What do you count as support? Budget? Facility?
Yes, CMU has a record of some very fast swims, but the point you make about WU could also be said about CMU. Their national finishes were largely due to two HUGE studs and several good supporting swimmers. Pearson and McCarthy were studs out of HS. Yes, they improved under Belowich (no small feat when starting with such fast guys), but both were much better incoming swimmers that either Tribe or Slavik.
I agree that Coach Kinney has big shoes to fill, but I think that time will show he’s up to the task. I also think that he will elevate the women’s program, something that Coach Belowich did not have as much success doing.
April 27, 2007 at 6:47 pm #37748swimming1Member
There is very little chatter about the other coaches in the conference (Zolt, Thompson, Sorensen, Smith & Weber).
Is that an indication that they are on a different level then Howell & Shively?
April 27, 2007 at 11:04 pm #37749AnonymousMember
I think everyone needs to step back from this discussion and ask what factors they’re using to measure what it takes to be named “the best coach.” There are so many factors outside a coach’s control (e.g., institutional financial aid and admissions practices) that dictate his/her success rate (read championships and wins/losses) that it’s impossible to use that as a sole measure. So what if Howell has won more? He’s also got more ammunition to work with (read resources) than most any D3 college out there. Does that make him the best coach or just a good coach in a better situation? The bottom line is that there are far more good coaches out there than there are good programs. It takes institutional support to field a consistently good team … there are a lot of great coaches out there who don’t have the support to field “winning teams.” Do you really think that if Phil Jackson of Chicago Bulls coaching fame was working for the LA Clippers during the same time frame that he would have won as many championshps? No way. IMO, one of the greatest coaches ever to work in D3 was Dick Michael, recently retired coach at Oberlin. The guy could coach circles around almost any coach in the country. The fact that he never won a conference or national championship doesn’t diminish the fact that he could accomplish more with less talent than any coach that I’ve ever witnessed. The fact that he had as much success as he did in developing kids like Stevenson only underscores just how good he was.
April 28, 2007 at 12:05 am #37750
Again, you are presuming that Howell has more resources than other people in DIII. You can’t downplay what he’s accomplished because he’s at an attractive place. Great coaches make the most of the situation in which they’re in. Most everyplace has advantages that they can play on…it’s about maximizing your strengths.
April 28, 2007 at 12:21 am #37751AnonymousMember
No doubt that great coaches make the most of what they have. Howell has done well … that’s not my point. My point is that all schools don’t support swimming programs equally. Those differences can be easily measured in terms of budget, staffing, facilities, professional development opportunities, 2nd duties and responsibilities, etc.
I do agree that everyone has strengths that they can maximize. And I do agree with your suggestion that everyone has their challenges. But I also believe and know that not everyone has equal strengths as a result of institutional support. To believe anything else is naive at best.
April 28, 2007 at 4:49 am #37752Southwestern U. SwimmingMember
I usually try to stay out of these discussions, but I get tired of hearing people say that Emory is a top program only because of their “advantages,” and I think I can add a little reality to this discussion –I was an assistant coach under Jon, swam for Emory prior to Jon, and now coach a program that is not yet on the national scene. To say in any way that Emory’s success is due to the situation and not to the hard work of Jon and his coaching staff is a HUGE disservice. Pete Smith was a very good coach, and Emory enjoyed some success under him, but nothing like the success of the past nine years.
As for the arguments of advantages, Jon works hard to create opportunities for his assistant coaches. Am I biased? Of course I am, but Emory doesn’t have three asst. coaches because there is a greater commitment than other programs, rather because Jon works hard and makes personal sacrifices to ensure that his assistant coaches have other ways to make a living and feel like they are part of something great. Each year that I worked at Emory, more than half of my income was made during the summer, and at one point, I worked FIVE jobs in a year. This is not unique to the other assistant coaches, Jessica, Cindy, Chris and Derrick have all also sacrificed and worked hard to make the program what it is. Opportunity is what you make of it. Were we all fortunate to work at a school that had a large national draw, a great academic reputation and a nice facility? Yes, but those strengths exist at other schools that have not had the same success as Emory.
Emory has repeatedly recruited and developed great talent. Chris Halstead, Justin Hake, Tim Newton, Lindsey Hoffner, Holly Hinz, Sam White were all talents out of High School, but all improved and blossomed into national champions at Emory. NONE of them entered college with times that would compete for a title. Multiple other NCAA qualifiers and All-Americans entered the Emory program with times that were not even close to being competitive at the national level.
Dr. Belowich, Coach Shively and many others in the UAA are great coaches, but please don’t dismiss Emory’s success as just a function of the university/athletic department. My freshman year at Emory we were FIFTH at UAAs, had one NCAA qualifier and did not place in the top 25 at nationals, so it doesn’t just happen. Success has not always been inherent in the Emory program. Give credit where credit is due. Jon is among the best coaches in DIII and the Emory program would be nowhere near where it is without his leadership.
Ok, I’ll step off my soapbox now.
April 30, 2007 at 8:36 pm #37753swim5599Member
I agree with both of you. What Howell has done at Emory is really impressive, and I also agree with the statement about not having equal support from the athletic departments. I was an assistant under a man that won ncaa coach of the year in 1990, and coached a national champion. Now his facility has 4 lanes, so I would def say he was at a disadvantage. There are tons of great coaches, but unfortunately we only hear about a few of them.
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