What if…

Forums General National Championships What if…

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    • #12852
      NCACDork
      Member

      A big-time coach from one of the top 5 schools left for another program?

      e.g., if Jim Steen went to whatever school gets 10th this year at nationals. Would the change be as dramatic as something like football, where the new school might win (or get second) within 2 or 3 years?

      I am thinking about all the factors involved… recruiting, tradition, facilities, etc.

      Also, what effect would it have on Kenyon, assuming a competent coach took over. Some may not know the two years Steen went on sabattical there was little dropoff, if any, in both recruiting and nationals performance. I think it was Casares (of Wabash then Bates) and Howell of Emory who coached KC those two years.

      Clearly Howell has had success as well, and Casares was doing well at improving Wabash’s team every year.

      So, what’s most important in making a dominant college program?

    • #41268
      Walter
      Member

      That’s a tough one. Teams that are 10th this year can be 4th or close the next. It seems like any of the teams in the 5-10 range can jump into the top 4 here and there. What if Steen were to go to a school that no one has ever even heard of? That would be the real test.

      Also I think the top coaches are interchangeable. The main difference between those few teams that are always up there is not so much the coach as it is the schools administration. I don’t care what you say you can not get the same kids into Hopkins, Emory or Williams that can squeak into Kenyon…

      Personally I think that the coach matters a lot. Some people are winners and they surround themselves with other winners. Excellence breeds excellence. When Steen went on sabbatical the atmosphere he created stayed. He did not leave town and he was surely involved in recruiting, just maybe not on the pool deck all the time.

      Bottom line; if one of the top coaches left their school and went to a non ranked school and had complete support they would rise quickly maybe with their first class. I believe it only takes a couple of top flight swimmers to be a top ten team and as few as 3 top swimmers plus 1 qualifier to be top 5. Steen would be able to recruit at least one stud his first year at a no name school so long as the academics of the school were above average which most d3 schools are.

    • #41269
      swim5599
      Member

      Yes the coach matters a great deal, but one of the things that plays a huge role at the D3 level is the facility. If Jim Steen came to coach at say North Central next year, it would still be difficult for him to recruit there. Having a pool with 4 lanes is still having a pool with 4 lanes even if Jim is there.

    • #41270
      DonCheadle
      Member

      related to the pool is just the amount of importance the school admin places with the swim team. I would think that Kenyon can get things done for swimmers that other schools cannot. I am not insinuating the “so-and-so got a full ride” crap that sometimes floats around. More along the lines of Steen must have some sort of budget to recruit the international students he consistently gets. I am sure it is somewhat self-perpetuating but there has to be some money being sent to get these guys.

    • #41271
      Walter
      Member

      The pool matters for sure, a 4 lane pool would be a very tough sell. I also grant you that most of the top schools have built new facilities in recent history. However, Denison and Hopkins continue to get it done with a 25 yard pool.

      I think the pool matters but it is becoming more of an excuse than an asset. By that I mean teams that don’t have new pools and don’t perform use it as an excuse, while Denison and Hopkins don’t seem to mind.

      I think what matters more is the administration admitting perspective students. If you can offer a kid who would otherwise not get into the school admission its a huge help. Most of the top performing schools are also great academic institutions. They cant really offer money but they can offer a great education in place of money. If the administration is willing to play ball and admit that borderline student the team can rise with a 6 lane 25 yard pool.

      Here is an interesting though, what if you expand the coach to be named to top D1 coaches… could Greg Troy or Jack Baurle get it done in D3. What if one of these guys took over a top 10 team… do they beat Kenyon?

    • #41272
      Colbybr
      Member

      @DonCheadle wrote:

      related to the pool is just the amount of importance the school admin places with the swim team. I would think that Kenyon can get things done for swimmers that other schools cannot. I am not insinuating the “so-and-so got a full ride” crap that sometimes floats around. More along the lines of Steen must have some sort of budget to recruit the international students he consistently gets. I am sure it is somewhat self-perpetuating but there has to be some money being sent to get these guys.

      The recruiting budget that you refer to could also be drawn from a loyal alumni base. At a lot of schools, the majority of the schools budget for a given year comes from alumni donation. I would guess that Steen has an extremely large, somewhat wealthy and very loyal alumni group that finances his international recruiting. It is also possible that the school views sports as a way to attract foreign students, which I’m betting are a lot harder to attract to Gambier, Ohio then say Baltimore, Maryland or Atlanta, Georgia

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