Interview with Pomona-Pitzer’s New Coach

You essentially just moved from the east coast to the west coast.  That’s not an easy move, what led you to making such a significant change?  Why was Pomona the right opportunity to make such a change?

Big move for sure! The opportunity presented itself, I took a good look at what they have going out here from a swimming, academic and lifestyle perspective, had a terrific experience on the interview process  and was offered the job…so I took it!  To be cliché “change is a healthy thing” and I’m excited for the big change.

You’ve got quite a bit of talent returning to the roster next year, including some national experience.  What are your short term goals for the teams?

My short term goals are to get our athletes focusing on being great teammates, on the process of athletic success and to enjoy the experience of the swim season. When we have those three things working for us, good things will happen.

Of course we’ve got some talent returning from great seasons last year, and a solid freshmen class that we’re very excited about…but those times are from last year,  February and March are a long way off and we’ve got a lot to do between now and then.

What about 5 and 10 years from now?

The Pomona-Pitzer teams have a history of  tremendous success both in conference and nationally. There aren’t any good reasons why we can’t get back to that level!

How much potential does this program have?

Pomona & Pitzer College’s attract a highly motivated and talented student and swimmer. Our potential as a program is very high and will only be held back by if we limit ourselves!

What excites you most about this position?

Being a full faculty member at Pomona will allow me to have even more of a hand in guiding the swimmers and divers through their 4 years of academics, swimming and life. I look forward to this role, one that is unique to Pomona College among premier liberal arts colleges in the country!

Is a Sagehen a real mascot?  If yes, who does it intimidate?

Sagehen is a real mascot and is a local desert bird. According to our resident ornithologist quite a fierce and intimidating one at that!

What advantages are there to building a perennially strong d3 program in California versus the east coast?

Get back to me in 5 years or talk to Coach Griffiths across the street at CMS, he’s had some tremendous success since coming from the East Coast!

What obstacles stand in the way of doing just that?

See previous!

What is your greatest strength as a coach?

Coaching is an art that is constantly evolving with me. There is no magic formula to my coaching other than the ability to be creative, to be willing to change and to see the athletes as people first, team members second.

What is the biggest adjustment you anticipate having to make?

An office that looks out over an outdoor 50 meter by 25 yard pool with the  San Gabriel mountains as a backdrop!! I’ll have to stock up on some sunscreen too!

The roster as Pomona is much more geographically diverse than the roster at Wheaton, is this a challenge or an opportunity?  Or both?  How so?

I can see only positives coming from the geographic diversity of our students here at Pomona and Pitzer. In my many travels around Canada, the U.S and the world I have learned so much from the people I’ve met. To have such diversity in one place and on one team is an exciting prospect and can only serve us well!

Does the d3swimming community (and<>) pay close enough attention to the west coast schools?

I would certainly like to think so. We have one of the oldest and  best swimming conferences in the country and I look forward to the Pomona-Pitzer teams adding to those successes!

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