Interview with the New Rhodes Coach

Congratulations to Charlie Boehme on the position and we wish him the best of luck at Rhodes. We also appreciate him taking the time to do our interview. Enjoy the barbecue down there.

You are presumably the youngest head coach in the NCAA right now, any thoughts on that?

It really makes me grateful to the people who have helped me get to this point:  Mike Clary for believing in me enough to offer me the position, Max Obermiller for showing me the coaching ropes, and Adam Cohen and Kyle Dunaway for putting up with me through my four years at DePauw.  It is a very cool stat, but one that I hope is quickly forgotten.  Being an NCAA head coach is a great responsibility, and I’m anxious to prove I’m ready for the task.

Why is Rhodes the right place for Charlie Boehme?

As a graduate of DePauw University, I believe in the philosophies behind liberal arts institutions and Division III athletics.  Together, they form an environment that promotes well rounded, driven student-athletes.  This paired with the beautiful campus and the draw of Memphis make Rhodes the perfect fit for me.

Why is Charlie Boehme right for Rhodes?

Jon Duncan did a great job of laying the groundwork for the success that Rhodes can attain in the coming years.  I think any program needs a shot in the arm every once in a while, and I think my youth and enthusiasm for the job makes me the right person to do it.  I want to build an energy around Rhodes Swimming that high school students see, and think, “That is something I want to be a part of.”

What advantages do you have as the head coach at Rhodes College having grown up just down the road?

I think the biggest advantage of my Memphis roots is my familiarity with the Memphis and Tennessee swimming communities.  There is a great pool of talent in the city and state that I am very excited to reach through my relationships with local club and high school coaches.  Developing an in-state pipeline to Rhodes will be crucial as we build our program to the national level.

If you could have a sandwich with anything on it for lunch, what would it be?

Without question it would be a Huey Burger from Huey’s in Midtown Memphis.

You were more of a distance swimmer at DePauw and one that experienced a lot of success.  Much of Coach Cohen’s success in recent years has been in the sprint events.  Is that an advantage for you and the swimmers at Rhodes?

As a swimmer, I really swam just about every event, which forced me to train with just about every group.  I believe my experience with these different disciplines is a huge advantage to me as a coach, and to my swimmers.  I know what a 200 backstroker needs to finish a race, I know what a sprinter needs for a great start, and I know what a miler needs to be able to hold pace.  I understand that every swimmer is different, and requires specific training.  I look forward to seeing that all of these training needs are met.

If I had a daughter that was an impact swimmer and she was entering her senior year of high school, managed good grades and wanted to make a difference on her college team, why should she pick Rhodes and Coach Boehme?

First of all, Rhodes is one of the premiere liberal arts institutions in America.  I don’t think you can go wrong with such a great education.  In terms of swimming, I have had experience competing as an athlete and a coach at the highest level in Division III athletics.  I know what it takes to get there.  I know what it takes to win.  I would assure your daughter that there is not a coach in the NCAA who would work as hard I will to help her attain her goals, whether they be simply scoring at conference, or the ultimate prize of becoming an NCAA All-American.  I want every swimmer on my roster to know that they are a priority, and that I am fully invested in each swimmer’s success.

What excites you the most about the upcoming season?

I’m definitely most excited about the Rhodes swimmers.  I have had the opportunity to meet the majority of the team, and couldn’t be happier with them.  Not only are they intelligent and driven, but the squad is full of talent and potential.  I can’t wait to get the season started.

If you could be a superhero, any superhero, which would you be and why?

Wolverine.  Great facial hair.

The men haven’t finished higher than 6th at the conference meet since 2001 and never higher than 5th. The women haven’t ever finished higher than 4th.  How do you change that?
What type of timelines have you established as a goal to improve upon those?

Our first step will be getting our numbers up.  You need depth to compete for a conference championship.  Once we increase our numbers, we become a more viable option for top recruits.  We have great talent on both squads this year, with many great attributes to build upon.  I fully expect our Men and Women to be competing for conference championships within 3 years.

Is there a ceiling at Rhodes in terms of how good the program can become?  If so, where is it and how is it defined?

I believe a team’s ceiling is defined by that team’s own expectations.  I know this program can be a conference power and relevant at Nationals year in and year out.  Once you define a ceiling, you limit what you are capable of.  To me, there is no ceiling.

What is your favorite d3 username?
Do you have a username (no need to reveal your identity if you do)

Swmr46 was the first person to mention me in a forum post, so that’s my guy.  I actually don’t have a username.  I was very outspoken and opinionated as a swimmer, and I think Coach Cohen specifically told me not to get a username one day when he heard us talking about the forums at practice.

What can we expect from the Rhodes teams moving forward?

I hope the one aspect that you will find in every Rhodes team is that we always compete.  Every practice.  Every race.  A friend introduced me to a great quote that I hope defines the Rhodes Swimming mentality:  “Less than perfect performance is inevitable.  Less than perfect effort is unacceptable.”

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