What made you want to start coaching? In general but also at Chapman.
After college, I spent a year in Germany teaching English and studying. While it was a wonderful time of my life, it was also hard. So when it was time to come home, I knew that meant returning to the pool deck – a place that has always been home. I haven’t been able to leave since.
How do you feel about your team’s performance over the course of the season and at the conference championships?
Coming in, I knew what the team had achieved athletically in prior years, and I also knew it was going to be a culture building year to make sure that we were moving the program in the direction I wanted to see. And we did a lot of work on that, and I am really excited for how the culture has been established. So, to have the athletic and academic success on top of that, overjoyed seems closest.
How does it feel being recognized at the 2022-2023 SCIAC Swim & Dive Coaching Staff of the Year?
Honestly I was blown away to be named Coaching Staff of the Year in my first season. I had looked up to the coaches in the conference for a long time, having swam against their athletes and coached against them. It’s been an honor to get to know them as colleagues in this new role. And I loved sharing the moment with the coaches here who have come to be family; they crushed it. But it was also awesome because there were athletes from CMS who I had recruited and coached who also threw their arms around me and thanked me for recruiting them. Pomona started cheering “CU in the pool”. And then there was our team. I had already started bawling my eyes out because I am so proud of how far we came this season. I am so proud of every single person on this team and when they told me they were proud of ME… well, that really started the water works. That is a moment I will remember forever.
What are you most looking forward to in your future seasons of coaching at Chapman?
Well I set a pretty high bar for myself in this first season! But in truth I’m excited about the same thing that always excites me: Watching athletes achieve things they never thought possible. Sometimes that means standing on top of the podium for the first time or going to Nationals. But some times that means going under a minute or getting an A on a paper. The joy of the little moments, continuing to build a program that people love and want to return to, and hopefully some awesome achievements along the way.
Anything else you want to add?
Thank you to Chapman and the athletics department. It’s been amazing to work here where discussion is encouraged, ideas are embraced, and thoughtful change moves us forward.