There’s been a flurry of activity in the last week, and I thought about writing about one hiring or another, but couldn’t come up with a whole post’s worth of worthwhile things to say about each hiring. So here’s a little snapshot of a couple of the movement with some predictions alongside:
Yesterday, Swimswam posted an article speculating who might get hired at one of the most coveted jobs in swimming, head coach of Auburn University. This is shaping up to be an epic college hiring season and I applaud the article. It is fun to speculate about this kind of thing.
I would make only one significant edit to Swimswam's list. It is made up entirely of men. That's not entirely Swimswam's fault
A lot of people are putting up posts right now, collecting their best content of 2017. That sounded too boring and lazy to me, so instead here's what I'm going with. This blog has always been a space where I've been outspoken, and will continue to be that in 2018.
Despite some of my more controversial takes, I do try to not open my mouth about something unless I feel really confident in what I know. That's why you won't find me putting up articles about dryland, injury prevention or physics. I know a little about those topics (well, maybe not physics) I know I wouldn't want to read a blog written by somebody who just fires off about whatever.
Still, despite being somewhat careful in the topics I choose and what I know about them, I still miss the mark some time. So here's a post for everybody that has gotten furious about at least on the three posts I am about to feature. I'm sorry- I was wrong.
I had a pretty good 2016 predicting some big things in swimming. That gave me a little confidence to keep it going in 2017. But this post, predicting what would happen at the Budapest World Championship, had some big whiffs. To whit:
- I predicted that there would no women medalists in the 100 fly. Then Kelsi Worrell got a bronze. Doh.
- Likewise, I didn't have much faith in the women's IM crew to get any medals. In fact I didn't even think enough of Madisyn Cox to feature her in the post.
I may be stretching the definition of "dead wrong" here, but bear with me. When revisiting this article, I feel two things are equally true:
- Virginia made a good decision to hire Todd DeSorbo, who immediately put together a strong coaching staff and the early results on UVA are really positive. You can't really argue with the decision they made, plucking the top assistant from a top ten program within the same conference.
- There are other schools that will not be mentioned that totally blew it by not hiring Moreno. I have heard from several sources that she was turned down for several jobs where the person hired just doesn't have a resume that stacks up to Moreno. That's wrong and a blown opportunity for those schools.
A year and one day ago, I announced my personal quest to break a minute in the 100 breaststroke. I have not written about that quest for over seven months.
The reason is simple. My own vanity and my desire to protect it hasn't left me very motivated to tell you that I had weeks at a time where I didn't train or just barely sustained swimming.
That after getting down to a svelte 176 lbs for my last competition in March, I have hovered between 195-200 lbs this fall and winter. I can't fit into half the pants I wore last winter, and I'm embarrassed.
But I should have, Because I learned in 2017 probably the biggest lesson of my life, and I still only learned it a little bit, if that makes sense. I learned a lot about the power of failure. I learned the emotional power of admitting that you need some help, and how that makes you stronger, not weaker.
Starting my own business meant more failure in one year than I have experienced in all of my years of swimming, school and coaching combined. That's been hard, but I'm so grateful for the growth.
A lot of us are making resolutions for the new year. My project was basically a resolution, and it fell apart by around May. It's fair to say I have failed, but also fair to say that five months moving towards something is infinitely better than nothing. And it's not over until I say it's over.
For the second time in four years, the University of Virginia finds itself without a head coach. Their previous boss man, Augie Busch, is leaving to coach the program his father led to a national championship. Swimswam commenters do not seem terribly positive about Busch, to say the least.
I'm not here to join that flame war. Let's talk about something positive. Who should UVA hire to replace the departing Busch. They should hire Stefanie Moreno! If you're asking who that is, it is possible that you know her by her maiden name, Williams.
Let's review some reasons why Moreno would do a great job coaching in Charlottesville:
1. Her debut at Missouri: Moreno began her college coaching career at Missouri. Look, what I'm about to say addresses a perception that is completely unfair, but as long as it's out there, we might as well address it. She established that she could coach both men and women on a combined program.
Actually, it's probably fair to ask whether all coaches that will coach combined teams can coach both men and women, it's just that the question is most frequently posed in relation to women coaching men, as if all women coaches have to get an imaginary "can coach men" certification to proceed. But I digress
Missouri athletes from that era. have told me how well Moreno stepped right in and established herself as a leader on their team
2. Setting a new course for Ohio State- Moreno was tabbed to help Bill Dorenkott take over the Ohio State women's program in 2008. The program was far from where it is today, finishing 8th at the 2009 Big Ten Championships, Moreno's and Dorenkott's first year.
By the next year, they would move up to 5th. The year after that? 3rd and a 17th place finish at the NCAAs. Moving from 8th to 3rd in a competitive conference in a couple years is no small feat, which, along with her alumni connections, is probably what drew her back to...
3. Help begin a new era of dominance for Georgia- Great results, especially for women, are easy to pass over at Georgia. But even by Bulldog standards, Moreno's time in Athens has been exceptional. Georgia has won three out of five NCAA Championships during her time.
But the UGA men have also improved greatly since Moreno arrived, culminating with their huge presence on the recently selected World Championship team.
Moreno has paid her dues, now it's time for her to take the reins of a program of her own. If UVA has a "search committee" or is doing a "national search" this is exactly where they should look.
Stefanie Moreno for UVA Coach 2017!
Are you looking to get hired by a college team or a college coach looking to improve your hiring? Write me.