The swimming and diving program is fairly new to the athletic department, splashing its way to its fifth year this season. Since then, four different head coaches have come and gone and have essentially left the pool of opportunities open.
Recent former coach Brian Peresie led his Pioneers to great success the last two years. Under his coaching, the team achieved a 9-6 record and a fifth place finish in the GLIAC championship last year on the men’s side.
Peresie also led former Pioneer diver Logan Bauer to two GLIAC conference champion victories in the 100 and 300, successfully leading his team to great opportunities.
But after being offered a head coaching position at the University of Akron, Peresie stepped down from his position and opened the door to new head coach Devin Murphy.
“I was a little nervous at first of how the athletes would adjust to me,” Murphy said. “But since I have arrived here at Malone, the athletes have been dedicated to me and embraced me with open arms and have done everything I asked them to do.”
Though Peresie left Murphy big shoes to fill with the swimming and diving program’s prior successes, Murphy feels confident and excited for his new opportunity.
“I have been coaching for fourteen years now,” Murphy said. “Previously I was a graduate assistant coach at Saint Leo University down in Tampa, Florida and was hoping that they were going to offer me a job, but I saw the opening here and jumped on it.”
Murphy’s college degree background was another reason why he decided to join Pioneer athletics, having graduated with a degree in theology.
With a driven mentality to integrate sports and theology, Murphy’s way of coaching takes a more strategic approach.
“Brian was very focused and detail driven; if he gave specific instructions, he expected nothing less than complete obedience,” senior swimming Zach Reuther said. “Devin is more of a personal coach. He puts greater focus on personal freedom to better yourself.”
Murphy starts his training off as a condition-based system and then as the season continues he switches to a specific need workout for the athletes.
“The best part about Devin is that he trusts us to get things done without having to micromanage every part of every workout,” Reuther said.
Though the two coaches have different styles, both styles of training have been effective when running the team and trying to reach the team’s full potential.
“I have taken a lot from both coaches so far,” said Reuther. “From Brian I learned that if you are faithful in your work, you’ll see results eventually, and from Devin I have learned how important it is to trust your athletes when you’re a coach, especially if you’re a college coach.”
Murphy has already proven his coaching ability by leading his team to success in the early season this year to a 3-1 record.
The team has its next swimming and diving meet against Findley November 16.