The Olivet College men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs have a new Coach just in time for the 2016-17 season. Former Wayne State Warrior swimmer Cauli Bedran takes over the program from Coach Shea Davisson for his first head coaching job.
Davisson’s tenure lasted from June 2014 to August 2016. She was hired by Depauw University in Indiana last month to become its women’s swimming and diving Coach along with becoming director of aquatics.
Davisson became the second coach hired from Olivet during the fall 2016 semester as former women’s basketball coach Nicole Burford was hired by Oakland University, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I school in Rochester.
The process of finding a new coach is not short and sweet. Olivet College Athletic Director Ryan Shockey said in a taped interview, “What we look for in a coach that comes in to a position like swimming and diving where we have had some success in recent years, is to just continue to build on that momentum and continue to have more success in the pool and out of the pool in the classroom, recruiting wise, and keep the positive momentum going. Then, to go from there installing their coaching philosophies, what they want to see in a team, and build something for themselves. That is what we are looking for this year.”
“When we bring coaches on campus for interviews, we have them eat lunch with a big group of kids on the swim team. After that, we pull the captains and have them meet in a more one-on-one type situation in the afternoon. Cauli [Bedran] really hit it off with the student athletes. A lot of the kids like his training philosophy, at least in theory, and that was a huge point. A Wayne State hall of famer, he has a proven track record with his swim group where he worked with the sprint swimmers, a very reputable program that was top in Division II. He’s excited and wants to coach and I know that he will do great things and take us to a place where we can be proud of Olivet College Swimming and Diving. We are looking for a lot of success there,” Shockey said.
Bedran comes to Olivet from Wayne State in Detroit, where he was a four-year letter winner from 2006-2010 and was inducted into its athletic hall of fame. He earned 24 All-America honors including 17 First Team accolades in addition to helping the squad to three top-three NCAA finishes and runner-up in 2009, the best finish in school history. Bedran most recently served as an assistant at Wayne State in charge of handling the sprint swimmers.
“My vision for the team is that we need to be successful both in the classroom and in the pool. Students choose a Division III school because they want to emphasize their academics first. I not only respect but I understand and incentivize this approach. However, it is clear to the student-athletes in the swimming and diving program at Olivet College that they will be demanded both academically and athletically,” Bedran said about his expectations for the program. “My short term goal is to return to the NCAA championships for the first time since the 2011 season. The medium and long term goal is to become a division III power house in swimming and diving.”
Team members also have started to embrace Bedran from day one having already been enthused by what they see. “I believe Cauli [Bedran] is going to change the way we approach practice and meets for the better. He's very passionate about swimming,” said sophomore swimmer Emma Cole, when reached via email. “You can tell he truly loves coaching and wants us to be the best we can. I'm very excited for this upcoming season with Cauli [Bedran] because he's already changing how we practice and it's the first week of season. I think he's exactly what this program needs to be the best it can be.”
The Comets first competition of the 2016-17 season is the Homecoming Red-White Meet exhibition at 10 am on Oct. 8.