By David Parker
When Olivet’s new Student Life and Recreation Center was announced, many people had different visions. For Athletic Director Gary Newsome, it was a vision of opportunity and growth.
“We wanted to increase the number of athletic opportunities for students,” Newsome said.
The building, which is scheduled for completion in December 2012, will be equipped with two new pools, allowing Olivet to have swim teams for the first time.
“Our goal is to have 20-person men’s and women’s teams by 2012,” Newsome said. “If we have [a pool], let’s use it.”
The process to finding a coach for this team was a long one, lasting about eight months, according to Newsome.
“Last fall, we put out a nationwide search, placing ads on the websites of the NCAA, NAIA and NCCA. We looked from New York to California, and even to Canada,” he said. “We ended up having 30 applicants, who were eventually reduced to three. We brought these three to campus.”
Finally, the decision was made to hire Scott Teeters, a Detroit middle school teacher who had previously coached at Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University.
“I had given up college coaching, but when I saw this job opening, I decided to apply for it,” Teeters said. “I really liked the campus, and I liked the people I saw.”
Teeters brings a history of success from the other schools he coached at.
“At all of the places I have previously coached, I have had nationally ranked athletes, including someone who won a couple Olympic gold medals,” noted Teeters.
He hopes to recreate this success at Olivet.
“My primary goal is to have a nationally ranked team,” he said.
While having a coach with such accomplishments is important, the spiritual aspect of their life is also desired.
“When searching for coaches, we look for Christians who understand our beliefs,” said Newsome. “He’ll lead us to a championship, but he also has a good heart for them and cares for them.”
Teeters is more than willing to do so.
“It’s awesome to coach at a university where we can freely speak of and act on our faith,” he said.
Ultimately, Newsome is optimistic about the potential for the swimming teams.
“Swimmers who desire a Christian higher education have few choices. We want ONU to be that swimmer’s choice.”