May 2, 2013

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I am sure that many of you remember exam week in the spring semester - beautiful, warm and sunny weather to help you distract from the task at hand. That is what this week has been like in East Lansing. The best weather of the year!

We get to say farewell to a few seniors this weekend: Cameron Bartlett, Alexandra Pierce, Rachel Wilson, Kristin O'Connor and Jenny Rusch will be walking this weekend and getting their degree - what a great accomplishment. We are proud of all of them and we look forward to having them take their picture in the Smith Center on Friday of this week.

I want to thank many of you who posted on facebook moving tributes to John Munley this week. It was twelve years ago this week that John died and every year around this time it is very difficult for me not to remember that day minute by minute. I often think that our alumni meet would have been that much more exciting if he was still around. Also, more than likely the texts I receive during the Big Ten meet probably would have been much more colorful.

A good time to remind everyone that the John Munley Memorial Long Course Masters meet is set for June 22 at the IM West pool. This event donates all the proceeds to the Munley Scholarship and it is always a really fun time. I like to call it our summer alumni meet, but there are so many more people who come out and have a good time.

The latest winner of the Munley scholarship is Bryan Williams and he joins a list of great Spartans who have left their mark on our program. Of course the original winner Nick Defauw is now a doctor.

The outdoor pool will be open soon and long course swimming will begin in East Lansing- the absolute best time of the year!

Finally, congratulations to Gene Orlando and the Spartan Men's Tennis team for making their first NCAA tournament, well deserved.

Until next time,

Matt G

April 25, 2013

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Last Sunday, we had our annual awards banquet and it was a very good time. Kathleen (Milloy), as usual, put together a great banquet and we honored our season award recipients as well as nine seniors. We also had a few surprises- quite a few jokes and surprisingly not that many tears. I also found out officially that the Golden Spike tradition is 68 years old- it started in 1945 by Jack Seibold's father. We have quite a few pictures from the banquet up on our sites. Below is a list of the award winners for 2012-13:

Jack Seibold Award for Leadership - Jacob Jarzen

Jennifer Parks Award for Leadership - Lauren Baisden

Men's John Narcy Most Improved - Kyle Workman

Women's John Narcy Most Improved - Emily Parsons

Morgan Piasecki Spartan of the Year Award - Summer Strickler

Jason Vadney Spartan of the Year Award - David Zoltowski

Women's Swimmer of the Year - Jenny Rusch

Men's Swimmer of the Year - Jacob Jarzen

Women's Diver of the Year - Alison Menzies

Men's Diver of the Year - Charles Maurer

Women's Freshman of the Year - Lizzie Brown

Men's Freshman of the Year - Jacob Moore

Kevin Zielinski Heart Award - Alexandra Pierce

John Munley Memorial Scholarship - Bryan Williams

I want to thank Ian Clutten and Brooke Sauchak who assisted Jack Seibold with the Golden Spike ceremony this year. I also want to thank Morgan Piasecki who came to help hand out the award named in her honor.

For the 12th consecutive year, Tom Munley attended the banquet and awarded the scholarship named in his brother's honor. Bryan Williams joins a prestigious list of Spartans who have won the award through the years.

I did get a chance to see Brian Fitzgerald and Steve Bargwell at the very cold spring football game on Saturday. It was nice to see those guys and their families.

We have only a few days of classes left and on Monday we start exams. Always a stressful time of the year for the team but we're looking to finish strong.

Until next time,

Matt G

April 18, 2013

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This Sunday we have our annual awards banquet in the Kellogg Center. I will be sure to publish the award winners next week. We will have 10 new recipients of the Golden Spike. Each of them will hear "hang it up" as they celebrate the last thing they do as MSU Varsity Swimmers and Divers. We will have videos and photos of the banquet on all of our sites.

Hang it up, Hang it up
-Jack Seibold

The thrills of victory, the tears of defeat, The sights and sounds of a swimming meet. This is the heritage of a contest we love, Struggling swimmers in water, twisting divers above. Yet for each competitor the time must come, When memoirs are woven from ribbons he's won.

`Tis time Old Veteran, Hang it up, hang it up.

The workouts are tedious, it's no longer fun, Once easy victories have become hard won. Tired you are of stroking and kicking, Tired you are of taking a licking. You've had your fill of distance and dashes, And most of all hearing about teenage flashes.

`Tis time Old Veteran, Hang it up, hang it up.

Or' a year long season boredom is assured, As monotonous daily workouts go undisturbed. Your limbs are fatigued, your senses rebel, As you mentally prepare for that final farewell. Ah...those glorious moments are melting away, As more you recall yesterday.

`Tis time Old Veteran, Hang it up, hang it up.

So with tumult still ringing in your ears, In retrospect you look back in years. A question prevails that one must submit, Was dedication to swimming really all worth it? Yes ...yes the answer echoes back as if in a plan, Suddenly you realize swimming's made you a man.

Good luck, Old Veteran, Hang it up, hang it up.

Until next time,

Matt G


April 10, 2013

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I apologize for not keeping this updated and there is no excuse beyond me being lazy. The last month has been busy for our program and many things have happened.

First and foremost, Jacob Jarzen competed in his fourth-consecutive NCAA championship in March. He joins a very exclusive list of Spartans who have competed in four NCAA championships in their career. He finished 10th in the 100 butterfly at the meet and he also competed in the 100 and 200 backstroke. The NCAA meet was incredibly fast and it was a real honor for the program to be there.

We have had many of our alumni have babies in the last month also. Kate (Duncombe) Ellington had a little girl on March 26 - congrats to her and her husband. Andrea (Yocum) Foren had a little girl in April - congrats to her and her husband. Marlys (Fuqua) Roberts is in labor as I write this - so congratulations to her and her husband. So many little Spartans and I hope to see them all hopefully at homecoming this year.

Speaking of homecoming, our annual alumni meet is scheduled for October 12, 2013. The meet has yet to have a time since we are waiting on a start time for the football game. Also, I want to remind everyone that the John Munley Memorial Long Course meet is set for Saturday, June 22. Start time for that is 5:15 p.m.

Next Sunday, we will have our annual team banquet. We have many awards to give out and of course we will have the Golden Spike ceremony, as well. I promise to provide updates on the banquet next week and the week after.

I do want you all to know that our long time motor coach operator, John Ricci, is retiring from driving. We do plan to have John at our Banquet next week and we will also award him with a Golden Spike. Many of you know John and have stayed in touch with him after you graduated. His presence with our team and on our trips will be missed.

Until next time,

Matt G


February 14, 2013

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Happy Valentine's Day!

We leave for the Big Ten Championship meet with the women this upcoming Tuesday and we leave with the men the following Tuesday, so this will be my last post for a little while.

I invite any Spartans who live in Minneapolis, and I do look forward to seeing Marlys (Fuqua) and Sarah (Stover) next week, to come out and watch the Big Ten swim meet.

We have had a very good season to this point and it has been really exciting right from the beginning when we hosted Wisconsin outside last September. Our team is ready for two weeks of good performances.

I want to thank all of the former swimmers who have taken the time to write good luck to our current team this year. The connection to our past is so important for our program no matter what time of the year.

I also want to send a very happy birthday to my dad who turns 87 this Saturday!

Until next time,

Matt G


February 7, 2013

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We have our senior day for the men's team this Saturday, Feb. 9 at 12 p.m. at the IM west pool against Michigan. We have the opportunity to celebrate the careers of three great Spartans. All three have been catalysts in a resurgence of our program. Since 2009, our program has accomplishments not seen around here in quite a while. Collectively, all three have established high standards and they have been able to put our program on a national stage. I am very proud that all three will leave as accomplished varsity student-athletes.

Mark Gammell: Mark is a Criminal Justice major from Dayton, OH. A former walk-on, Mark has provided depth in the backstroke events. He owns a top-10 time in the 200 backstroke. He has been a great representative of our program.

Josh Geschwendt: Josh is an engineering major from Zeeland, Mich. Josh has spent much of his career tormenting Kathleen with his interesting approach to training. He has a varsity record in the 400 freestyle relay and he has a top 10 swim in the 100 butterfly.

Jacob Jarzen: Jacob is a pre-dental major from Jacksonville, IL. "The Snake" will finish his career as one of the most decorated swimmers in MSU history. He owns nine short course and four long course team records. He has improved to become world-ranked in his 100 butterfly. He has proven that Michigan State is a place where you can train, compete and succeed at a high level.

If you have a chance, please come out to IM west on Saturday and cheer on the Spartans.

Also, check out our facebook fan page and watch the short film on Amanda Mercer and her record -setting relay swim across the English Channel last July.

Until next time,

Matt G


January 31, 2013

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I want to thank the many fans who made it to Oakland University on Saturday. We had such a great crowd there and I got to see quite a few alumni in the stands wearing Green and White. It was especially nice for our women's team getting the win.

Saturday marked the final dual meet of the year for the women and now we focus our attention to the Big Ten meet, Diving regionals and hopefully the NCAA's in Indianapolis. We have had a great season to this point and we have really competed well. I am very proud of our women's team and especially the youngsters who have won many events this year.

This Monday, our women's basketball team will be hosting the National Girls and Women in Sports Day game. It will also be the Play 4 Kay game for breast cancer awareness. During the game, we plan to honor Amanda Mercer for her accomplishments last summer. Amanda was the special guest of our department at last year's football game vs. Ohio State. If you are in the area, please come out to the basketball game and honor Amanda and her resiliency.

A reminder that next Saturday's men's meet vs. Michigan will be held at 12 p.m. at the McCafree pool in IM West. It will be senior day for our men's team and we are hoping for a huge crowd.

I posted on our facebook alumni page last week that we need women to play in a foursome at the Varsity Alumni golf outing on June 5. We have our men's foursome set and we need two more players for June. Please let me know if you are interested.

Our awards banquet is all set for April 21. Information regarding the banquet can be obtained by contacting Kathleen Milloy. We hope to see many of you there.

Until next time,

Matt G


January 24, 2013

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I want to thank all the fans who made it down to Bowling Green last weekend.

This Friday at 6 p.m. we will host Michigan on senior night. We have four seniors who will participate in their final home meet. It is an amazing group of women and each of them defines the term perseverance in their own way. The staff and I have been blessed to work with all four and I believe that I am a better coach through the last four years because of them. All four women have been and will continue to be great Spartans:

Lauren Baisden:Lauren has developed into one of the best backstrokers in team history. She has had a fantastic senior year and she also qualified for the Olympic Trials last summer. She has become a great leader and she has left a big imprint on our program.

Tori Merritt:Tori is a lifelong Spartan who has lived her dream of swimming at Michigan State. That dream has at times been rough-including recovering from shoulder surgery. Tori has made an incredible comeback this year.

Alexandra Pierce:Alex has been one of the most versatile swimmers in our history. She has been on relays and she has been a great competitor in her four years here at MSU. She is real Spartan and she has grown into being a reliable leader.

Jenny Rusch:Jenny came to MSU from Grosse Pointe and she has been a steady contributor. She has broken many records on her way to becoming the best sprinter in team history. She is a great person and one of the hardest workers I have ever seen.

Congratulations Seniors! It is always sad for me to see kids careers wind down, but I have great faith that all four of these women will finish strong next month and then go on and lead incredible lives and represent the University well.

We have our annual tilt with Oakland on Saturday down at OU and that meet starts at 2 p.m.. Hope to see some Spartan green in what will most likely be a big crowd.

Until next time,

Matt G


January 17, 2013

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I want to thank all of the fans and supporters who came to both meets this past weekend. We do appreciate the support and it makes a huge difference to our team to have people come out and cheer them on.

This week I would like to announce the Bill Heusner Service Award winners for 2013. The award will be given during the 2013 Alumni meet on Homecoming in October of this year. This is the 12th year we have given out the award and it recognizes people who express service to our program.

Our 2013 winners are below with a very brief summary of their ties to our program.

Dale and Jill Becker: Dale and Jill are the parents of Lauren Becker '05. They have been supporters of the program for many years and they are true Spartan fans.

Gail Dummer: Gail has been a long time ardent supporter of our program and she has been helpful in so many ways. She has gone well above the standard as the meet director for our summer Long Course meet which raises money for the Munley Scholarship.

Lance Thompson: Lance used the IM west pool to work out daily and by chance he became friends with our coaching staff- starting first with Rich Mull. Since then, he has been a huge supporter of our team and our program at large.

Dave and Elaine Yocum: Dave and Elaine are the parents of Andrea Yocum '05. They have been steady supporters of the program and more specifically of me. They are also responsible for keeping me fed on football Saturdays.

I am very proud to have these six people to become Heusner Award winners this October. Bill Heusner was a selfless volunteer to both Michigan State and Big 10 swimming and diving. It is a privilege for our program to honor his name every year by recognizing great people whose support we just couldn't exist without.

Below is a list of every Heusner Award winner:

Oct. 19, 2002
Bill Heusner (posthumously)

Oct. 4, 2003
Dick & Jane Farnsworth
Dr Gary Dilley

Oct. 16, 2004
Geraldine James
C. James Clemens
Dr. Larry Sierra

Oct. 22, 2005
Jane Hoag DeMarchi
Anne MacCaskill
Jack Seibold

Sept. 30, 2006
Jack Beattie
Tosh Imai
Marc Stiner

Oct. 13, 2007
Dan Batchelor
Kent Johnson
The Munley Family

Oct. 4, 2008
Don Patterson
Bob Jones
George Kruggel
Jennifer Parks
Rick Edwards

Oct. 17, 2009
Shawn Elkins
Samuel Kasley III and Lori-Stark Kasley
The Mull Family
Coach John Narcy
Margaret Smith

Oct. 16, 2010
Wally Dobler
Mark Holdridge
Dr David and Beth McCaffree
Pat and Mary Tyrrell
George and Peggy Wedgworth
James and Mary Yeomans

Oct. 22, 2011
Coach Fetters and family
Michael and Lisa Habel
Don and Roberta Morey
Mr and Mrs David Polk
Mr Jim Thurston

Oct. 13, 2012
Dave Berger
Karen Langeland
Jane Myers
Bob Rex
John St. John

We have a swim meet this weekend at Bowling Green University. Our women will be taking on Bowling Green and Buffalo and our men will dual Buffalo only. The meet starts at 1 p.m. and I invite anyone who lives in the area to come out and support the Spartans.

I would like to congratulate Kate (Duncombe) Ellington ,03 who is expecting her first child in April. Very excited for her and her family.

I want to thank Tom Anastos and the entire MSU Hockey program for allowing me to be their guest coach last Saturday night. It was nice to be behind the bench for a 4-1 win Bover the Irish.

Until next time,

Matt G


January 10, 2013

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Happy New Year! A lot of things have happened since my last post. I hope that you all had a happy and healthy holiday season and I do hope for a great 2013 for everyone.

We had a great experience in Florida training before the holiday. I want to thank all of our donors last year whose generosity provides our team the opportunity to train off-campus. I had the chance to see Bob Rex `76 and his wife one day at the pool. I want to thank them both for taking the time to come out and support our team.

We begin our spring semester portion of our schedule this Friday when the men take on Purdue and the women take on Toledo. The women will also dual with Purdue on Saturday.

On Jan. 24, we will make the formal announcement of our 2013 Heusner Award winners. Please check out this blog on the 24th to see the recipients who will be honored at homecoming this year.

Within the next few months there is going to be some very exciting news relative to the Varsity Alumni club. Our alumni letter-winners have always been very involved and very supportive of our program. I feel as though the changes will only enhance that support and interest.

Hope to see many of you this weekend.

Until next time,

Matt G


December 13, 2012

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This will be the final post for 2012. It has been an incredible year for everyone involved in our program. I would like to take some time to reflect and thank some people who help make our program so successfully.

Number one on that list is the administration at Michigan State University who still find value in sponsoring swimming and diving at such a high level. Our athletic administration has supported us to huge heights this year. I want to especially thank Richard Bader who is now directly responsible administratively for our program. He is a great leader and we appreciate it.

I want to thank Nancy Wing, who has been our administrative assistant for 16 years and counting. Her day-to-day help is invaluable to our operation.

I want to thank all of our parents and fans who travel meet to meet to support the team. There is no question that we have a loud voice (minus all the obnoxiousness that other teams have) that is there to support the kids.

As always I want to thank the alumni of this program who give year after year unconditionally to help us be successful. I have been to weddings, baptisms, re-unions and you name it this year. It was awesome that the year literally began for me in the company of so many former swimmers at Adam Schmitt's Wedding in Grand Rapids, Mich.

I want to thank the best and most over-worked coaching staff in the country. Someday soon Kathleen will get her just rewards and have the ability to run a team of her own. Tim and Eric and Nicole have worked tirelessly this year, as well.

As we move into 2013, we have a lot to look forward to as well. In January, we will announce our 11th Heusner Award recipients. In February, we will represent MSU well at both Big Ten meets. In March we plan to be at the NCAA meets in Indianapolis. In April, we will hand out Golden Spikes to eight deserving seniors and in May, six of those seniors will graduate and be on their way to do great things. In June, we will be back in Indianapolis for the World Championship Trials.

Through it all, I am grateful and humbled by the support from all of you who care so deeply about Michigan State Swimming and Diving. I am amazed how quickly the semesters go by and I am very excited for 2013. I am hoping for all of you a great and prosperous 2013.

I do want to congratulate Crissy (Spaulding) Preston on the birth of her daughter last week.

Until next year,

Matt G


December 6, 2012

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It has been a month and I have not been very good at updating this blog. We have been very busy and we have performed very well. Our team went to two invitationals and the results were very solid. Our women won the Cleveland State Invitational the weekend before Thanksgiving. We traveled 16 people to the USA Swimming Winter Nationals in Austin, TX last weekend. Full results from all of our meets this semester can be found on this website. Full videos of every race this year can be found on our YouTube channel.

We had some incredible support by parents and alumni at all of our meets this semester. I want to especially thank Joel Hageman for coming out to see us while we were in Cleveland. I want to thank Mary Lou Moore "crazy MSU lady" for coming out to see us in Austin. It means a lot to our team to have such support.

I had a great chance to see so many former team members at Michael Van Beek and Laura Deford's wedding on November 10th. It was great to see so many recent graduates doing so well. It made me very proud of our program and reinforced that we are graduating some quality people year after year.

I want to congratulate Ian Clutten '06 and his wife Stephanie (a former swim team trainer) on the birth of their son Noah last month. I have already asked for a measurement of the young lads feet to see if they are ready for breaststroke.

Our team will be serving as ushers for the basketball games in Jenison next weekend. If you plan to go to any of the games, please look out for our team members.

We will be departing for Florida on Dec. 16 and we will be in Delray Beach from the 16th through the 23rd. If you plan to be in South Florida at that time, please contact me and let me know. We'd love to have people drop by practice.

I am hoping that you all had a great Thanksgiving.

Congratulations to our football team for earning an unprecedented sixth-straight bowl appearance.

Good luck to our volleyball team this weekend in the NCAA Sweet 16!

Until next week,

Matt G


November 8, 2012

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Last Saturday, we closed down the outdoor pool. It was a seasonably cool day for East Lansing on Nov. 2 and we had our entire team in one final outdoor practice. It was the final MSU long course workout for our seniors and three of them took the plunge off the ten-meter when practice was over - Rachel Wilson, Jacob Jarzen and Mark Gammell. It is hard to believe that another outdoor season has come and gone. We now shift our attention to the short course meets in November where our team will be shaving.

This Friday we will be at Jenison High School to have our annual dual meet vs. Grand Valley State. The meet begins at 6 p.m. and we are really hoping for another big crowd. Once again, meet information can be found at jenisonaquatics.org.

It was very nice to see Scott Shafer '02 at the pool last Saturday. He dropped by to say hello and it was cool catching up with him and his wife. Saturday was actually my last football Saturday of the year. We will be in Cleveland for the Northwestern game. I want to thank all of our alumni who have allowed me to mooch off their food again this year pre-game. It is always really nice to see everyone in the fall.

Next weekend, we will be traveling to Cleveland to take part in an invitational at Cleveland State. I am hoping that our Northeast Ohio alumni can make the trip out to support the Spartans.

Until next week,

Matt G


November 1, 2012

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I want to thank everyone who made the trip to Champaign, Ill., last Friday to support our team. We had another close meet with the Illini and we had a good number of great performances. We fell a little short in the score, however we were very encouraged by our swims and I think we are ready to do some great work in November.

The men had another home meet on Saturday vs. Notre Dame and, like the women, we fell short in the score, but we did have some amazing performances also. Bryan Williams followed up being the Big-10 swimmer-of-the-week award by swimming to the fastest time in the country with an almost pool record of 47.83 in the 100 butterfly.

An amazing statistic about the men's 100 butterfly at our home meets in the last four years-from 1972 until February of 2009, Mark Spitz held the 100 butterfly pool record with a 49.31 (I still have the record panel in my office). Since Chris Brady of University of Michigan broke that record with a 47.70, we have had eight people go faster than 49.31 and I find that to be pretty incredible.

We will be closing the outdoor pool down this Saturday after our practice. If you plan on coming to the Nebraska football game, please stop by and say hello. If you get there at the right time, we might ask you to help pull out the lane-lines. It has been a great outdoor pool season for us and I want to thank Brian Fickies and the physical plant guys for all the help they give us with the facility every year. We are scheduled to re-open the outside in May 2013!

Next week on Friday, we will travel to Jenison High School to have our annual dual meet vs. Grand Valley State. If you live in the area, please come out and support college swimming in Michigan. We have had great crowds the last five years and we are hoping for another one. Meet information can be found at jenisonaquatics.org.

As a reminder, we have every race from 2012 up on our YouTube channel for people to see.

Until next week,

Matt G


October 25, 2012

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We had our annual tilt with the Iowa Hawkeyes last Friday and it was really good to see so many of you come to the meet. The start time was a little early and people still made the effort to come watch the meet. We are very appreciative of the support.

Congrats to Junior Bryan Williams who won the Big Ten Swimmer of the Week award this week. His time in the 100 butterfly put him in the top-five nationally and he is currently first in the Big Ten. This is the second Big Ten award we have won this season so far. Lizzie Brown won Big Ten Freshman of the Week back in September.

We will be competing with the women on Friday at the University of Illinois at 4 p.m. CT. Please if you are in the area, come on out and support the Spartans.

The men have Notre Dame this Saturday at 12 p.m. at IM West.

Lastly, I want to thank David Habel '06 for constantly keeping me accurate and honest on twitter.

Until next week,

Matt G


October 18, 2012

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We had a nice time last week at the alumni meet and I want to especially thank all of you who ventured through the rain to come to the back entrance of IM West to participate in the meet. By our count, we had 80 alums at the meet and we had a number of former parents make it to the meet, as well.

Swim/Dive Alumni Plunge Award

I want to thank Mrs. Ellie Heusner who at 85 years old made it to the meet in order to help present Dr. Heusner's award to Karen Langeland , Dave Berger and Jennifer Parks.

I want to thank Susan Eareckson who provided the trophy's honoring Tosh Imai in the plunge this year. Congrats also to Jon Larocque '10 and George Kruggel '82 for getting the length done and winning this year.

I want to thank all the alumni from 2005-2012. We had a fantastic showing by the under-30 crowd this year. I think the youthfulness led to the intensity of the straight up 50's, as well. Of course youth was well served when Mark Schramm '12 beat Alec Mull '94 in the special heat of the 50 freestyle.

We will for sure be adding the Brother alumnus vs. the Sister varsity next year when Senior to be Summer Strickler will race her brother Gabe in 2013!

We have a lot of videos and pictures posted on all of sites- I encourage you to visit them and we also have t-shirts left over from the meet- please go to our facebook page and get the details on how to get one.

This Friday we have our annual meet against Iowa that starts at 4 p.m. Please come out and support the Spartans if you are in the area.

Good luck to the Spartan football team in Ann Arbor this weekend. Go get that fifth straight!

Until next week,

Matt G


October 11, 2012

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When I started coaching at MSU in September of 1997, I learned quickly to enjoy homecoming week. Though as an assistant, the Alumni Meet was a lot of work for me, meeting Spartan swimming and diving alumni was always a thrill. 15 years later, this is now my favorite week of the year and it culminates on Saturday with our 57th consecutive Alumni Meet. I look forward to seeing all the "kids" I have coached at MSU and re-connecting with people who swam here in the 1940's-2012. The Alumni Meet is the definition of this program and I look forward to it every year.

A couple of things to know about the meet:

• You cannot enter the IM West building through the front doors. The building is closed on football Saturdays and the only way you'll be able to enter is through the back gate of the outdoor pool deck. We will have signs posted in the front for everyone to see, but please make plans to enter through the outdoor pool deck.

• We will be recognizing five outstanding people who through their service to our program are receiving the Bill Heusner Service Award this year-Dave Berger, Karen Langeland, Jane Meyers, Bob Rex and John St John. I have included the full list of Heusner winners from the past 10 years at the bottom of this post.

• Remember that the swim meet wraps up with the Tosh Imai plunge. We have yet to award the special prize that comes with making the entire length. Susan Eareckson plans to be there again this year

Our team as well as my family and I will be in the homecoming parade on Friday night. If you plan to be there, look for us. The Grand Marshal of the parade is Mark Hollis and it is a well deserved honor.

I want to congratulate Katie Sophia Jeffrey on the birth of her son Quinn this past week. We are all very happy for you and the family.

We have a new official twitter handle for our program @MSUswimdive and that will be the place to go for all the official news on our program. We also hope to use it during meets to provide real time updates.

Next Friday, Oct. 19 we get back to action against Iowa on at 4 p.m. at the IM West pool.

Finally, 10 years ago, we awarded the first Bill Heusner Service Award posthumously after Dr. Heusner passed away in the summer of 2002. Since Homecoming 2002, Mrs. Ellie Heusner has come every year and passed recognition onto 36 people (with 5 more getting recognition this Saturday). Below is a list of the entire past award winners:

2002:
Presented to Bill Heusner (posthumously)

2003:
Dick & Jane Farnsworth
Dr. Gary Dilley

2004:
Geraldine James
C. James Clemens
Dr. Larry Sierra

2005:
Jane Hoag DeMarchi
Anne MacCaskill
Jack Seibold

2006:
Jack Beattie
Tosh Imai
Marc Stiner

2007:
Dan Batchelor
Kent Johnson
The Munley Family

2008:
Don Patterson
Bob Jones
George Kruggel
Coach Jennifer Parks
Rick Edwards

2009:
Shawn Elkins
Samuel Kasley III and Lori-Stark Kasley
The Mull Family
Coach John Narcy
Margaret Smith

2010:
Wally Dobler
Mark Holdridge
Dr. David and Beth McCaffree
Pat and Mary Tyrrell
George and Peggy Wedgworth
James and Mary Yeomans

2011:
Coach Fetters and family
Michael and Lisa Habel
Don and Roberta Morey
Mr. and Mrs. David Polk
Mr. Jim Thurston

I hope to see all of you this Saturday. I know that it is impossible with how schedules and travel can be, but please if you can't make it, feel free to send along a message. We will have videos posted on the YouTube channel and we'll also have as many pictures as we can. Go Green!

Until next week,
Matt G


October 4, 2012

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We had a very exciting weekend at Michigan State and it began on Friday with our annual outdoor long course meet. All the credit for our meet goes to Kathleen Milloy and the event management staff- specifically Seth Kessler in the athletic department.

I had a chance to see an awful lot of alumni over the weekend at the meet and also on Saturday before the football game. It was especially fun catching up with the women in the class of 2005. It was a really nice tune-up for homecoming next weekend.

Speaking of homecoming, we will host our 57th Annual Alumni Meet at 9 am on Saturday, Oct. 13. The IM West building is now closed on football Saturdays, so entrance into the meet will be from the back gate to the outdoor pool deck. You will not be able to get into the IM West through the front doors, so you will need to go around to the back.

At the Alumni Meet, we will be presenting the Bill Heusner Service Award for the 11th time. After next weekend, there will be a total of41 recipients. The award has become a hallmark of our program and it continues to honor the name of Dr. Heusner who was such a great supporter of swimming and diving at MSU and within the Big Ten.

Last weekend also gave me the opportunity to meet Todd and Amanda Mercer for the first time. As many of you know, Amanda was part of a world record-setting relay that crossed the English Channel this summer. Her accomplishment was recognized by our athletic department at the football game on Saturday. It was so inspirational watching both Spartans and Buckeyes giving her a standing ovation when she was introduced on the field.

Please be sure to check out all of our social media pages for updates now that the season has begun. We try to update them daily so people can stay informed.

Look forward to homecoming week and don't forget to glow green!

Until next week,
Matt G


September 20, 2012

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I want to remind all of the readers that this weekend is Celebrate 2012 at MSU. As I stated last week, our program is very proud to have Jack Beattie receiving the Jack Breslin lifetime achievement award from the Varsity club.

On Thursday night, we'll have all of our first year letter-winners receive their jackets at the Wharton Center Passant theatre. It is a very nice ceremony and all the newest Varsity club members get to hear words of wisdom from the newest Hall of Fame members. Video and full coverage of Thursday's event will be available on msuspartans.com

For me, I will proudly accept the honorary membership to the Varsity S club. It is even more thrilling for me because I get to share the honor with Coach Bader. Last week, I celebrated the 15 anniversary of working here at MSU. There are many alumni who were on that 1997-98 team who remember the young coach G working alongside Mary Ellen Wydan on the outdoor pool deck. Great times I have had for all 15 years and working here has been the opportunity of a lifetime. My family and I owe everything to Coach Bader and his decision to give me this opportunity 15 years ago.

Remember that we are all set for our outdoor meet next Friday at 5:00 PM vs Wisconsin. We are really hoping for a huge crowd and of course nice weather. If you can make it, please stop over at the meet. We plan on recognizing Amanda Mercer and her achievement of being on a relay that swam the English Channel.

Amanda will also be recognized at the OSU football game on Saturday, September 29. I thank our promotions department for being so gracious in recognizing what Amanda did this summer and spring.

I want to apologize to many alumni who came to campus for the Notre Dame game. We practiced long before the tailgate lots opened and I was not around at all on Saturday. Good news is- no more night football games (although the pool does look pretty sweet from the aerial shots from the blimp). We'll be around this Saturday for Eastern- so feel free to drop by.

Until next week,
Matt G


September 13, 2012

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I want to wish a big Happy Birthday to Associate Head Coach Kathleen Milloy. If you get the time call, text or email her.

I also wanted to give big congratulations to Luke Lehner '05 for being inducted into the Battle Creek Lakeview Hall of Fame.

Next weekend is Celebrate 2012 weekend. For the first time in two years, our program will not have someone inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, we do have yours truly and Coach Bader being recognized by the Varsity Club as honorary members. We also have Jack Beattie receiving the Jack Breslin award from the Varsity Club. Information of Celebrate 2012 is available here. If you plan to be in East Lansing for the celebrations next weekend, please let us know and stop by practice.

This Friday we will have our eighth annual team scavenger hunt on campus. The women's team is riding a two year win streak over the men. It has all the makings of a very interesting competition this year for sure.

Our long course meet vs Wisconsin is two weeks from this Friday. The meet begins at 5:00 PM. We have a lot of exciting things happening that day on campus and during the meet. We hope that you can make it out to support our program and B1G swimming and diving.

A big good luck to the Spartans this weekend in their game vs. Notre Dame!

Until next week,
Matt G


August 30, 2012

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School has begun for the 2012-13 academic year and our season officially begins on Saturday. We start the season with a lot of optimism and we have a lot of really good athletes on the team this year.

I want to remind all of our fans and alumni that we will be around every Saturday during football season and hopefully you will find time to drop by. The IM west will not be open during football Saturdays this year, so to come by and see us, you will have to do so by coming through the gate on Chestnut road.

Those of you who know me know that I can think of no better time to be at Michigan State than September. Our team trains outside in beautiful weather. The campus turns some incredible colors. The Spartan football team starts playing in Spartan Stadium again. This year, you can add that we are going to have another outdoor meet versus Wisconsin.

This blog post actually marks the beginning of the seventh year I have been posting on a blog. Of course when I started we didn't have two Facebook pages or a twitter account or a YouTube channel. So these posts have lost some of details over the years, but I am happy to have a small group of dedicated readers. I will continue to post- with my regular hiatus's- until I no longer receive an email telling me it is missed (who knows, maybe that will happen this year).

Hope to see many of you on Friday for the football game.

Until next week,
Matt G


August 16, 2012

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Been a long hot summer and I have been very delinquent in keeping you all updated on what's been going on with the swimming and diving Spartans.

Best place to begin is to talk about the six Spartans who travelled out to Omaha and swam in the US Olympic Trials in late June. Senior to be Jacob Jarzen finished 12th overall in the 100 butterfly. Of course NBC decided to show every heat from the night of the 100 butterfly semi-finals except the one in which Jacob was swimming. We do have his semi-final race and all the races from Omaha on our YouTube channelif you are interested.

School begins in a little less than two weeks and we should have many team members making it back to East Lansing next week. A reminder to everyone that if you are coming in town for the Boise State game we will be around, so please stop by.

The weekend of Sept 21-23 is the Varsity S/Hall of Fame weekend. For the first time in two years, no swimmer/diver is being inducted into the Hall of Fame, but Jack Beattie will be recognized by the Varsity S club with the 2012 Jack Breslin Lifetime Achievement Award. Homecoming is October 12-14 and we will have our annual alumni swim meet on October 13, at 9:00 a.m. We are really looking forward this year to having a huge crowd at the meet- we have our 2012 Heusner Award winners: Dave Berger, Karen Langeland, Jane Meyers, Bob Rex and John St John. Also we plan to have our traditional great time- so please mark your calendars.

I want to congratulate one more time Amanda Mercer for setting that world record crossing the English Channel in July.

And I want to congratulate all of you who have gotten married, had babies, or got new jobs over the summer- I have been keeping up with many of you on Facebook all summer.

Until next week,

Matt G


May 3, 2012


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I want to congratulate all of the Spartans who competed in the Masters Nationals in Greensboro, NC. I had a chance to talk to Wally Dobler this past week and he filled me in about what went on down there. A reminder that we need all of our Spartan Master swimmers to come to East Lansing to swim in the Munley Masters swim meet on June 23rd. Information for the Munley meet is on our page at msuspartans.com

This is exam week in East Lansing- our team is getting ready to finish up the semester and get ready for the Long Course season.

Hope to see many of you this summer in your visits to East Lansing.

Until next week,

Matt G


April 26, 2012


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I would like to recognize Kathleen and the great job she did putting our team banquet together. She handled every detail incredibly well and the day was very enjoyable thanks mostly to her.

As is our custom, it was a nice event honoring 15 graduating seniors as they embark on their lives after swimming and diving and after Michigan State. I want to thank Jack Seibold for being a part of the event and fro handing out the Golden Spikes again this year.

I want to Thank Tom Munley for once again being there to hand out his brother's scholarship.

I want to thank all of the parents and family members who came to support our team once again. I want to express a very heartfelt goodbye to some awesome senior parents. I hope to see you as much as possible at away meets and of course at homecoming.

Below are our season winners for 2011-12:

Jack Seibold Award for Leadership:Mark Schramm

Jennifer Parks Award for Leadership:Sarah Falconer

Men's John Narcy Most Improved:Josh Geschwendt

Women's John Narcy Most Improved:Alex Pierce

Women's Morgan Piasecki Spartan of the Year Award:Morgan Piasecki

Men's Jason Vadney Spartan of the Year Award:Pat Falconer

Women's Swimmer of the Year:Jenny Rusch

Men's Swimmer of the Year:Jacob Jarzen

Women's Diver of the Year:Sarah Clay

Men's Diver of the Year:Brian Akers

Women's Freshman-of-the-Year:Hannah Pugh

Men's Freshman-of-the-Year:Rob McGowan

Kevin Zielinski Heart Award:Jordan Jackson

John Munley Memorial Scholarship:Nick McGowan

I want to thank Jennifer Parks for writing to me last week and reminding me again about the long history of swimming and diving here at MSU. She also let me know that Melinda Whitcomb Mann, former MSU Big 10 50 freestyle Champ, '78.won her 55+ Age Group Nat.Y Champs, in the 1650, she went 20:45. Very impressive.

I had a chance to see Shawn Elkins this week and we spoke at length about the fall and the possibility of another Golden Spike re-union.

Next week I do plan to provide an update on our entire class of 2016. We have a great group of incoming Spartans and we are very proud of them as they get ready to start here in the fall.

Until next week,

Matt G


April 19, 2012


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This Sunday we have our team awards banquet at the Kellogg center. The banquet every year always center around the outgoing senior class and this year is no exception. Most of you know that our seniors are presented with their golden spike with an age old ceremony at the end of the banquet. Some of our alumni noted on facebook that the spike means a belonging and pride.

As has been my tradition with this blog, the week prior to the banquet, I publish the poem that is recited during the ceremony. The poem was written by jack Seibold, who will be there this Sunday once again running the ceremony. And here it is:

Hang it up, Hang it up
-Jack Seibold

The thrills of victory, the tears of defeat,
The sights and sounds of a swimming meet.
This is the heritage of a contest we love,
Struggling swimmers in water, twisting divers above.
Yet for each competitor the time must come,
When memoirs are woven from ribbons he's won.

`tis time Old Veteran,
Hang it up, hang it up.

The workouts are tedious, it's no longer fun,
Once easy victories have become hard won.
Tired you are of stroking and kicking,
Tired you are of taking a licking.
You've had your fill of distance and dashes,
And most of all hearing about teenage flashes.

Tis time Old Veteran,
Hang it up, hang it up.

Or' a year long season boredom is assured,
As monotonous daily workouts go undisturbed.
Your limbs are fatigued, your senses rebel,
As you mentally prepare for that final farewell.
Ah...those glorious moments are melting away,
As more you recall yesterday.

Tis time Old Veteran,
Hang it up, hang it up.

So with tumult still ringing in your ears,
In retrospect you look back in years.
A question prevails that one must submit,
Was dedication to swimming really all worth it?
Yes ...yes the answer echoes back as if in a plan,
Suddenly you realize swimming's made you a man.

Good luck, Old Veteran,
Hang it up, hang it up.

Next week, I will provide an update on all of our season award winners.

Until next week,

Matt G


April 12, 2012


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Many of you who read this weekly took part in the annual Academic Gala put on by the staff at the Smith Center. This past week MSU celebrated the event for the 15th time. Fifteen years is a great testament to the late Roger Grooters, who created the event and to Jim Pignataro who continues the tradition of excellence in the Smith Center. Kerry Sodonis and Brain Akers were honored as the scholar-athlete of the year for their team. Beyond that, we had 14 men and 20 women honored for having a cum gpa at a 3.0 or better.

Freshman (and transfers) are not eligible for the honor, so on the men's team 14 out of 18 were honored and the women had 20 out of 27.Those are very impressive statistics by both teams and a continuation of the great academic tradition of both programs.

This week was late signing day and I am happy to say we have added a few more Spartans to the team for 2012-13.

I hope you all had a nice Easter holiday and a great spring break. We have three weeks to exam week and it is really hard to believe that we are close to ending another semester.

Until next week,

Matt G


April 4, 2012


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I want to send a big thank you to all of the alumni and supporters who have emailed congratulations on the season this past week. It never ceases to amaze me how well our alumni and supporters follow our team and our results. It is a real testament on the impact of this program.

I realized this week that I have forgot to mention that I have been selected as one of the 2012 honorary varsity S club members. It is an incredible honor for me to have been selected. It means a great deal to me to be one of the selections. It is even a greater thrill for me because one of the other honorees is our own Richard Bader. As most of you know, without Coach Bader, I would never have had the privilege of working at MSU and being a Spartan. Varsity weekend coincides with Hall of Fame weekend September 21-23.

I had the chance to speak with Matt Wagner on the phone this past week. He called me with very exciting news. I want to congratulate him and his wife, Beth, on their expanding family.

I want to congratulate Kent Johnson and Tim Gendler. Both won events at the Arizona masters state meet this past weekend.

Next week on Wednesday is the late signing day for recruiting. We are in the process of finishing off our class of 2016. We hope to get a full release on all of our incoming kids soon.

Spring has really sprung on campus. East Lansing is full of a lot of excitement.

Until next week,

Matt G


March 29, 2012


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We had a very exciting week for our men's program last week. For the first time in 16 years, we scored at the NCAA meet. That ended a string of 7 NCAA championships where we did not score. It was very exciting to see Jacob become and honorable mention All-American in both the 100 butterfly and the 200 backstroke. We finished 31st overall and we feel that will have a realistic shot to improve upon that next year in Indianapolis.

It was also great to see Dave Sloan '03 and his wife at the meet. Also it was great to see Kirk Nelson '92 at the meet. Having Spartan alumni there in green and white was awfully cool. I want to thank Kirk for taking pictures and video of our meet. I also had the chance to see Denny Hill '65 and his wife at the meet. It meant a lot to me and it meant a lot to Jacob to have such great alumni support.

As we move into April, we have directed our attention toward Olympic Trials. Freshman Kelly Delorme is competing at the Canadian trials this week in Montreal. The remainder of our team is training hard to get to and compete in the American Trials which run June 25-July 1. We have already begun to train very hard this spring for the long course season.

April is also the month for masters swimming championships. If you are competing this month, feel free to send along results and I will be sure they are posted here.

Another reminder that our banquet is scheduled for April 22. We hope to see as many people as possible there.

Until next week,

Matt G


March 15, 2012


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First off this week, I would like to congratulate my Alma Mater, St Bonaventure University, for placing both their men's and women's basketball teams in their respective NCAA tournaments. That is a truly incredible accomplishment for such a small school. Go Bonnies!

I would also like to congratulate Coach Izzo and Coach Merchant for getting their teams into the NCAA tournaments this week. Go Green! We are also keeping our fingers crossed for Coach Anastos and The Spartan Hockey team.

I received and invitation from Ildiko Szekely '02 to read her new book. The book is titled, "Lilith", and information about it can be found here. I have not read it, but I do plan to and I am keeping my fingers crossed there is no character in it based on me (but I am hoping there is one based on Rich Mull).

Next week we will be in Seattle at the Men's NCAA Championships. There are numerous place to follow the live results- but the best place is on collegeswimming.com. Being in Seattle, means that I will miss this blog next week. I am sorry for that.

We have a beautiful week of 70+ degree weather in East Lansing. There is nothing like the beginning of the NCAA tournament in East Lansing. March at Michigan State is Awesome! Until next week,

Matt G


March 8, 2012


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I am very proud to announce that Jacob Jarzen made the NCAA championships for the third consecutive year. This is a very big accomplishment for Jacob and he enters the NCAA's seeded 10th in the 100 butterfly. He will also be swimming the 200 IM and the 200 backstroke at the meet. The NCAA meet will be in Federal Way, WA, March 22-24. I am hoping to maybe see a few of you out there.

I want to thank George Kruggel '82 for dropping by the pool this past week. He sat and watched some practice. It is always nice being visited by alumni.

Big thank you to Gail Dummer for doing the leg work for the John Munley Memorial Master meet this year. Thanks exclusively to Gail, we are up and running and officially sanctioned on June 23rd. We are really hoping for a record crowd this year, so tell your friends to come out and have a good time. Full information on this year's meet can be found on our website here. Again- big thank you to Gail Dummer for doing all this work.

Spring is Master's swimming championship time- please if any of you are competing in any meets in the next couple months, let me know. And, please be sure to send me your results also.

Spring this year is also big for our team and Long Course season. We have a number of team members already training hard to make Olympic Trial cuts and we are looking forward to a busy April, May, and June.

A reminder concerning our Awards Banquet, it will be held on April 22 and if you are interested, please contact Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu

As I write this, its 60 degrees outside. Spring at Michigan State means nice walks by the Red Cedar and lots and lots of trees blooming!

Until next week,

Matt G


March 1, 2012


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Two weeks of Big-10's over and we switch our attention to the NCAA Diving Regional's next weekend and the NCAA championships later this month. We also have already begun training for the Olympic Trials this June. So we remain pretty busy in East Lansing.

I want to thank and compliment the administration at the University of Iowa for putting together 2 professionally run swimming meets. They were incredibly gracious in everything they did and they worked very hard for the athletes in the Big-10. Iowa has a great venue to host the meet and has a staff made up of great people.

I want to thank Katie Booms Tierney `03 for coming out to the meet and waving to me from the crowd. I did not get a chance to say hello, but I did wave back!

Our awards banquet is scheduled for Sunday April 22. Anyone who is interested in attending the banquet this year, please contact Kathleen.

Until next week,

Matt G


February 9, 2012


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I want to thank everyone who came out to Canham Natatorium last Saturday for our meet against Michigan last Saturday. We had a great crowd and I am appreciative of all the people in Michigan who supported college swimming.

We move on to the end of February which means it is Big-10 time. Our team has trained really hard this year and we are planning on having two really good meets. Both Big-10 meets are in Iowa City this year. It will be the first time in many years that Iowa will host the Big-10's. Results of the meet can be accessed at http://www.hawkeyesports.com/

I will be off of this blog the next couple weeks because of the Big-10 meets. I will be sure to write of all our successes in the first week of March.

Until next week,

Matt G


February 2, 2012


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First off this week is Birthday wishes of the best kind to my mom who turns 73 years old on February 2nd. I will refrain from calling her the world's best mother (I haven't met them all in order to judge) but she would have to fall in the top 5%.

We had our annual dual meet with the Wolverines with the women this past Friday. Results can be found on our page. I want to thank everyone for coming to the meet. We had a great crowd and a lot of support for college swimming and diving.

The men will be in Ann Arbor this Saturday. The meet begins at 12:00 PM. Please if you live nearby, come out and support the Spartans.

I did have the opportunity to speak with Mary Ellen Wydan this past week. I called her to wish her a belated happy birthday. She is doing well and she told me that her daughter will be swimming her first 400 IM this weekend. Mary Ellen is the senior women's administrator at LaSalle University in Philadelphia.

We are now into February and that means we have started really preparing for the Big-10 meets. We are looking forward to having the meet in Iowa for the first time in many, many years.

I want to give my best to Clemson swimming and diving (Coach Bader's alma mater) which will "celebrate" the final home meet in program history this weekend. It is always tough when a program gets cut and I fell for all Clemson swimming alumni this week.

Until next week,

Matt G


January 26, 2012


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Last Friday, our women hosted Ohio State. It was senior night and we swam and dove pretty well. The next day, we travelled to Notre Dame and we did pretty well at that meet also. Full results from both meets can be found here

I want to thank Carly (Zenk) `07 and Jason Vadney `08 for coming to watch the ND meet. I also want to thank Ricky Forrest `11 for being the meet announcer last Friday night. Also thanks to Colby Ward '11, who took time away from Med school to help run the meet. We had a great senior presentation- thanks also to Sparty for being there for our 9 seniors.

One of the real privileges I have as head coach here is to honor the name of Dr Bill Heusner every year in January when I announce the winners of his service award. For those of you who don't know, Dr Heusner was a professor in Kinesiology at MSU. He was the home dual meet referee from 1963-2002. He was also the meet referee for the Big-10's and NCAA's over that same span. He embodied service to our program. When he died in 2002, we honored his service with an award in his name given to those who help promote our program throughout the years.

This is the eleventh time this award will be given on homecoming. It is with great pleasure that I announce this year's winners:

Dave Berger: Through the years, Dave has been a friend to many of the swimmers on the team. He is officially the first U of M guy to be given this award. He has been a constant donor for many years and a strong advocate of our team.

Karen Langeland: Karen coached basketball here for 24 years. When she retired from coaching, she became the sport supervisor for swimming in spring of 2000. She held that position for 10 years and 3 different head coaches. She served as a great mentor for me as I transitioned into the head coaching position in 2003. She is a strong advocate for women's athletics and for swimming and diving.

Jane Meyers: Jane is a member of the MSU Hall of Fame. She had a very decorated career as a diver here at Michigan State in the 1970's. She has also been a constant supporter of our program through the years.

Bob Rex: Bob swam in the mid 1970's for Coach Fetters. After leaving MSU, he developed many successful companies and through it all he always stayed in touch with the program. He has come back to East Lansing many times and he has been a staple of the Golden Spike re-unions. He has also been a frequent visitor to practice when our team trains in Florida.

John St. John: Mr St John has recently reconnected to our program. He never swam while he attended Michigan State. He swam for Coach McCaffree when Coach was high school coach in Battle Creek in the 1930's.

I want to congratulate all 5 recipients. We will present the Heusner Award this year on October 13 during the 57th annual Alumni swim meet.

Former Heusner Award winners:

October 19, 2002
Bill Heusner(posthumously)

October 4, 2003
Dick & Jane Farnsworth
Dr Gary Dilley

October 16, 2004
Geraldine James
C. James Clemens
Dr. Larry Sierra

October 22, 2005
Jane Hoag DeMarchi
Anne MacCaskill
Jack Seibold

September 30, 2006
Jack Beattie
Tosh Imai
Marc Stiner

October 13, 2007
Dan Batchelor
Kent Johnson
The Munley Family

October 4, 2008
Don Patterson
Bob Jones
George Kruggel
Jennifer Parks
Rick Edwards

October 17, 2009
Shawn Elkins
Samuel Kasley III and Lori-Stark Kasley
The Mull Family
Coach John Narcy
Margaret Smith

October 16, 2010
Wally Dobler
Mark Holdridge
Dr David and Beth McCaffree
Pat and Mary Tyrrell
George and Peggy Wedgworth
James and Mary Yeomans

October 22, 2011
Coach Fetters and family
Michael and Lisa Habel
Don and Roberta Morey
Mr and Mrs David Polk
Mr Jim Thurston

We have our final women's dual meet of the year against Michigan this Friday night down in Ann Arbor at 6 PM. Please come out and support the Spartans if you live in the area.

Until next week,

Matt G


January 19, 2012


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This past Saturday we traveled to Purdue. Full results of the meet can be found here.

I want to thank the Zoltowski's for opening their home to the entire team when we travelled to Purdue last weekend. We had dinner at their house on Friday night. Feeding 56 people is no small task and it is greatly appreciated by all of us.

Before the meet, Purdue hosted a great event called Breaststroke for hope. It was a fundraiser for breast cancer. I spoke to the director of the event and we are trying to put together a similar event at Michigan State for the 2012-13 season.

I was very fortunate this week to receive a book in the mail from the Munley Family. The books name is, "Remembering A Son, Remembering John" by Pat Munley. The information can be found here on Amazon.com. It is a very inspiring read and I highly recommend any fan of our program getting a copy. I am flattered to be quoted in the book, inappropriate language naturally included.

This week we have senior day for the women on Friday night starting at 5:00 PM in the IM west pool. Nine women will compete for the very last time: Ashley Borgman, Sarah Clay, Sarah Falconer, Sam Hilk, Jordan Jackson, Laura Leslie, Morgan Piasecki, Brooke Sauchak, and Kerry Sodonis. These nine women have a combined cum gpa above 3.5. Kerry, Jordan and Laura all have cum gpa's above 3.83! Beyond the academic work, they have all been exemplary Spartans in and out of the water. Please come out and support one of the finest classes we have ever had at Michigan State.

Also this week we travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. The meet begins at 2:00 PM. Please come out and support the Green and White if you live nearby.

RIP Mr Dick Burnitt. The world lost a great Spartan and those kids on Tulane Drive are going to miss you on Halloween.

Until next week,

Matt G


January 12, 2012


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Happy New Year! And a Spartan New Year it was indeed. Our program has had a very good month. Eight of our women finished the fall semester with 4.0 gpa's. That set a Michigan State record for one team. Both teams finished with very good team gpa's-the men had a 3.11 and the women finished at 3.30.

We had a nice week's worth of training in East Lansing that included a lot of swimming, lifting, two very hotly contested games on laser tag, one night at the movie theatre and one really cool pasta and meatball dinner made with love by Mrs. G at Coach G's house. After a week at home, we reconvened in East Lansing and flew to West Palm Beach, Fl on Jan 2nd for week training in Boca Raton. We trained at St Andrew's prep school and we had some nice weather (though it was a cool start).

I want to thank the entire staff of St Andrews for being very understanding of our team and the training needs we have. It is a great place to train and they are very welcoming to our program.

I want to thank the management and staff at Duffy's restaurant in Delray Beach. They were very gracious feeding our team on Jan 2nd this year and they were very patient with our team as we over-stayed our welcome watching all 3 overtimes of the Outback Bowl. If you are ever in Delray, just know that Duffy's is nice place to go the staff now has a very good understanding of how passionate Spartan Fans can be!

Kevin Puskaric `11 graduated from Michigan State in December and he is now officially working with the program as an assistant coach.

I had a chance to see a whole bunch of alumni and former swimming parents at Adam Schmitt's wedding on New Year's Eve. That was a great time and I am pretty sure that some people remember the conversations we had better than others.

I got to see Bob Rex while the team was in Florida- it was nice of him and wife to stop by and say hello at one of our practices.

I also had the chance to meet George and Peggy Wedgworth and their Daughter Deborah Altman while in Florida. Peggy (Rawls) Wedgworth swam at MSC in the 1940's and she travelled to the pool to meet and see the team. It is always nice to connect with alumni when we are on the road.

We have Purdue this weekend in West Lafayette. The meet begins at 2 PM and I have already been contacted by a few alumni who plan to be there and support our program.

In two weeks we plan to announce the Heusner Award winners for 2012 on this blog. Look for it.

Until next week,

Matt G


December 15, 2011


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As I write this, the team is in the middle of exam week. It is amazing to me how quickly the time passes in the fall semester. It has been a fun semester for our entire program. So many great memories already and we have half the season left.

We finally have a summary of our fall recruiting here . A big accomplishment for Coach Loeffler who worked very hard this past year recruiting.

I want to take some time and thank some of the people who have helped us this semester:

Seth Kesler- Seth works in the athletic department event management office. He was key in helping us organize and run the outdoor meet we had in October-the first outdoor meet in 14 years at MSU. I also want to thank Dick and Eve Farnsworthand IST for their help with the timing system for the outdoor pool.

Tim Stedman-Tim works in the Spartan Fund and he was instrumental in locking down the biggest donation that we have ever received in the swimming and diving program. The tireless work that our people in the athletic development office do often gets overlooked- it is not by our program at all.

Vince Baker-Vince recently left our sports information department to take a new job. Vince was a real help last season as our point man with athletic communications. I wish him the best in his new job.

Lindsay Bowen-Besides being one of my favorite Spartans when she played on a Final Four team here at MSU, Lindsay has been our strength coach since September. She has done a great job with our team and I am very thankful.

Brian Fickies and the entire pool staff at the physical plant-Thanks to entire staff for keeping the outdoor pool up and ready the entire fall and for extending our time out there by two weeks.

Of course I am also very thankful for my staff (Eric, Kathleen, and Tim), our administrative assistant- Nancy Wing, my sport supervisor, Richard Bader.

I also want to thank all of our alumni and fans who unconditionally support us year after year.

I had a chance to visit with Greg Beer '98 and Dawn Polk '99 this past week and I am happy to report that both are doing very well.

This will be my last post for a while due to the holiday and break. The team will be in East Lansing training until the 23rd. Then we will be in Florida from Jan 2-8 training in Delray Beach.

You can follow our progress on our pages and I will be sure to summarize when I get back to posting on Jan 12, 2012.

Have a great holiday and a very happy new year.

Until next year,

Matt G


December 8, 2011


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We had a very successful meet in Columbus last weekend and I want to thank everyone who came out to see the Spartans swim and dive over the three days. The big highlights were Sarah Clay winning both boards, Jacob Jarzen setting a meet record in the 100 fly and Kerry Sodonis breaking Rachel Frumkin Pitt's varsity record in the 200 breaststroke. We had a number of personal bests at the meet and we accomplished almost all we wanted as we move into the spring semester.

This week we have our annual dual meet vs Ball State. This will be the last time we have the meet with Laura Seibold Caudill '75 as the Cardinals head coach. She is retiring at the end of this season after 32 years. I look forward to our last meeting and I have always admired the work that she and Bob Thomas have done at Ball State. If we have any alumni near Muncie this Saturday, please come by the meet which begins at 1:00 PM.

This is the last week of classes and our team is gearing up for finals. We are also looking forward to returning to Florida on January 2nd for a true training trip.

I want to again remind everyone that if you are short of holiday gift ideas, drop us a note and see if you can get the swimming/diving Spartan in your life something nice.

Until next week,

Matt G


December 1, 2011


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I want to start this week hoping that you all had a nice Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend with family in Chicago and I also had the opportunity to go see the Spartans at Northwestern.

I want to thank Matt McNichols '08 for hosting a tailgate, along with his family, before the game. It was nice to catch up with Mr. and Mrs. McNichols also-just huge Michigan State fans! I also had the chance to see Lindsay Rodin '06 there. Tim's family was also there and we had a great time dodging the rain all day!

All of us at Michigan State Swimming and Diving wish the Spartan football team the best of luck this weekend in Indianapolis at the Big Ten Conference Championship game. Just an incredible program that Coach D and his staff- and his players- have put together and they are surely reaping the rewards of all their hard work.

This weekend we will be taking care of our own business in Columbus for the Ohio State Invitational. The meet runs Friday through Sunday and full results can be found Here. If you live around Columbus, come on out and watch a couple sessions.

Just a reminder, that if you are at all stuck on holiday gift ideas, we do have some things available here (shirts, caps, etc) and you can always contact me and buy some for the swimming/diving Spartan in your life.

Until next week,

Matt G


November 17, 2011


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I want to thank all of the people at Jenison High School and the Jenison aquatics for their hospitality last Friday night. I also want to thank GVSU for all the work that they put into the meet every year. Andy is doing a very good job with that program and I do enjoy competing against them every year. The event draws a great crowd every year and we see so many people who are supportive of MSU and college swimming in general. Full results from the meet can be found here.

I had a great time visiting with Matt Massman this past Monday. He came by practice and he is getting ready to ship out to Okinawa, Japan. He did give me a report, mercifully not a full report, from the Adam Schmitt bachelor party from last weekend. I am very happy to hear that the party went off without any incident at all.

This week we have senior day for the men this Friday night. We are recognizing 6 Spartans in their last home dual meet. This a very eclectic group of seniors in that we have one who is in his first year with the team (Tyler Groskopf), one who transferred from Michigan three years ago (Jason Austermann), one who had to sit out his freshman year with injury (Jason Lintjer). We also have 3 four year contributors (Cameron Bartlett, Brain Akers and Mark Schramm).

The class of 2012 has a winning dual meet record and they will graduate with wins vs. Notre Dame, Purdue as well as winning an invitational at Northwestern in 2009. They have been part of 9 new varsity records and they were a catalyst in our program moving relays up into the top 8 at the Big-10 Championship meet.

This is a little early to be saying good bye-we have 3 months of season left. But based on our schedule, we do recognize these 6 boys and their accomplishments here at MSU.

The meet on Friday begins at 5:00 PM and we hope that anyone who will be on campus gets a chance to see our team compete.

Thanks to Jane Hoag-Demarchi for the encouraging e-mail last week before the GVSU meet. And Thanks also to Dianne (Oliver) Johnson for her weekly encouraging emails and texts.

I am planning on being at Matt McNichols tailgate next weekend before the MSU/Northwestern football game- I hope to see many of you there.

Until next week,

Matt G


November 10, 2011


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Last Friday we had one of the more exciting meets in my time here at MSU. The score was dead even going into the final relay and the Illini edged us out and won the meet 154.5-145.5. Complete results of the meet can be found here

On Saturday I had the chance to see Matt McNichols '08 and Bryant Steele '06. They were in for the Minnesota game and dropped by (a little late) to see us after practice. Ian Clutten '06 also dropped by- although I think he came into the pool just to warm-up a little.

We have our annual meet vs Grand Valley State at Jenison High School this Friday at 6:00 PM. Full information on the meet can be found here. Hopefully Grand Rapids can come out on Friday and support college swimming.

Finally this week, my heart goes out to the University of Maryland Swimming and Diving who looks to become a victim of budget cuts. Not sure if there will be the means or will to try and save the program. These are the times I am very grateful to our administration who continues to see the value in a broad based athletic department.

Until next week,

Matt G


November 3, 2011


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We took our annual trip out to Iowa City last weekend and we had the chance to swim in the new facility on campus. It is a fantastic pool and the fitness center is very impressive. (On a side note, with Iowa modernizing, that makes the McCaffree pools the oldest pool in the Big-10)

Iowa was more than ready for our team and they had a great meet. We had some pretty good performances ourselves and the results of the meet are here.

I want to thank many of our parents who made the trek out to Iowa City for our meet against the Hawkeyes. We were very well represented in the crowd and it is appreciated.

This Friday we host Illinois at the IM west. The meet begins at 5:00 PM. The Illini meet for us is always very competitive and we look for much of the same this year.

Excitement in East Lansing is that we have received permission to use the outdoor pool through Nov 18 (weather permitting). This will help our kids in their pursuit of Olympic Trial cuts in the spring because we get 3 extra weeks of Long Course training. So the Spartans are going old school through November. Thanks to the generosity of the physical plant for keeping the pool open past its closing date!

Hope you all had a nice Halloween with your family.

Until next week,

Matt G


October 27, 2011


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Holy cow what a finish to that football game! That surely capped off an incredible Saturday here at MSU. We held our 56th annual alumni meet early on in the day. I want to thank everyone for coming under different circumstances than usual. I especially want to thank Jack Seibold for making it out to the meet- we really cannot run it without him

I want to thank Mrs. Heusner for making it to the meet and being part of awarding Dr Heusner's service award. This was the 10th time we've presented the award and it was great to hear all of the talks from all five recipients. I do want to thank the Habel's, Polk's, Jim Thurston, Don and Roberta Morey and Matt Fetters for coming to the meet.

Matt gave an inspiring thank you talk about his Dad and the 1977 Big-10 championship. I want to thank him for that too.

I want to thank Susan Eareckson for taking care of the "Tosh Imai" Plunge. Susan provided prizes for all the participants. The winner this year was Jon Larocque- who did look as though he had been training for it.

I was so impressed with how many recent graduates made it back to the alumni meet. We had so many kids come back who graduated from 2003-2011 and I am very thankful for that.

We have quite a bit of coverage of Saturday on all of our pages including quite a few pictures. It was great to see all of you and we do appreciate your support.

After the meet, I hit a number of tailgates and I want to thank Tom Munley for his pork sandwich, Elaine Yocum for some incredible beef tenderloin and the Piasecki's for an incredible spread. Needless to say, I ate well on Saturday.

We have a big meet this weekend as we open our Big-10 schedule with a trip to Iowa. The meet starts at 11:00 CST.

Finally, I want to let everyone know that Coach Mull had an incident on Saturday that required him being hospitalized. As of Wednesday, he has been discharged and is at home now with Leslie. I will continue to update as it becomes available.

Until next week,

Matt G


October 20, 2011


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First off this week I want to express our condolences and give our thoughts of support to the Farnum family. Tammy Farnum is an assistant women's soccer coach here at MSU. Her daughter, Adalin James Farnum passed away on Friday after a three year battle with cancer.

I want to also congratulate Coach Dantonio and the entire MSU football program on their 4th consecutive win vs U of M. Saturday really turned into a real treat for me. I got to see Scott Shafer and his wife, along with Tom Munley and Kara Wackerle all during practice on Saturday. So nice also to sit right in front of Mike Orris and his wife at the game as well as Greg Karpetian and his wife. Mike got to witness Wolverine hating at its best I guess. Either way you slice it, it was a great Saturday in East Lansing.

This Saturday we will have our annual alumni meet and it is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM. Due to the excitement on campus surrounding homecoming and the football game, we are going to wait until at least 1:30 before we begin the events in the meet.

Please if you are running late, come by because we love to see all of our alumni.

Saturday also marks the 10th time we have recognized Dr Bill Heusner through his award given out for service to our program. After Saturday we will have 36 very worthy recipients. It is a great way to honor a great person.

I want to congratulate this year's Heusner Award winners:

Coach Fetters and family- A long overdue recognition for all three generations of the Fetters family for their support of our program.

Michael and Lisa Habel- Parents of David Habel '06 who have continued to be big supporters of our program long after their son graduated.

Don and Roberta Morey- Don dove on the 1957 championship team and he has supported out program since the day he left MSU.

Mr and Mrs. David Polk- Parents of Dawn Polk '99 who have been huge supporters of our team long after their daughter graduated.

Mr Jim Thurston- Jim is the youngest recipient of this award and it is well deserved. He is a constant supporter of this program and he genuinely cares about how we are doing in every area of the program.

Please if you have any questions at all about this weekend, don't hesitate to contact me. We are going to take our time on Saturday to ensure that people do not miss out on anything. We do hope to see you this week. Go Green!

Until next week,

Matt


October 13, 2011


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We have a number of thank you's to give out to people who helped us out for the outdoor meet this past weekend. I'd like to thank Seth Kesler and the MSU event management staff. Want to thank Ron Marsh for loaning us equipment. Want to thank Oakland and Cleveland State for participating in the meet. Want to thank all the spectators who came and cheered while getting sunburned (although it could have been windburn or frostbite). Most importantly I want to thank whoever put the request in for such incredible weather.

Our parents did an incredible job of having a nice dinner in the stadium after the meet. I do want to thank the Varsity S club for letting us use the Varsity room in the stadium.

All the credit for this weekend goes to Kathleen. It was her idea and she did all the prep work for it. Our hope is to do this event annually and make it a part of our calendar for years to come.

We did win both meets and we had some pretty good performances as well. Always tough to gauge where we are in meet #1-even harder when meet #1 is outside and long course. Full recap of the meet is on our web page.

I do want to thank Mrs. Massman for making the trip to East Lansing to watch the meet. I had a chance to briefly meet with her during the meet and talk about Matt- who will soon be stationed in Hawaii. There were so many alumni and parents in the crowd on Saturday and I want to thank all of them.

We will have a lot of coverage of the meet on all of our media pages with pictures and video.

There is also a great video of Coach Milloy paying off a wager with the team by jumping of the 10 meter tower here.

Now we move onto homecoming and the Alumni meet which will be on Saturday next week starting at 1:00 PM. We have a lot of time this year- the game doesn't start until 8 PM. We will run our regular program and I am hoping that Susan Eareckson will be able to hand out an award for the plunge this year.

Next week I plan to introduce all the Heusner Award winners on this blog in an effort to give them the recognition they deserve.

Big good luck to Coach Dantonio and the Spartans this week. Let's go State!

Until next week,

Matt


October 6, 2011


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We hope to see a large crowd at the pool on Saturday for our outdoor invitational vs Oakland and Cleveland State. The meet begins at 1:00 PM. The weather is supposed to be really nice and we are hoping to have the Spartan marching band there as well.

October starts the busy time for our program. After this weekend, we have only two weeks until homecoming. Then we begin our dual meet season in earnest. We have been training very hard and I am looking forward to get it all going this year.

If you have any questions regarding the alumni meet this year, please let us know. We are hoping for a record crowd and a record number of swimmers too.

Once again, if you are around town, please stop by our outdoor meet.

Until next week,

Matt


September 29, 2011


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Our program got to be in the spotlight on campus this weekend-thanks to the long overdue honor of the greatest swimming coach in MSU history: Charles McCaffree.

Everyone in our program is a better person after having the privilege of meeting Coach Mac's family. A more gracious family there hasn't been. I want to thank everyone associated within our athletic department for making them feel so welcome.

I also want to thank Jack Beattie and Wally Dobler for doing the work to get Coach into the Hall. Along with Wally and Jack; Jim Clemens, Don Leas, Jack and Dave Seibold, Terry Hagan and Rich Mull also came by the reception.

The Celebrate State weekend was a great experience for our sophomores as well. They received their Varsity Jackets during the Hall of Fame presentation.

We are now about 3 weeks from homecoming. I am hoping everyone is making arrangements to be in East Lansing for the 56th Annual Alumni Swim meet. The meet begins at 1 PM and we will not have to be rushed this year because the football game starts at 8.

I did not want to forget that I also saw Matt McNichols and his parents on Saturday amongst all the celebrating Coach Mac. So nice to see the McNichols'-the biggest supporters we have.

Now we move on to the next big thing- our outdoor invitational with Oakland and Cleveland State. That will be in the IM west outdoor pool on Saturday, October 8 (football bye week). The meet begins at 1 PM and please pray for good weather.

Until next week,

Matt G


September 22, 2011


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The greatest honor of being swim coach at MSU is the sense that you occupy the same position that Charles McCaffree once held-for me that is very humbling. Coach Mac has finally made it into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame-thanks in large part to his former swimmers.

I am very happy for the McCaffree family. I am also happy for the MSU swimming and diving family that our program has the privilege of this honor. Not many people understand the incredible tradition of Michigan State Swimming and Diving. I am hoping for this weekend at least, Spartans everywhere realize that Coach Mac was central to Collegiate and American swimming success. A nice article is up on our website here. Did you know:

Coach Mac has an annual award in his name bestowed by the Collegiate Swim Coaches Association

Coach Mac was instrumental in creating the order of events for NCAA championships.

Coach Mac was one of the first swimming coaches to use film in practice and meets. Much of that film we converted digitally and have on dvd.

Coach Mac was a very organized and detailed historian. He kept detailed scrapbooks of every season and he kept meticulous files on all of his swimmers/divers-much of which we still have today in the pool press box.

Coach Mac was an incredible promoter of both competitive swimming and diving and general fitness. He was the driving force behind the construction of the pools at IM west.

Coach Mac is the only swim coach at MSU to ever win an official Big-10 team championship in swimming and diving.

Coach Mac was responsible for hiring both Coach Fetters and Coach Narcy- who then went on to coach Olympians/NCAA champions and Big-10 superstars.

Coach Mac was responsible for hiring Dr Heusner for home dual meets.

Coach Mac was a supporter of women's swimming and diving. Just ask JP about that one!

Coach Mac created the Golden Spike, the alumni meet, and the Porpoise Fraternity- 2 Mich State Swimming and Diving traditions.

When you read the above, you get a idea how it humbles me that on some level, he and I share the same title.

I often wonder that if I could talk to him today, he would be pleased with what we've been able to do with the program- although I am positive he would be disappointed with the progression of the swimming and diving facilities on campus.

I am asking that if you are in town, please stop by the pool on Saturday at 9 AM and say hello to the McCaffree family and many swimmers/divers from the McCaffree era.

Until next week,

Matt G


September 15, 2011


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Congrats to the Spartan alumni who swam in this past weekend's Chicago at the Big Shoulders Open Water Swim. Here are the results (thanks to Kirk Nelson)

2.5K
Chris Clarke 2nd overall, 1st in age group, 32:13
5K
Kirk Nelson 7th overall, 1st in age group, 1:03:02
Todd Mercer 8th overall, 2nd in age group, 1:03:30
Peter Biglin 43rd overall, 6th in age group, 1:09:54
Scott Carl 50th overall, 11th in age group, 1:10:19
Steve Bargwell 67th overall, 8th in age group, 1:12:48
Amanda (Schuster) Mercer 166th overall, 10th in age group, 1:20:39

I want to express a thank you to the Michigan Governor's office and their initiative for a healthier Michigan. My hope is that this initiative reverses many of the decisions to shut down swimming pools across the Mid-Michigan region and the State in general.

Next week is Hall of Fame weekend at MSU and I will write my tribute to Coach McCaffree. Information on next weekend can be found here.

Good luck this weekend to the Spartans in South Bend!

Until next week,

Matt G


September 8, 2011


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I had a chance to see a few former swimmers and divers last Friday before the football game. I actually saw Ian Clutten '06 at the game in his brand new green and white shirt. This week I will be out of town on Saturday-but the team will be training at IM West and the staff will be around. Please drop by if you are around, we'd love to see you.

The MSU club water polo team will be having their annual tournament this weekend, also. There are games in the IM West on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I recommend coming over and watching the games if you have the time this weekend.

We began official practices on Tuesday of the past week and it was a little chilly for the 1st morning practice. Makes us all the tougher I guess. I did post that the 1st practice was going to be a little chilly on our Facebook page and that evoked a few memories.

Two weeks from today, we will be celebrating the Hall of Fame weekend with Coach McCaffree's family and many of his old athletes. We are very excited and I do want to repeat that we will have a reception on the outdoor pool before the Central game.

We do have some really cool pictures from last weekend up on our Facebook page and I invite all of you to check them out.

Until next week,

Matt G


September 1, 2011


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I love Michigan State in the fall. Classes have begun, the team is back, and the campus is once again alive with excitement. We are ready to begin official practices for the 90th men's and 42nd women's season at MSU. We had a very good summer and we are very excited for our 2011-12 prospects.

Once again, I extend the invitation to all of our alumni, fans, and supporters to please stop by and say hello during football season. We will be out training at the IM West pool before every football game.

This Friday, our team will take the traditional walk to Spartans Stadium and be introduced before the game along with all the other Spartan teams. Look for us if you are at the game.

I have been in constant contact with David McCaffree, Jack Beattie and Wally Dobler about the Hall of Fame weekend (Sept 22-24). Dr David is accepting the honor bestowed on his father Coach McCaffree that weekend. We are going to have a reception on the pool deck right before the Central Michigan football game on the 24th. It will begin at 9:00 AM and I invite anyone to stop by and say hello. Coach "Mac" becoming part of the MSU Hall of Fame is a very big deal for our program and I would like to share it with everyone.

I want to express my condolences to Coach Dantonio on the loss of his father this past week.

Until next week,

Matt G


August 25, 2011


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I want to thank Kent Johnson for pointing out that we had a typo on the website in regard to the Alumni meet. The meet was posted as starting at 9 PM it is actually scheduled to begin at 1 PM. The homecoming football game vs. Wisconsin this year is scheduled to start at 8 PM so we have a little more time than we usually do.

I had an opportunity to speak with Coach Fetters this past week on the phone. Coach expressed his regrets at not being able to make the alumni meet this year and he wanted to pass along his best. The Fetters family is receiving the Heusner award this year.

I have also been in email contact with many of the swimmers/divers in the McCaffree era. I want to remind anyone who is coming to the Central Michigan football game that we will have a small reception on the pool deck for the McCaffree family and all the swimmers and divers from that era on the outdoor pool deck before the game. Coach Mac will be inducted into the hall of fame that weekend.

I want to recognize Tom Goniea who sent me an email this past week. He is doing well and he has promised to stop by this year before a football game.

I want to wish Ian Clutten a very happy birthday this past week. And I want to wish a very happy 11th birthday to my daughter Ana.

We are less than a week from beginning classes for the fall semester. The Fall is always a very exciting time to be on campus. I hope to see many of you when you come back to campus.

Until next week,

Matt G


August 4, 2011


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We have a few kids out in California competing at the Nationals and Junior Nationals this week and next week. Good luck to them and you can follow along all the results right here.

We are in the process of shifting from summer to fall and the coaches will be in and out of the office in the next few weeks.

Personally I will be spending August 5-13 in Nags Head, NC on the beach with my family- so next week-unfortunately I will not update this blog.

A couple of items for this week:

Big thanks to Dr. David McCaffree for continually updating my records and the records of sports information of material from the 1940's-60's. David sends me a package at least 6 times every year straight out of Coach Mac's collection. I am looking forward to seeing him next month during Hall of Fame weekend.

Please, if you plan to come back to MSU at any point during this football season, get in touch and stop by practice. I love introducing alumni to our current team, and it really enhances our tradition. I have already spoken to many of you who are planning to be here on homecoming-particularly looking forward to seeing Mr. Poteete.

That is about it. I am looking forward to vacation and I do plan to tweet a few pictures from the beach-so look for that. When I get back on August 15, football camp will be open and the Spartan Marching Band will be out in full force on Dem Hall field. Very exciting.

Until two weeks,

Matt G


July 29, 2011


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It's been a long summer and I took it off on this blog. We have had many things happen this summer and we have done our best to keep everyone up to date via twitter and facebook. We had a great summer of swimming and diving and most of the results can be found here.

I really wanted to update everyone on what is happening in the fall.

Hall of Fame weekend
September 22-24 is Hall of Fame weekend at Michigan State. One of our own, Coach Charles McCaffree will be inducted that weekend. His son, Dr. David McCaffree will be accepting the award on his dad's behalf. There are many activities sponsored by the Varsity S Club. Those events can be found here. We will also be having an open reception for David and his family and many of Coach McCaffree's former athletes on the pool deck on September 24 at 9:00 AM, before the football game. I invite any and all of our alumni to come by and share in a nice moment of history for our program.

Alumni Meet
The 56th annual alumni meet will be on October 22nd starting at 1:00 PM. We have a late start this year because the football game is in primetime. I am really happy that we have the chance to start the meet later and not have to rush through thing.

I am hoping that you all had a great summer. We are less than a month from starting classes for the Fall '11 semester.

Until next week,

Matt G


May 26, 2011


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I want to start the week by congratulating Dan Schemmel '08 for taking an assistant's position with the Wisconsin Badgers. Dan has been invaluable this past year and we tried very hard to keep him here this year. Unfortunately we just do not have the resources to do that and he was very fortunate to land a permanent position in the Big-10. We wish you the best of luck Danny.

I had the chance last week to travel with the MSU Head Coaches to the Bay Harbor Yacht Club as part of the coaches on the road event. I was fortunate to see John DeMond there in the crowd. John was on the 1945 AAU MSC National Championship team. It was really good to see him along with a few other former swimmers at that event. Of course the most popular question I get asked at all those events is, "When are they going to build a new pool at Michigan State?"

I want to congratulate Kate (Duncombe) Ellington '03 for getting married last weekend. From what I understand there was a good amount of Spartans at the wedding. I really wished I could have made it.

We are now about a month away from the annual Munley Long Course meet. Information on the meet can be found here. I want to thank Gail Dummer ahead of time for putting so much effort into running the meet this year. She has done the work to get the meet sanctioned by Michigan Masters. She has also pushed to get door prizes for the meet and we have a few of those also. We really hope to see you there.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


May 12, 2011


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This week we had our grade report for the Spring Semester. Our women finished the semester with a 3.243 and a cum gpa of 3.30. The men finished the semester with a 3.14 and a cum gpa of 3.10. We had 7 athletes with a 4.0 semester: Mari Isa, Jordan Jackson, Sarah Mory, Kerry Sodonis, Whitney Woodbridge, Brain Rockwell and Ivan Zalessov. We also had two 5th year seniors get 4.0 semesters: Erinn Wertz and Jon Larocque.

Special congratulations to Sarah (10 semesters) and Brian (8 semesters) for finishing their entire college career with 4.0. That is a very special achievement. By the way, Brian is on his way to Stanford University in the fall for graduate school.

Last week, Friday was commencement. You can see many photos of our team on our facebook and twitter pages. I had the chance to see many of the old parents come back and see their children walk in commencement. It was especially nice to see Mr and Mrs Larocque and Mr and Mrs Koba.

This Monday will mark to beginning of the outdoor pool season! I am very grateful and happy to the MSU Physical Plant for their help getting our outdoor pool ready.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


May 5, 2011


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I want to apologize to Bruce Wright `76-for some inexplicable reason I called him Frank last week. It is Brucewho is graduating from law school this month.

This week is exam week so it has been very quiet here-not really a whole lot to report.

Hope all is well and Happy Mother's day - especially all the new Spartan mommy's out there. Get your kids swim lessons!

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


April 28, 2011


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This is the final week of the spring semester and it marks the end of my 14th academic year at Michigan State. I think there is a misconception sometimes that the only people being educated on campus are the students. In truth, I have received an incredible education in my time here at Michigan State. Without question my greatest lesson was received 10 years ago.

It's been a decade since John Munley passed away on April 30 of a heart attack. That day has influenced my coaching career more than any other event. Of course if I had a wish, I would ask for it all to go away and have the chance to watch John grow up working in packaging somewhere. As it is, I feel as though he has never left our program and he has helped me so much since I became head coach here.

I know I will see many of his old teammates and friends when we gather again this June 25th to honor his name and his scholarship with the annual Master's swim meet at the IM West building. Just a side note - the meet is to take place the night before the U2 concert in Spartan stadium - so if you are coming to town for U2 - it would be nice to see you at the meet!

I want to congratulate Frank Wright '76 who will be graduating next month with a JD law degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

We have a number of swimmers and divers walking at commencement ceremonies next weekend: Ricky Forrest, Colby Ward, Brian Rockwell, Tim Lilja, Ivan Zalessov, Erinn Wertz, Sasha Lewerenz, Becca Ebner and Sarah Mory. We will try and post pictures on our pages showing them in their green caps and gowns.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


April 14, 2011


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We have a really busy weekend and I would like to highlight some of the coming events.

On Friday, our entire staff and some of the swimmers will assist in the Special Olympics swimming meet at Holt High School. This is a labor of love for our program. I know that this is my favorite meet of the year watching kids try hard and enjoy the thrill of competing. ]

On Saturday at 10 AM we will have our Navy Seals Challenge. The events and procedure of this challenge can be found here. Navy seal information can be found here. Our team's final scores, along with all the other Big-10 swimming teams scores, will be posted at usaswimming.org. A retired Navy Seal is coming to East Lansing to give our team a pep talk before the challenge. We are very excited about this event.

On Sunday, we will have our annual awards banquet at the MSU Union. All of the traditional pomp and circumstance will take place and we will welcome 9 new members to the Order of the Golden Spike. The banquet begins at 12:00 PM.

This year at the banquet, we will award the John Munley Scholarship for the 10th time. We have had 7 winners of the award (two winners have won twice). I want to take a little time updating you on their doings:

Dr Nick DeFauw:Nick was the inaugural recipient and I remember giving him the Private Ryan line of "earn it" when he won. Nick was the only recipient who was teammates with John. After receiving the scholarship, he went on to be a team captain and school record holder. After graduating he eventually went to medical school and this past year became "Dr Nick".

Chad Wilson:Chad won the scholarship twice and he is the preeminent winner. A walk-on who swam all the hard events, he was a kid that John Munley would have definitely been proud of. Chad was the best "quiet" leaders I have seen here at MSU. Chad lives in Colorado with his wife and he works for a construction firm out there.

Matt Wisniewski:Along with Chad and Nick, Matt was also a walk-on who worked his way into a scholarship athlete. He finished as one of the better sprinters in our program. He has since gotten his CPA and lives, at least for now, in Chicago.

Matt Torres: Matt was another "grunt". He swam any event we ever asked him to and he was a very hard worker. At times he didn't make the best decisions socially (perhaps a trait John would appreciate) but he always acted with the program in mind. He is currently living in Chicago and has a very good job in sales.

Michael Van Beek:Much like Nick DeFauw, Michael barely made the team as a freshman. In fact he made the team solely because of his work ethic. The hardest worker I have ever seen here at Michigan State, Michael is an officer in the US Army and is currently training to be Army Ranger.

Matt Massman:Matt is perhaps the one recipient whose personality was most like John's: very fun loving. He was a stalwart on our relays while he swam here and he still shares a team record. He has just finished Officer training in the US Marine corps. He is currently in Quantico, VA

Ricky Forrest:Rickey is the toughest swimmer I have ever coached at Michigan State. He was always willing to do whatever we asked for the good of the team. He never complained and I am positive that he would have had John's respect. He won the scholarship twice and both times he has been a more than worthy selection. An education major, Ricky only has his internship left next year before he gets his degree.

The Munley scholarship winner for 2011-12 will be announced on Sunday for the 10th consecutive time by Tom Munley.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


April 7, 2011


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Last week the Big-10 released their list of Academic All-Big-10 performers for winter sports. Our program had 23 individual winners (Michigan State had 40 overall). Special congratulations to both Sarah Mory and Brian Rockwell who were honored for their straight 4.0 GPA's. The entire Big-10 Conference had 6 4.0 athletes and our program had 1/3 of the total. That is very impressive.

Brian Rockwell will be honored this upcoming Monday night at the Academic Gala as the male athlete with the highest GPA. Sarah would have also won the award also; however, she spent her first two years at South Carolina. We will be sure to post pictures and videos of Monday's event on our pages.

Renewals have been sent out by the Spartan fund and this year I am asking all of you to renew or in some cases to join for the first time. We have expenses here and I am asking all of our alumni and boosters to come together as a family and support the program. We have done it before and we are sure to do it again. So take a small % of the tax refund and make a tax deductible donation to our program.

My first reminder this year about the John Munley Memorial Master meet this year on Saturday, June 25 at 6:00 PM. Thanks to the work done by Gail Dummer, this year's meet will be sanctioned and recognized by Michigan Masters and all times will count. Save the date and come on out for the meet. This meet serves as our long course alumni meet and we would love to have as many people there as we can.

My apologies go out to Kate Duncombe and all the Spartan women from 1998-2005. I can't make the wedding Kate, and I am really sorry-would have liked to have been there. One thing I can guarantee, you all will still have a good time without me-probably even better.

I want to give one last reminder about our team banquet which is one April 17 at 12:00 PM. If you have any interest in attending please contact Kathleen at Milloy@ath.msu.edu

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


March 31, 2011


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Our season came to a close last weekend up in Minneapolis at the NCAA championships. We swam fairly well all things considered. Kevin did catch a flu bug right at the beginning of the meet and he did his best to fight it off. All in all a very successful season and something we can build on for next year.

I got a chance to spend some time with Marlys Fuqua `09 one afternoon in Minneapolis. She updated me on every single person she swam with here at MSU. She also said the word fiancée at least 89 times in the 90 minutes we met. Seriously though, she is doing very well and she is very happy in the Twin Cities working for Target.

Two weeks from this Saturday, on April 16th, our team will be participating in the Navy Seals fitness challenge. The fitness test is going to be contested among all the Big-10 schools and I will be sure to post our results.

I also want to remind everyone that on Saturday, June 25th we will have our John Munley Memorial Long Course Masters Swim Meet. The meet this year is sanctioned as a masters meet by Michigan Masters swimming. All proceeds go to the John Munley Scholarship. This year at our banquet the scholarship will be awarded for the 10th time. Past winners include: Nick DeFauw, Chad Wilson (twice), Matt Wisniewski, Matt Torres, Michael Van Beek, Matt Massman, and Ricky Forrest (twice).

Our banquet will be on April 17 in the MSU Union. It is open to anyone interested. If you are interested, please contact Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


March 17, 2011


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Happy St. Patrick's Day. Not a lot of news this week. We did have spring break last week so most of our team was gone. Our divers did compete in the NCAA Regionals last weekend and did fairly well.

Next week, Jacob Jarzen and Kevin Puskaric will be competing at the NCAA championships in Minneapolis. You can follow along and watch the championships next week at NCAA Men's SwimmingMichigan State starts competing on Friday, March 25.

On Saturday, April 16 our team, along with every other swim team in the Big-10, will be participating in the US Navy Seals challenge. The challenge is a series of 5 exercises that measure endurance and strength. There is a 500 yard swim, 2 minutes of max push-ups, 2 minutes of max sit-ups and 2 minutes of max pull-ups and concluding with a 1.5 mile run. The challenge is a way to raise awareness for the US Navy and it is a way to showcase the Navy Seals. I will be sure to post results here and it should be a very competitive day.

Next week I will not have a blog because I will be at the NCAA Championships. You can follow along our progress at both the facebook and twitter site all next week.

One final reminder. Our banquet will be on April 17 in the MSU Union. It is open to anyone interested. If you are interested, please contact Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


March 10, 2011


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Spring break usually means a quiet week in East Lansing, and that is what it has been for us. The only news this week was the really big news of Jacob Jarzen and Kevin Puskaric qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Michigan State is one of only 41 teams who had swimmers invited to the meet. The Spartans were also one of 26 teams to have more than one swimmer qualify. The NCAAs are March 24-26 in Minneapolis.

Our divers are in Columbus this weekend at the zone championship meet. You can follow their progress at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. We have 6 Spartans at the meet and we have a very good chance to get someone through to the NCAAs.

We will have our banquet on April 17 at location to be determined. It is open to anyone interested. If you are interested, please contact Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


March 3, 2011


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The Big-10 Championships have come and gone and I want to thank all of the alumni and supporters who sent the many different messages to me and the team. Your support is always appreciated and moral support during the Big-10 meet is invaluable to the team and the coaching staff.

A highlight for me was when I saw Sarah (Stover) Handley '98 at the MSU/Minnesota basketball game the night before the Men's Big-10 meet. We really saw each other on pure chance and we got a few minutes to catch up. She looked great and she still loves Michigan State as much as anyone I know.

Yes you heard correctly about the MSU coaching staff going to the Spartan Gopher basketball game up in Minneapolis. Thanks to Kevin Pauga, the Director of Basketball Operations, we got tickets to the game and saw a Spartan victory.

Speaking of Spartan victories, I want to congratulate Suzy Merchant and the MSU women's hoops program for such an incredible season.

I know many of you followed along and know pretty well how we finished. We did have some incredible performances for such a young team. We had 24 top ten performances between both teams and we broke 5 team records. The complete results are on our website.

The next meet is the NCAA Diving Regional's in Columbus next weekend. After that we will hopefully be at the NCAA championships in late March.

We will have our banquet on April 17 at location to be determined. If anyone is interested, please contact Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu.

I want to congratulate Marlys Fuqua for getting engaged a few weeks ago. She is moving to Minneapolis to be near her fiancé and for her new job with Target.

I will be sure to provide updates on our NCAA qualifiers in the next week or so. Feel free to check our various web pages to stay up to date.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


Feb. 10, 2011


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We wrapped up our dual meet season last weekend and I want to be sure to thank all the people who helped us run dual meets this year. Damon Robertson/Patrick Saucedo/Tim Lilja and Andrew Skandalaris ran the table at all our meets. Damon in particular is a great resource and he helps us immensely.

Dave Shipman and Richard Mull served as meet referees at every meet this year and I do appreciate their professionalism.

We got quite a bit of help from Vince Baker at athletic communications and Seth Kessler at event management also. I want to specially thank 5th year senior Sho Koba for his assistance at every home meet.

This will be the last blog for a couple weeks because I will be busy at the Big-10 championships. I invite all our supporters to follow along at both meets

The women's meet will be at:
http://iuhoosiers.cstv.com/sports/m-swim/ind-m-swim-body.html

The men's meet will be at:
http://www.gophersports.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=8400&SPID=3275&SPSID=38570

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


Feb. 2, 2011


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This week is senior week in our program. We have both our senior meets this weekend with the women on Friday night vs. Bowling Green at 5 PM and the men on Saturday vs. Michigan at 2:00 PM. We say goodbye to nine great Spartans who have left an incredible legacy here at Michigan State. All nine have contributed in their unique way to add to this program. They will all be missed. Congratulations.

First the women:

Becca Ebner: Becca grew up in the MSU pools while she went to Okemos schools. In the incoming freshmen class on 2007, she was the overlooked member. It did not take her very long to make an impression here at MSU. She is the varsity record holder in the 100 and 200 Butterfly as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays. Becca is a professional writing major and she did an internship last summer in Ireland. For me I will miss her smile and her much laid back attitude.

Stephanie Fisher: Unfortunately an injury over this past summer cut Stephanie's career short. In three years, Stephanie achieved varsity records in both the 200 and 400 medley relays. A pre-dental major, Stephanie also has top 10 times in the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 50 freestyle. I will miss most her sense of humor.

Sarah Mory: Sarah also grew up in the MSU pools diving with Eric and the Spartan diving club. She began her career at South Carolina but transferred back. Sarah is one of five student-athletes in the Big-10 with straight 4.0 cum gpa's. She has contributed so much to our program in a very short time.

Ricky Forrest: Ricky was an early signee in November 2006. He holds top ten times in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle and the 200 butterfly. He is the real Spartan "grunt" because he works incredibly hard and he swims all the tough events at every dual meet. That toughness and relentlessness I will miss most from Rick.

Tim Lilja: Tim won three varsity letters in his first three years at MSU. Unfortunately, this past year he was a victim of the numbers game and he spent this season as a manager. He has been a valued member of our program and he is a great kid. I am going to miss him in a number of ways and he has become a great back-up computer guy for our home meets.

Kevin Puskaric: Kevin came to camp in 2006 as a 59. 100 yard breaststroker. He has since become the Varsity record holder in the 200 breaststroke and the 400 Medley Relay. He is the best breastroker Michigan State history and one of the best competitors I have ever coached. His drive and competitiveness I will miss the most.

Brian Rockwell: I met Brian with his dad in the fall of 2006 and he had really long hair. His nickname is appropriately "brain". He holds a double major in Engineering and Economics in the honors college at Michigan State. Brian is also one of five student-athletes in the Big-10 conference with a straight 4.0 GPA. I am going to miss his wit. I am also going to miss having someone around who can answer really hard questions correctly.

Colby Ward: Colby had a very unique official visit by getting lost on the way here and then having his car battery die also. He holds top ten times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyles. He made his national cuts while he was here at MSU. Colby is an accomplished student and he is going to be a great doctor. He has an incredible sense of humor and I will miss that quite a bit.

Ivan Zalessov: Ivan is ending a five year career and a 10 year relationship with MSU. He is another person who grew up with Spartan diving club. He is an accounting major who spent his college career working at the cyclotron. He holds the varsity record in all three diving events and he has competed in tower diving at every Big-10 championship despite not being able to practice on a tower through the season. I am going to miss him for sure.

This Class of 2011 is a great group and I am hoping we can get a big crowd at both meets this weekend to show them support.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


Jan. 27, 2011


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Three weeks from today the Big Ten's will be in full swing for our women's team. A very exciting time to be on the team with all the rest and build up to the championship meet. For those of you who swam or dove here, you know exactly what I am talking about. The Big Ten's this year will be at Indiana for the women and Minnesota for the men. If you live close to either campus, please come out and support the Spartans.

We had a really nice crowd at the IM West last Friday for our home meet vs. Notre Dame. Big thanks to Paul Schaeger in the MSU promotions department for putting the word out. I also want to thank so many people in the athletic department who came out to support our team.

I want to thank all of our parents and supporters who came to the early start at Ohio State this past Saturday. It was a long trip and we proved again how much support we bring with us to an away meet.

This week we do have our annual tilts against Michigan and Oakland. The women take on Michigan on Friday at 6:00 PM and the men and women travel to Oakland on Saturday at 2:00 PM. We hope to see a lot of Green at both meets.

I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming response relative to the Heusner Award announcement last week. I always feel that the best part of the award is that Bill Heusner's name gets annually recognized. Dr. Heusner was truly one of the good guys and the award in his name has really become a highlight of our program.

I received an email this past week from Kevin Zielinski's mother in regard to the Kevin Zielinski's Heart award given out at our banquet. Mrs. Zielinski expressed her appreciation for both the award and for Kevin's time spent at Michigan State. This year marks the 5th year of the Kevin Zielinski Heart award. It is given to a graduating senior and past winners have been Amy Schmidt in 2007, Jason Vadney in 2008, Mark Rogers in 2009 and Laura Deford/Garrett Ruhland in 2010. Our banquet this year will be on Sunday, April 17.

Big weeks for our program and if any alumnus/alumna willing to send wishes to the team-feel free to send them to me and I will pass them along

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


Jan. 20, 2011


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I had a real treat this past week when Michael Tingley '01 came by the pool on Friday to say hello. Tings is managing a Bed, Bath and Beyond in Louisville now, and he is doing well. I spoke to him for more than an hour and he looks great. Hopefully it won't be 6 years until I see or hear from him again.

We had a very good meet against Purdue this past Saturday and the team swam and dove well. This week the men have a meet against Notre Dame on Friday at 5:00 and both teams travel to Ohio State on Saturday for a meet at 1:00. We would love to see you come out and support the Spartans.

This year at the alumni meet we will award the Bill Heusner Service Award for the 10th time. This award has become a high point of our homecoming activities. The award honors those who have supported our program from both near and far. We are very proud of the 31 past recipients honored over the past decade listed below:

Bill Heusner(posthumously)...2002
Dick & Jane Farnsworth...2003
Dr Gary Dilley...2003
Geraldine James...2004
C. James Clemens ... 2004
Dr. Larry Sierra....2004
Jane Hoag DeMarchi....2005
Anne MacCaskill....2005
Jack Seibold...2005
Jack Beattie...2006
Tosh Imai...2006
Marc Stiner....2006
Dan Batchelor...2007
Kent Johnson...2007
The Munley Family...2007
Don Patterson...2008
Bob Jones...2008
George Kruggel...2008
Jennifer Parks...2008
Rick Edwards...2008
Shawn Elkins...2009
Samuel Kasley III and Lori-Stark Kasley...2009
The Mull Family...2009
Coach John Narcy...2009
Margaret Smith...2009
Wally Dobler...2010
Mark Holdridge...2010
Dr. David and Beth McCaffree...2010
Pat and Mary Tyrrell....2010
George and Peggy Wedgworth...2010
James and Mary Yeomans.....2010

The winners of the Heusner award for 2011 are:

Coach Richard Fetters and the Fetters family: A long overdue recognition of Coach and all 3 generations of the entire Fetters Family for their contributions to our program over 5 decades.
Donald and Roberta Morey: A member of the 1957 Championship team, Don has supported our program for more than 50 years.
Mr & Mrs. David Polk: The Polk's have continued to support our team long after their daughter Dawn graduated in 1999.
Michael and Lisa Habel: The Habel's have also supported our program every year since their son David graduated in 2006.
Jim Thurston: A big supporter of our program since he graduated in 1994, Jim, a walk-on athlete, really understands the value of our program.

All five recipients will be honored this fall at our 56th annual alumni swim meet which will take place before the homecoming football game.

That is all for this week, we are now less than a month away from the Women's Big Ten meet and we are starting preparation for the stretch run of dual meets we have in the next few weeks.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


Jan. 13, 2011


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Happy belated 2011 Spartan fans. I am back for the New Year and I am very energized by how well everything went over the break. We had great training both in East Lansing and at Auburn University. We finished the semester strong academically. We also got some quality time at home to spend with our families for the holidays.

I would like to thank all the people at Auburn for their generosity and hospitality. The Tigers were very gracious with sharing their pool with the Spartans and we took full advantage. We had a couple sessions outdoors, much to the shock of the locals (who trains outdoors in 60 degree weather?) We also had a great joint training session with Auburn and we thank them for being so cool. I got a thorough explanation of War Eagle!

We finished the fall semester very well academically. The women finished with a 3.16 gpa and a 3.21 cum. The men finished with a 3.04 gpa and a 3.08 cum. Both scores are so impressive when you consider how many freshmen we have on both teams. We had six people get a straight 4.0 gpa: Sarah Mory, Kerry Sodonis, Lisa Fitton, Laura Leslie, Brian Rockwell and Ivan Zalessov. Brian and Sarah finished off their 7th and 9th consecutive 4.0 semesters respectively. Very impressive.

We host Purdue this Saturday at 2:00 PM in the IM West pool (Diving begins at 1:30 PM). We would love to see you there.

Next week I will officially announce on this blog the 2011 Heusner Service Award winners. This year will mark the 10th year we have honored Dr. Bill Heusner by naming individuals who have given of themselves to make our program great.

Reminder that you can keep up to date with our program by following our social media pages.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


Dec. 9, 2010


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This is going to be my final blog of 2010. I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season and a prosperous 2011. 2010 has been a very good year for the MSU athletic program and it has been a particularly good year for our program. I want to thank some people who work behind the scenes who have helped 2010 be such a banner year:

Nancy Wing: Nancy is our administrative assistant and she has been since 1997. She is a tireless worker and such a great asset to our program.

Damon Robertson and Patrick Saucedo: Damon and Patrick are invaluable in running our home meets and assisting the program in so many ways.

Jeremy Flynn: Jeremy has been our academic coordinator since 2005 and he cares so much for the welfare of our team. His assistance has helped many Spartans achieve their degrees with high marks.

Tim "Red" Wakeham, Molli Munz, and Aaron McLaurin: The strength and conditioning staff has played a huge part in our programs success and I want to thank them for their work. They live behind the scenes with every program here at MSU, yet their work creates the winning culture here at MSU. I want to particularly thank coach Ken Mannie and Mike Vorkapich for opening the Duffy athletic facility for our team to train in this fall.

Our training staff: Our student trainers this year: Adam, Steve (who had an epic battle at the Big-10 meet), and Mike and Ali this year. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Brian Fickies: Brian is the aquatics director and he is a great supporter of our program. I would also like to recognize Dr Rick McNeil who is the Director of Intramurals. The IM staff and in particular Brian are very helpful in the day to day operation of the program.

Richard Bader: Richard took over as the programs supervisor in July. His support has been awesome and I am very grateful to him and all of our administrators.

Finally, I want to thank all of our parents and boosters who, through your many contributions, make the season so much easier on the team.

For those of you out there who know Coach Mull, he is going to get one of his knees replaced on Thursday (12/16). I am quite sure he would appreciate a note/email/facebook from all of his old swimmers/friends

Congratulations to Jennifer Heyer-Olsen on her induction into the Illinois swimming association Hall of Fame this past week.

This was a pretty cool week for our program with the Ball State meet and winning the conference weekly awards. You can find all that information on all of our websites.

Our team will be training in East Lansing until the morning of December 23, so if you are on campus, feel free to drop by the IM west.

I/we will be updating our social media pages daily through the next few weeks. This blog will return on January 13, 2011. All the best to you and yours in the holiday season.

Until next year,

Matt Gianiodis


Dec. 9, 2010


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Last weekend the Spartans competed at the EMU Invitational. We had a very good meet and we competed very hard. I want to thank Eastern Michigan for inviting us and putting on a very athlete-friendly meet.

Between the Eastern Michigan and Georgia Tech Invitational's:

The women have achieved five top-10 all-time performances and 60 lifetime best times.

The men have achieved one varsity record, four top-10 all-time performances, and 61 lifetime best times.

All swimming programs are ultimately measured whether the team members are improving and I am proud to say that our kids are getting better.

It was nice to see a few alumnae at the Eastern Michigan meet. I got to see Katie Edwards, Amy Schmidt and Diana (Anderson) Vanderpool on Saturday. I also got the chance to talk to Dawn Polk at the meet. I am very appreciative for the support.

I want to remind everyone that all of the success that we have been able to achieve to point in the season is a direct result of the generosity and support of our alumni and boosters. Danny Schemmel's entire salary is paid from fundraised money. Our trip to Georgia Tech was paid for from fund raised money. Without your support, we could not do what we'd like to do. For that I am very thankful.

We have our annual meet with Ball State this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Hope to see many of you at the IM West building.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Dec. 2, 2010


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I want to extend congratulations to Mark Dantonio and the entire football program for their 11-1 Big Ten Championship season. The season was very special and it is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of the players and staff in the Duffy Daugherty building.

I am hoping that all of you had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Our team did get a chance to get home for a while and get a break from the IM West building for a while.

This Friday and Saturday we will be competing in the Eastern Michigan Invitational. The competition begins on Friday at 11:30 with diving. Swimming begins on Friday at 6:00 PM. Saturday competition begins with swimming at 10:00 AM and will continue all day long. We hope to see you there supporting the Spartans.

Also, a reminder that we will close out the fall semester with our annual meet against Ball State next Saturday at 2:00. The meet is at The IM West building and we hope to see you there.

There is snow falling over the Red Cedar which means that the holiday season has begun in East Lansing and exam week is right around the corner.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Nov. 25, 2010


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Happy Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving because I have free reign to eat, and because I get to see a lot of family. I have much to be thankful for, and this year I want to especially thank my family for being cool when their dad is gone out of town.

The team also gets a little break from everything for a couple of days at home. Of course as many former swimmers might remember, the biggest break on Thanksgiving is the one you get from not seeing/hearing the coaches for a couple days.

I got a chance to see Scott Shafer `02 this week. He is truly one of Virginia's finest. I also got to meet his wife. It was a brief visit but we did get to reminisce a little bit.

I want to thank Mike Van Beek `09 and Nicki Golen `10 for coming to the Georgia Tech Invitational. It was awesome to see both of them and I wish I had a little time to say hello.

Our Georgia Tech results are on our websites. We did very well and the trip was a good one.

On December 3th and 4th, we will be participating in the Eastern Michigan Invitational. The entire meet is timed finals and the Friday session begins at 6:00 PM. There are 2 sessions on Saturday and they begin at 10 AM and 6 PM. We hope to see you there.

I do hope that your holiday season begins well and again Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Nov. 18, 2010


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I want to start this week by thanking Jennifer Coffey and her staff at Jenison High School for their hospitality last Friday night. I also want to thank the entire Grand Valley athletics department for their willingness to put the meet on every year.

The meet on Friday drew 1,037 spectators. That many people is impressive when you take into account that the Jenison water polo team was at the state tournament in Zeeland that night. Grand Rapids is a very supportive community for swimming and diving. You can count on us being back next year on the second Friday of November.

We have a very nice opportunity to take our team into ACC country this weekend at the Georgia Tech Invitational. The meet will be on Friday-Sunday, and you can follow along for live results here. I will be sure to do my best to update my twitter account as much as possible.

I want to take the time right now to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am hoping you get to spend it with your families. The team will be taking a well deserved break from Wednesday-Sunday.

I want to wish the Spartan men's soccer team the best of luck in their first round game against Oakland University.

I am also wishing the best of luck to the Spartan football team this Saturday on Senior Day.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Nov. 11, 2010


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I want to share one of the better stories in a long time. Last Thursday we were traveling down the Champaign for our meets against Illinois and S. Illinois. We were about 4 miles out of Champaign and I got a phone call from Matt McNichols. Matt had just passed our motor coach going back home to Chicago. He had been in Champaign because Kraft has a plant there. He noticed it was our team because he saw John Ricci driving the bus. After I told him it was indeed us, he made a u-turn and met up with us at the hotel. It was very nice to get updates on all of the recent Spartan alumni living in Chicago.

Speaking of recent alumni in Chicago, Lindsay Rodin stopped by to say hello on Saturday right before the Minnesota game. Now it was great to see her and she gave me a few updates, also. She was in a hurry however because she was going to meet up with Ian Clutten before the game.

I want to thank Joe Baicy '03 who gave a sizable donation to the swimming and diving program last month. Such a large gift should never go unnoticed and we are very appreciative.

This Friday we have our annual tilt with Grand Valley State at Jenison High School. This meet provides an opportunity for all of our boosters and alumni in Grand Rapids to get an easy chance to come out and support the program. The meet begins at 6:00 PM and it is at Jenison High School.

Next weekend we will be taking a group of kids to Atlanta to compete in the Georgia Tech Invitational. I want to thank all of our boosters for providing our kids the opportunity to compete in this meet. Results and videos will be posted on our websites.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Nov. 4, 2010


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I want to thank everyone who came to our meet on Friday night against Notre Dame. We have had a great amount of support from our parents and boosters this season, and it is much appreciated.

I had the chance to see Adam Schmitt this week. He dropped by practice and hung out for a while. I finally got a chance to congratulate him on his engagement. He also dropped off his check for the Spartan Fund.

I also got an e-mail from Lindsay (Fetters) Dieckman this week with a reminder that she re-upped with the Spartan Fund, also. It is always nice to hear from alumni in particular when they inform you of donations.

Next Friday (November 12), we will have our annual meet with GVSU at Jenison High School. The meet is a great showcase for college swimming in Michigan, and we would love to have your support. Please, if you live in the Grand Rapids area, come out and support the Spartans and the Lakers. The meet begins at 6 p.m. and information is on our website.

For those of you who live near the University of Illinois, we are competing with both teams on Friday night at 4 p.m. The men will dual Southern Illinois and the women will dual Illinois and Southern Illinois.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Oct. 28, 2010


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I want to thank the great crowd that came out to support our team last Friday against Iowa. We have a couple of pictures of the crowd posted on our Facebook page. Unfortunately, the support didn't get us the victory. However we did swim and dive very well and full coverage of the meet is available on our Web sites. We also have videos up on the YouTube channel.

Our women's team will be right back at it on Friday night when we host Notre Dame at 5 p.m. in the IM West. Hope to see you there.

I want to thank both Chris Olszewski and Liz (Whitcher) Zaffino for becoming first time donors to the program through the Spartan Fund. As we move toward the end of the year, please remember that the easiest way to give to the program is on-line through the Spartan Fund

Saturday marks the last day the outdoor pool will be open, and we will move inside until the spring. The tradition has the seniors climb the 10-meter platform and sing the fight song on the last day of the outdoor pool. That should happen about 9 a.m. on Saturday. Just because we moved inside, does not mean we don't want to see you if you are on campus. Feel free to stop by the indoor pool at anytime.

We hope for the best of luck to the Spartans this week in Iowa City. We are all hoping to see 9-0.

A special happy birthday to my oldest brother today.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Oct. 21, 2010


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Homecoming, on a scale of 1-10, was a solid 9.98. Every year our Alumni Meet gets better and better. By my count, we had more than 70 alumni present and most of them were swimming and diving, too. We had eight decades of Spartan swimming and diving represented. Full coverage of the weekend is up on all our pages.

I was very appreciative of the number of parents who came to the meet. Of course we had Heusner Award winners: Mr. and Mrs. Tyrrell and Mr. and Mrs. Yeomans. However, also in attendance were: Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt, Mr. and Mrs. Massman, Mr. and Mrs. Larocque, and of course Mrs. Munley. It was very nice to see alumni parents at the meet.

As for the meet itself, Bob Rex pulled the upset by winning the plunge-defeating seven time champion George Kruggel. For the first time ever the varsity team won the 50 freestyle in the men's meet (alumni entrants were Al Mull, Tom Munley and Patrick Saucedo). Rachel (Hagerman) Wiese won the 50 freestyle in the women's meet. At the break, we awarded the Heusner award and video of the presentation is up on the YouTube channel.

The entire weekend was great for our entire program. The meet was a showcase of what is great about our program. I was particularly thankful when Mr. Yeomans described our program as "student oriented" in his acceptance speech. For that I am very grateful.

This Friday we have our annual meet against Iowa. The meet begins at 5 p.m. in the IM West pool.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Oct. 13, 2010


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It is homecoming week. My favorite week of the year and it culminates with my favorite day of the year, The Alumni Meet. I am hoping that many of you come back to this year's meet. I know we'll have quite a contingency of men from the late `70s/early `80s as part of the Golden Spike reunion II.

Most of you already know this, but this is the 55th consecutive Alumni meet. The meet is a tradition that began under Coach McCaffree and the Seibold family, and has continued on without pause every homecoming. It is the second longest running event on homecoming, next to only the football game. I am hoping that we see you there.

Last week we had the Green and White meet on Friday night and we hosted the Minnesota women on Saturday. Both meets have kick started our YouTube channel for the 2010-11 year. You can see most races on the channel right now. Full results from both meets are up on our website.

For those of you who live really far away, I am sure you'll be happy to know that the energy on campus is unreal. The Spartans' 6-0 record is really exciting and everyone is really looking forward to this weekend.

Remember that the alumni meet begins at 9 a.m. and we really hope to see you there.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Oct. 7, 2010


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We are only a week away from homecoming and we are getting very excited to host everyone at the 55th annual Alumni Swim Meet. Remember that the meet begins at 9 a.m. and we will run through our regular program. Besides the football game, the Alumni Swim Meet is the longest consecutive running event at MSU on homecoming. We are opening the doors early, and we would love to see everyone there.

I want to send get well wishes once again to Coach Dantonio. I also want to give a hearty dose of good luck this week to the Spartan football program for the Michigan game. Go Green!

I had the chance to see our former manager AJ Sandhu right before the Wisconsin game this past Saturday. He is doing very well and he is in the process of going to medical school. It was great to see and talk to him.

I also had the chance to talk to both Johan Sunryd and Joe Baicy this week. Both informed me that they made their contribution to the Spartan Fund. Both are doing well and it was great to hear from them also.

Finally this week I would like to pay tribute to Coach Ray Bussard, the former coach at the University of Tennessee. Coach Bussard was the greatest coach I have ever met and he was very instrumental in my coaching career. I never swam for him, but he was always generous with me and I would not be in the position I am in today without him. He taught me the word, "Spizzerinctum" and I have tried my best to live that in my coaching career. There are many people who will miss coach now that he is gone, and you can count me as one of them.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Sept. 29, 2010


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We are now only two weeks away from homecoming, so I want to provide a few reminders about the 55th annual alumni swim meet. The meet will begin at 9 a.m. on October 16. We plan to be done with all the events by 10:15 a.m. A reminder that this year we will be officially dedicating the plunge to Tosh Imai-that includes the winner getting a special award from Susan Eareckson. I am hoping that we get as many alumni back as possible. Please, if you have any questions at all, let me know.

For the ninth time, we will be presenting the Bill Heusner Service Award. This year's recipients are Pat and Mary Tyrrell, Jim and Mary Yeomans, Mark Holdridge, George and Peggy Wedgworth, Wally Dobler and David McCaffree. All six award winners are very worthy candidates, and they are all very important to the vitality of our program.

This Friday we will have two swimmers inducted into the Michigan State Hall of Fame. You can follow all the Hall of Fame events at msuspartans.com. I will be busy on Friday accepting the honor on behalf of Ken Walsh, who could not make it back to East Lansing for the ceremony. Needless to say, I am going to do my best to represent such a great athlete.

I did get a chance this week to speak to Coach Fetters on the phone. I asked him to provide me some information on Ken Walsh's career here at MSU. He told me that Ken was "one of the three best swimmers in MSU history." He sounded really good and he told me a few other stories about the MSU teams of the mid-to-late 60's.

The weather in East Lansing has turned a bit cool, and most of the team is enjoying the heat of the outdoor pool during morning workouts.

If you plan to be in East Lansing for the Wisconsin game, please come by and see us at the pool.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Sept. 23, 2010


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This week I would like to send out a big get well soon to Mark Dantonio. We are planning on seeing Coach D make a speedy recovery.

Congratulations to the MSU football team for its thrilling overtime win against Notre Dame. It is always nice when the Spartans beat the Irish.

I want to thank many of you who bought 50/50 tickets from our team on Saturday night. I was informed that some of you did not get a chance to buy a ticket. Well, you are in luck because we're selling again this week. So if you are interested in buying this week, come by the pool after 10 a.m., and I can guarantee you the chance to get a ticket!

Next weekend is Celebrate State weekend. This is a very exciting weekend for our department and more specifically for our program. The swimming and diving program is very proud of Linda Gustavson and Ken Walsh. They will both be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame next Friday.

The night before, all of our first year letterwinners will be presented their jackets at a ceremony in the Wharton Center.

At half-time of the Wisconsin game, both Hall of Famers and all the first year letterwinners will be honored. I am hoping that many of you get the chance to see these events.

Please remember that we are now only about three weeks from homecoming. The alumni swim meet is on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m. I got a chance to see Shawn Elkins this past week and he told me that the Golden Spike reunion is gaining quite a bit of momentum. So that weekend will be very exciting for our program as well.

One final reminder that the women are two weeks from opening their season on October 9th at 11 a.m. at home against Minnesota.

We are practicing on Saturday morning from 7-9 a.m., we would love to see all of our tailgating alumni/fans drop by.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Sept. 16, 2010


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Notre Dame Football week is always one of my favorite weeks here at MSU. The campus is alive with excitement and the weather is incredible. Our team has a couple of weeks of practice in and everyone is very excited. All of you who swam here at MSU know exactly how great this week can be.

This Saturday, starting at around 6 p.m., our team will be selling 50/50 tickets for the Downtown Coaches Club. If you traditionally buy tickets at the football games, please purchase them from our team.

Our practice this Saturday will be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., so most of you will miss us due to the lots being closed before 1 p.m. I do plan on being around the IM West all day Saturday however, so hopefully I will be able to see some of you.

For those of you coming in for the game early, we will be having our Friday practice at 3 p.m. I ask that if you have the time, please stop by and say hello.

So far this season the weather has been very cooperative and we have had some great practices. This past Monday marked the first stadium run of the year-lot's of sore legs. It has been a good two weeks however, especially when you factor in all the new people on the team.

For those of you who don't know (or are not on facebook) Kathleen Milloy's birthday was this past Monday (9/13), so if you get a chance e-mail her. She loves to get e-mails and phone calls from MSU alumni.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Sept. 8, 2010


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I want to thank the many alumni who stopped by the pool this past Saturday. I got a chance to see many of you. I also had the brief opportunity to stop by a couple tailgates. It was very nice to see all of you.

Next Saturday (9/18), our team will be assisting the downtown coaches club in selling 50/50 tickets for the home football game against Notre Dame. I am asking that if you do get a chance, buy a ticket from someone on our team.

Now that the school year is in full swing, our different media pages are up and running. We are posting things daily on the pages and I do recommend that you follow the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.

Hope your school year had gotten off on the right foot.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Sept. 2, 2010


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The calendar has switched from August to September, and that means that summer is over and the fall term at MSU has begun. Our team has been moving in and going to meetings all week long. We are very excited to get the year underway.

I want to congratulate to Tammy (Jones) Klemmer '05 on the birth of her son Jakob on Sunday, Aug. 26th. We have had many little Spartans born in 2010 and I am very happy and proud for all their Moms and Dads

We will be around on the outdoor pool deck this Saturday before the WMU football game. I am looking forward to seeing many of you at various tailgates. I also invite you to stop by the pool to say hello.

This Saturday, all of the teams at MSU will be marching behind the band from Adams Field to the stadium. Our team will be wearing white t-shirts, so look out for us. We will also be announced pre-game on the field, so look for us there.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Aug. 25, 2010


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We have a lot of really cool updates that week. First off, I want to congratulate two great Olympians, Ken Walsh and Linda Gustavson for their long deserved induction into the MSU Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame weekendat MSU is Oct. 1-3, and it will have a very heavy swimming feel to it.

I want to Congratulate Katie Booms Tierney '03 and her husband on the birth of her daughter, Lily Kate. Little Spartan Lily was born on Sunday, August 22.

I haven't forgotten about Tammy (Jones) Klemmer '05 who by the time this is posted could have her baby also. I hope to provide an update next week.

Also, I want to congratulate assistant head coach Kathleen Milloy who finished her first triathlon on Sunday. She finished 11th in her age group.

I also want to announce that we have hired Danny Schemmel to help us this season. Danny is taking Rich Mull's old position, so I am very thankful to all of our donors who make this hire possible.

On Monday, the band began to practice on Dem Hall field. Just to let all former Spartan swimmers know that we have been able to hear the fight song at the outdoor pool all week long.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Aug. 18, 2010


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I had a two-week hiatus so I have a little bit of catching up.

We did our best to update our social media pages with results from both the swimming and diving nationals these past two weeks. Kevin Puskaric had a really special meet out in Irvine, finishing 13th in the 100 Breaststroke. We had great representation at the national level this summer and we are excited to use that momentum to have a great fall and winter.

I want to congratulate Kirk Nelson '92 who competed at the Masters World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden last week. He placed top ten (40-44 age group) in four of five events. He was 5th in the 400 IM, 7th in the 800 free, 9th in the 400 free and 10th in the 200 free.

We are now about two weeks from the beginning of football season. I know that many of you will be coming to campus to watch the games. For the 51st consecutive season, the Spartans will be training outside on Football Saturdays I invite all of you to interrupt your tailgate to come by and say hello at any time. I love seeing our fans, boosters and alumni!

Next week will be very exciting. Our upperclassmen will be coming back to campus and getting ready for classes and practices to start. No better place to be anywhere that at Michigan State in the fall.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


July 28, 2010


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I want to congratulate Johan Sunryd on recently getting married. Johan now lives in Massachusetts and is finishing up his grad work in Chemistry.

Next week, I will be in Irvine all week long at the US summer nationals. We are taking four Spartans to the meet and I am confident we are goig to do very well out there. The meet runs from August 3-7 at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center. Results of the meet can be found here.

I would like to remind any of you that we are selling new swimming t-shirts and you can see what they look like on our facebook page. We are selling the shirts for $20 and that includes postage. If you have any questions about the shirts, please let me know.

We are putting together an itinerary for homecoming 2010 and the 55th annual alumni swim meet. I plan on posting that itinerary when I get back from California next month.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


July 21, 2010


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First off this week a big thank you to Grandma Munley and her nice e-mail to me last week. She reminds me often what this blog is all about!

I was away from the office last week, busy cruising through the Caribbean with family. A relatively tough time of the year to leave the program for a week, but, when your parents purchase a cruise for your entire family, you go on the trip!

This week we have a lot of our team members of our team swimming in the many sectionals around the country. Spartan swim club is in West Lafayette, Ind., and results from that sectional can be found at usaswimming.org

We have put together the 2010-11 schedule and it should be released on msuspartans.com soon. It is a very good schedule and it has us going a couple of place we have never been. Much of the flexibility in the schedule this year has come directly from generous donations of our alumni and boosters. So thank you for that.

I unfortunately missed Carly Zenk and Jason Vadney's wedding last weekend. I feel really bad about not being there, however, I heard that it was a great time and that there were many Spartans there. I have posted a group picture on the facebook alumni page (the picture credit goes to Bonnie Schmitt who sent me pictures).

I want to repeat the reminder that in a couple weeks we will be in California for the US Nationals. If you live in Southern California, come out to the meet and say hello. The meet runs from August 3-7.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


July 8, 2010


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Here is hoping that you all had a great July 4th weekend.

I missed the chance last week to pass this along a nice story on Jack Beattie one of our Heusner Service Award winners: http://growingbolder.com/media/sports/water-sports/family-friends-and-pancakes-641362.html#content_tabs

I did also want to pass along that on Monday July 5 we had the 1st ever Rick Edwards Memorial Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Rick's birthday was on July 5th and he would have been 60 years old this year. I know many of you swam for Rick in the summer for Spartan swim club. He was a huge fan of playing ultimate for dryland training.

The entire Spartan swim club took part in the tournament and we even had Tom Munley '96 and Patrick Saucedo `05 come over and play. Hopefully next year we can roust a few more alumni out to play. For the record, I was on the winning team!

A reminder there will be four Spartans competing out at the National Championship/trials in Irvine during the 1st week of August. If you live in Sothern California try to make it out to watch the meet. It shapes up to be a very exciting meet and we feel like we a couple of people who could get night swims.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


July 1, 2010


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I want to begin this week by giving a huge thank you to the Munley Family. They have done so very much for our program and we are all very grateful. In April 2001, their life changed dramatically and as a result, they have become our biggest fan supporters. Of course I would trade all of that to still have John around.

The meet on Saturday night was a great success. We raised a lot of money and we had a few fast swims. (For the record: all of the swimmers received their proper times, the results were in Hy-tek form, there was a paid and sanctioned referee, there was ample warm-up and warm-down space, and the events were run orderly and professionally) What was most exciting for me was the return of so many Spartans. We have a lot of pictures and videos up on the sites. I want to especially note the under 30 crowd who came, swam and donated money back to the John Munley Scholarship.

Moving the meet to Saturday night was great and we had spectacular weather. We are semi permanently planning to do the meet on June 25 of next year. Mark your calendars and come on out sand swim.

One of the people who came by the meet on Saturday was Mike Orris. He looked awesome and he is in his usual good spirits. I was so grateful for him and his family that he made such a miraculous recovery.

We now shift our focus to homecoming. We are going to have quite a few things planned this year. I am going to post an itinerary and information about homecoming on this blog soon.

I hope all have a nice holiday weekend.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


June 23, 2010


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On Saturday night we'll have the John Munley Memorial meet. I am really hoping that we have a huge crowd and we have our biggest meet ever. Based on the limited help we have received from Michigan Masters Swimming this year, we are hoping that our alumni and supporters come out and continue to make this a great event. If you have any questions about the meet at all, let me know.

Last week, I posted on our facebook fan page what our camp shirts look like this year. We have quite a few extra and we are planning to sell them on-line. They are $20 and that includes shipping. If you are interested in the shirts, let me or Eric know.

With summer in full swing I am wishing all of you the best. Have a safe season. I am really hoping to see many of you on Saturday night.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


June 17, 2010


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I am writing this on the heels of Coach Izzo's proclamation that he is a Michigan State "lifer". That is one thing I think he has in common with all of you. I know how dedicated and supportive our alumni and boosters are.

I had the chance this week to have dinner with Shawn Elkins and Tom Munley this week and we spoke about a number of things. I want you all to know that if you are in East Lansing, please let me know and I will try to come out and see you (bachelor/bachelorette parties being the exception).

There is a plan set in motion by Steve Ploussard and Shawn Elkins to have the second Golden Spike Reunion. The first GSR was in 2006 and there is some real motivation to do it again in 2010. This year the plan is to do it on homecoming and tie everything into one heck of a weekend. Details on the whole weekend are forthcoming and we are really excited to make this homecoming celebration the best ever!

We are only 2 weeks away from the end of the fiscal year here at MSU. I am asking everyone out there to please donate to our program.

Next Saturday night, we will have our annual John Munley Memorial Swim Meet at 6:00 PM. Warm-ups begin at 5:00 PM.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


June 10, 2010


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I want to begin this week by congratulating Dr Larry Sierra for his incredible service to Michigan State University. I wrote back on April 1, that Dr Sierra's intention of retiring. He ends his 23 year tenure as Intramurals director on June 30. Most of the swimmers and divers who pass through Michigan State never meet "doc" but he is one of the biggest supporters that we have. He established an attitude of cooperation and his support has been invaluable.

I want to thank everyone in the Michigan State administration for my contract extension to June 30, 2013. It is my intention to be at MSU for quite a while longer and I am happy that Michigan State feels the same way about me.

I want to pass along my condolences to the Fetters family. Chris Fetters, one of coach's sons, passed away this past weekend. The Fetters family is a very big part of the MSU swimming and diving family and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

We are now 2 weeks away from the Long course Munley meet on Saturday June 26th. I am asking that you all try and make it out to the IM west outdoor pool and be part of this great event.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


May 27, 2010


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Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others-Cicero
Since I became head coach in 2003, I have been helped immensely in a number of way by a number of different people. I am particularly thankful for all of our alumni and boosters who donate to our program. A donation to me is like a vote of confidence in our coaches and team members. I would like to submit a list of all our donors since last July 1. The people below are invaluable to our program and I list them in no particular order:
Ian and Stefanie Clutten
Geraldine James
Margaret Smith
Tosh Imai and Susan Eareckson
Dave Berger
Alec and Claire Mull
Bob and Julie Skandalaris
Peter and Debra Lundquist
John and Gayle Sauchak
Kevin and Debra Kalmbach
Dee Edgington
Don and Roberta Morey
D. Gene and Suzanne Goins
Patrick and Mary Tyrrell
Mark Rogers
Goug and Annie MacAskill
Mary Poteete
Jane Hoag DeMarchi
Bob and Patrice Jones
Dr Kent Johnson
Dan and Mary J Myers
Jennifer Parks
Lindsay Rodin
Nancy and Frederick Reeves
Mr & Mrs David Polk
James Kent
Philip and Ruth Mayercak
Philip and Nancy Decker
Dick and Jane Farnsworth
Nadine Crane
Jack and Dianne Seibold
Douglas Rowe
David and Beth McCaffree
Gary and Wendy Merkey
Ed Joba
Cynthia Conway
David Kasley
Shawn and Katie Elkins
Patrick Saucedo
Loenard Kaufman
Mark and Mary Ann Rusch
Dianna Kemper
Sam and Lori Kasley
Dr Kristen Nelson
Mark Holdridge
Daniel and Martha Jamieson
Paul Fetters
Dale and Jill Becker
Peter and Janice Eckel
George and Peggy Wedgworth
Jim and Mary Yeomans
Jim Thurston
Jim Clemens
Allan and Grace Livingston
George and Marie Anne Bird
Thomas and Susan Kirkpatrick
Michael and Lisa Habel
Jim and Kathleen Rockwell
David and Janice Sloan
Joe and Cyntia Buys
Jason Vadney
Richard Legault
Adam Schmitt
I am very humbled by the support and on behalf of everyone associated with MSU swimming and diving I thank you for your support.
Our first week in the outdoor pool was great and so far this week we have had incredible weather. The kids on the team travelled to Purdue this past weekend with Spartan Swim Club and they did quite well.
I had the opportunity to see Catrin Lenfers at a reception celebrating the life of Dr Milton Meulder. Catrin looks very well and we had a nice time together. The reception was an incredible way to celebrate an incredible person.
We are about four weeks away from the John P Munley memorial swim meet on Saturday, June 26. I am hoping we can see many of you there.
Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


May 13, 2010


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I am very proud of our team once again on their academic report. We had seven team members get straight 4.0's for the semester, including Brian Rockwell who has a straight 4.0 cumulative for his entire academic career. Our women finished the semester with a 3.25 GPA and our men finished with a 2.96 GPA. We also had nine team members walk at commencement last weekend.

I talk often about the MSU swimming and diving family and how special that is. I speak of it often with my team and I also make mention of it in the recruiting process. I had the chance this past Saturday to really experience it. My wife threw a surprise 40th birthday for me and about half of the attendees were associated in one way or another with our program. I want to thank all of them for attending: My staff (Eric, Kathleen and Tim), Nancy Wing, John Ricci, Ian and Stefanie Clutten, Richard and Kathy Bader, Tom Munley, Matt and Beth Wagner, Richard and Leslie Mull. I also want to thank all the alumni who sent me birthday wishes. Thank you!

I want to remind all of our alumni and fans in the Chicago area to look for the MSU coaches on the road at the Navy Pier on May 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Details can be found at www.msuspartans.com

Congratulations are in order for Kate Duncombe '03 who got engaged this past week.

The outdoor pool officially opens this week, so we are now outside all the way until November!

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


May 6, 2010


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MSU Commencement is this weekend and we have a number of our seniors walking across the Breslin floor in their cap and gowns. There is a reception hosted in the Smith Center for graduating seniors on Friday. I hope to get pictures and a video up on the sites on Friday. Look for it.

I want to congratulate Dan Bacheler `00 and his wife on the birth of their baby girl, Katherine Ann Bacheler.

We are getting very close to the end of the fiscal year and I want to remind everyone that if you have the means, please make a donation to the swimming program to the Spartan Fund.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


April 29, 2010


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We have a lot of coverage on all the sites of the banquet. We have pictures and videos up so enjoy.

The banquet was a great time. We had a large crowd watch 17 seniors take part in their last act as a Spartan swimmer and diver: receive their golden spike. I am very proud of all 17 Spartans who did a fantastic job of saying good bye to their teammates.

I had a chance to see Joe Brennan and Laura (Miller) Brennan this past Saturday at the spring football game. Unfortunately, they were in town for a funeral. But it was great to see them. Joe is working on the private space flight project and they are doing well in California. Joe did tell me that a ticket to space will only cost around $200,000. Their family is doing well.

Congratulations to Heather Kiluk who won the high point trophy for her age group at the Illinois Masters swim meet. Heather, who just started swimming a few months ago, set multiple records and many of her times rank No. 1 nationally in her age group. From what I understand it was an incredible meet with more than 500 participants.

I want to congratulate Sue Depew on her retirement. Sue is one of the administrative assistants in the MSU athletic department. She is retiring after 22 years of service to MSU. Good luck.

Last Thursday, Toshio Imai passed away. Tosh was a long time supporter of Michigan State swimming. He won the Heusner Service Award in 2006. He was very well known by many of the swimmers of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Per his own request, there was no service marking his passing. He leaves an indelible legacy and he will be missed.

Next week is exam week, so we are dealing with the stress of finals. However, the weather is getting nice and every day we are getting closer to getting that outdoor pool open.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


April 22, 2010


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I had a really good time at the Master's State meet on Saturday. I went over there after practice and I saw a good number of Spartans competing. The meet was the largest Master's State meet ever. More than 350 competitors! Results of the meet can be found here: http://www.michiganmasters.com/

This Sunday we have our annual team banquet. I know for many of you, the banquet conjures up great memories. The highlight every year is the confirmation of the Golden Spike to each departing senior. The Golden Spike ceremony is uniquely Spartan. It is just a simple railroad spike, painted gold with a ribbon. However, it symbolizes the heart and soul of what it is to be a member of the MSU swimming and diving team. Below, I have attached the poem that accompanies the spike. Written by Jack Seibold:

The thrills of victory the tears of defeat,
The sights and sounds of a swimming meet.
This is the heritage of a contest we love,
Struggling swimmers in the water, twisting divers above.
Yet, for each competitor the time must come,
When memoirs are woven from ribbons he's won.

Tis time Old Veteran,
Hang it up, Hang it up.

The workouts are tedious, it's no longer fun,
Once easy victories have become hard won.
Tired you are of stroking and kicking,
Tired you are of taking a licking.
You've had your fill of distance and dashes,
And most of all hearing `bout teenage flashes.

Tis time Old Veteran,
Hang it up, Hang it up.

O'er a year long season boredom is assured,
As monotonous daily workouts go undisturbed.
Your limbs are fatigued, your senses rebel
As you mentally prepare for that Final farewell
Ah...those glorious moments are melting away,
As more you recall golden yesterday.

Tis time old veteran,
Hang it up, Hang it up.

So with tumult still ringing in your ears,
In retrospect you look back in years
A question prevails that one must submit,
Was the dedication to swimming really all worth it?
Yes...yes the answer echoes back as if in a plan
Suddenly you realize swimming's made you a man.

Good luck old Veteran,
Hang it up, Hang it up.

A reminder that we will be practicing this Saturday from 8:30 to 10 a.m., so if you are coming to campus for the spring game, please drop by.

Over the past week we have had a few more commitments for the Class of 2014. In the next few weeks we'll have an update.

Next week follow along because we'll have a few videos from the banquet on our various sites.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


April 15, 2010


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This weekend is the Masters state meet. There will be quite a few Spartans competing at Haslett High School. I plan to go over to see a couple sessions and maybe see a few national records. Good Luck to everyone competing!

While on the topic of Masters Swimming; a reminder that the annual Munley Masters is going to be on Saturday, June 26th this year. This meet really serves as a long course alumni meet. The meet was moved to Saturday to make it more accessible. I am hoping for record numbers of alumni this year. If you need any information, let me know.

This past Monday we had the 13th Spartan Academic Gala. It is an event in which we are always well represented. This year Brian Rockwell and Jordan Jackson were honored with the team high GPA. It was a great event and a great many members of our team were honored for their accomplishments.

With the consistent warm weather, we are getting closer to having the outdoor pool open. The winter water is drained and today they are cleaning the bottom to prep for painting. Let me tell you, getting back out on the outdoor pool deck is perhaps my favorite time of the year.

I want to congratulate Cameron Mull for getting married this past weekend. Cam is of course a Buckeye, but he spent many days training at MSU and he was very close to our team for a long period of time. So congratulations.

This past week is the late signing period and we expect to add a few more kids to our 2010-11 roster.

Next Saturday is the spring football game. The game begins at 1:30 p.m. Please if you plan to go to the game, let me know.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


April 8, 2010


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Want to congratulate both Brian Rockwell and Sarah Mory. They were given special recognition along with three other winter sport athletes in the entire Big Ten for having a 4.0 GPA. That makes 40% of the honorees members of our program. Now that is something to hang your hat on!

I want to remind everyone of our banquet on April 25. It begins at 12:00 p.m. and we are holding it in the Kellogg Center this year. If you want any information about the banquet, please contact Kathleen Milloy.

I have been getting many updates on babies. We had many little Spartans born in the last few weeks and we have many former swimmers expecting children in the next few months. It is going to make for a very interesting alumni meet this year!

Next week is the beginning of the spring signing period, so we should have up-dates on out late commits. We did have a very good spring of swimming and diving by our incoming freshmen this year.

The spring football game is April 24th. If you are coming to the game, let us know. We plan to have practice that morning and we would love to have people stop by.

We did have some exciting news within the program this week: senior Garrett Ruhland proposed to his long-time girlfriend.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


April 1, 2010


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Fresh off of a long week in Columbus, I am back in the office. We had a good, not great, showing at the NCAA meet with Jacob. It was great experience for him and for our entire program. It is an experience that we plan to build upon next season with the entire team.

Special congratulations to Coach Izzo and the Spartan basketball team. What an incredible run it has been for the MSU basketball team. I think we are all fortunate to root for a program that has such unprecedented success in the NCAA Championships.

I want to thank all of you who called and sent notes this past month during the Big Ten and the NCAA meets. I am very proud of how many former swimmers and divers at MSU care about how the program is doing. It is especially awesome that it isn't limited to the under 30 crowd, we get notes of support from every generation of Spartan swimming and diving. Your support is always appreciated and I encourage all of you to get in touch with me anytime.

I want to congratulate Michael Robbins `02 who got a nice promotion at his job.

Finally this week I would like to congratulate Dr. Larry Sierra, who announced his retirement last week. Dr. Sierra, who won the Heusner Service Award in 2004, has been working at MSU since 1962. He served as Director of Intramurals since 1987. He is a real Spartan and he has been incredibly supportive of our program and me personally.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


March 18, 2010


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No baby announcements this week, at least none that I know of.

Congratulations to our former volunteer assistant Rob Aburto, who graduated from law school and got a job in the Kitchener/Waterloo area in Ontario. Rob has promised me that since he is working relatively close to East Lansing; he will be around a few times next season for our home meets.

I want to wish all of the Big Ten programs best of luck this week at the Women's NCAA Championships at Purdue University. Of course it is a goal of our program to be there in 2011.

Best of luck to Coach Izzo and Coach Merchant as their teams begins March Madness this week.

I had the opportunity to get an update on Mark Rogers when I spoke to his dad at the high school state meet last weekend. Mark is doing very well in his job in D.C. and he is well-like by his employers. Not really a shock when you consider how smart and hard-working he was here at MSU.

Our Awards banquet will be held on Sunday, April 25 at 12:00 PM. The banquet will be at the Kellogg Center. Anyone interested in attending can contact Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu.

The Munley Master's Long Course Meet will be held again this year at the IM west outdoor pool on June 27th. We will have forthcoming information.

We are gearing up for the NCAA's next week in Columbus. I plan to provide many updates on my twitter page. You can follow me and you can also follow along at www.ncaa.com/swimminganddiving The meet is going to be very fast and very deep. We have done many things this year that we haven't accomplished in a decade, so our goal for NCAA's is to score for the first time since 1996.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


March 11, 2010


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I begin this week congratulating Katie Sophiea Jeffrey. Katie gave birth to little Isabel Katharine Jeffrey on March 9 in the wee hours of the morning. Both mom and daughter are doing well. I just got a video text this morning with an update.

Yesterday, we found out that Jacob Jarzen made the NCAA Championships. Congratulations to him. Kevin Puskaric was also very close and our relays were ranked very highly also. The unofficial psyche sheet is located here here.

The NCAA championships will be held in Columbus, OH on March 25, 26, 27. You can follow along at www.ncaa.com/swimminganddiving

Congratulations to Kris Olszewski. Kris just was hired full time by MSU development for web-design. He is going to settle for a while in Lansing working for MSU.

A few updates on our incoming recruits. Pat Falconer had a very good meet at the Illinois Senior State meet. He swam the 100 (46.2), 200 (1:39.1), 500 (4:30), 1000 (9:20) and the mile (15:53). Nick Roberts also swam at that meet in the 200 Breast (2:07) and 400 IM (4:06). Brandon Williams won the Ohio State meet in the 50 Freestyle (20.9).

Good luck to Bryan Williams and Nick McGowan this weekend at the Michigan High School State meet.

I want to send out another reminder that our awards banquet will be on Sunday, April 25 at 12:00 p.m.

Spring has settled in at MSU this week. We have finally gotten rid of the snow and the water is flowing high in the Red Cedar. Spring is the time of the year that all Spartan swimmers start looking forward to going back outside. We are just about 2 months from opening the outdoor pool.

I want to thank all of you again for the nice notes/e-mails/texts you have sent me regarding our season. The kids worked very hard this past year and they represented Michigan State very well.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


March 4, 2010


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I want to begin this week congratulating Dianne Johnson and her husband Phil. Little Ethan Oliver Johnson was born on February 23 at 4 a.m. Both Mama and Ethan are doing well. I am very happy for the entire family and little Ethan got our week started the right way last week.

We have quite a bit of coverage on our various websites of both Big Ten meets. Full results as well as some nice articles on our team can be accessed at www.msuspartans.com We broke 10 Varsity records counting both the men's and women's meets. I want to also congratulate Jacob Jarzen for winning the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

I am so very proud of our seniors this year and the commitment they made in getting our team to achieve at a high level. I know that three years ago, following their freshman year, the future looked a little bit cloudy. But through the hard work and dedication of all of them, we moved our program forward in a first class way. They are high quality people and they are already on their way to building great careers. The class of 2010 defines what this program is all about.

I want to thank our parents, fans and boosters for all their support throughout the two weeks of Big Tens. Many attended the meets but beyond that I was receiving so many messages of good luck and congratulations. There were times I received texts minutes after races were completed congratulating the swimmer/diver. There was an awful lot of buzz on Facebook and I am so grateful that many of you feel so strongly about our program.

I want to thank Danny Schemmel who helped video tape the entire men's meet. I also want to thank Kristin Deford who videotaped the entire women's meet. Many of those videos are posted on our YouTube channel.

We do have a group of men who will be in Ann Arbor this Sunday at the Wolverine Last Chance meet trying to get cuts. The meet begins at 12:00 p.m.

Our banquet is scheduled to be in the Spartan Stadium Tower on Sunday, April 25 at 12:00 p.m.

Finally, a couple more baby updates: Kim Moorhead had little Charlie Eichenberg on March 1. Katie Sophiea Jeffrey is due any minute.

I promise a few more updates next week. Including an update on how all of our signed recruits fared in their high school state meets.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


February 11, 2010


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We had a very nice ending to our dual meet season this past weekend. The women and men competed against St. Bonaventure on Friday and the men finished up against Michigan on Saturday. On Friday we did have the chance to honor our 17 seniors. Full video of our entire senior recognition ceremony is posted on the youtube channel.

I would like to thank all of the people who helped this year at our home dual meets. For the first time in a very long time, we had to run home meets without Rich Mull. That was a very scary thing for me because Rich had been doing this for us for so long. The following people all helped us through the whole year:

Damon Roberston:Damon is the head coach of Spartan swim club and he runs everyone of our home meets. He has been invaluable to our program and I thank him.

Brian Fickies and Dave Shipman:Brian and Dave are our meet officials and I appreciate them being part of the program.

Eve Julian:Eve helped us this year with our equipment. She and all the people at IST are a great help to our program.

Jim Rockwell:Jim filled in for Damon during our meet against Ohio State and I am very grateful for him doing that-he bailed us out that day.

Prior to the meet on Friday, we had a moment of silence honoring the passing of Clarke Scholes. Clarke was a great friend to the swimming and diving program here at MSU. He was the only individual Olympic champion in history of MSU. Clarke cared so much about our program that a few years ago he offered to donate his gold medal. Unfortunately, due to the lack of security in the IM West building, we couldn't accept.

I had the opportunity to spend time with Clarke at the homecoming game in 2008. He spoke very highly about Coach McCaffree and about his teammates. He was a real treasure and he will be missed.

I will be sure to have an up-date on the Big Ten Championships in three weeks. We have had a very good season to this point and we are looking for a big finish. The women's meet will be at Purdue and you can follow the results at www.purduesports.com. The men's meet is at Ohio State and you can follow the results at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com .

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


February 4, 2010


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This week is senior week in our program. On Friday, our meet against St Bonaventure will begin at 3:00 p.m. We will honor the ten women and seven men in the Class of 2010. On Friday we will say thank you to:

Sarah Biasello
Laura Deford
Nicki Golen
Cassie Hamilton
Kayla Kalmbach
Sasha Lewerenz
Mara Loniewski
Emma Schaefer
Kara Wackerle
Erinn Wertz
David Garry
Sho Koba
Jon Larocque
Matt Massman
Garrett Ruhland
Joe Schmitt
Gabe Strickler
I cannot say enough of the impact the class of 2010 had on our program. They have all had ups and downs both individually and shared. They have all shown the character to fight through adversity and they have become great Spartans. They are a great group and they will continue to represent MSU swimming and diving long into the future.

This is the season for Spartan babies! Ashby (Baldock) Sasser gave birth to little Cameron on February 1st. Dianne (Oliver) Johnson and Katie (Sophiea) Jeffrey are going to have babies very soon. I also found out this week that Lindsay (Fetters) Dieckman is pregnant. I wish all of you the best and hopefully I will be around long enough to see the 4th generation Fetters swim at MSU!

Our men will be in Ann Arbor on Saturday for our annual tilt against Michigan. The meet begins at 12:00 p.m. This is the last dual meet of the year for our program. If you have the time, please come out and support the Spartans.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


January 28, 2010


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I want to thank everyone who came out to our first home meet in 3 months last Friday. Our women competed against a really good Ohio State team.

Our women will be in action on Friday night in Ann Arbor at 6 p.m. We are getting very close to the end of the season and each meet now is becoming very critical in our preparation for the Big Ten meet.

On Saturday, our men's team will compete in the IM West for the first time all season. We have a combined meet with Oakland and that begins at 2:00 p.m.

Just as a reminder, we have moved the starting time of the meet against St. Bonaventure University to 3:00 p.m. That meet will be senior recognition night and we plan to recognize the seniors during one of the meet breaks at around 5:00 p.m.

Next week, I am going to use this blog as a tribute to a great class of Spartans.

I got the chance to see Mr. John Wilson (Chad's dad) last Thursday night. He informed that Chad and his wife are doing really well in Colorado. I told him that much like Mike Tingley, I never hear from Chad. It wouldn't hurt dropping his old coach a line every once in a while.

I want to thank all of you who sent in your Spartan Fund contribution at the end of December. I cannot thank you enough for continuing to support the program.

I want to thank the many of you who have contacted me in the past month for so many different reasons. This past week I have heard from a few of you concerning the entire branding issue. All I can tell you is that our department is in incredible hands and I believe that our administrators should be given the full benefit of the doubt before people begin to make snap judgments. I know of no greater Spartans than our athletic directors.

We have two meets this weekend and we hope to see many of you there.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


January 21, 2010


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Last week was a nice week for the program. We had a really nice win for the men's team on Friday night at Notre Dame. More importantly, we had a very good week of training for both teams. We are now about a month away from the Big Ten meets and our team is starting to dial-in pretty well.

We do have a women's meet against Ohio State on Friday at 3:00. We made a time change for the meet.

We have also made a time change for our last home meet against St. Bonaventure. That meet will now begin at 3:00 p.m. The St Bonaventure meet is also our senior recognition meet. Due to the earlier time, we will honor the seniors at the completion of the meet.

This week, I would like to announce the Heusner Service Award winners for 2010. The following six recipients will be honored during the 55th Alumni Meet during homecoming on October 16. I want to congratulate and thank the following winners:

Wally Dobler
Mark Holdridge
Dr & Mrs David McCaffree
Mr& Mrs Patrick Tyrell
Mr & Mrs George Wedgworth
Mr& Mrs Jim Yeomans

I am always very proud to announce the Heusner winners because of the incredible support our program receives. Our program exists because of the generosity and commitment of our alumni and boosters.

We have meets in the next 3 weekends and I hope to see many of you at them.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


January 14, 2010


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Classes for spring '10 started on Monday. We begin our final push toward the Big-10 championships. The push actually began this past weekend at Purdue. We had a very good experience in West Lafayette, Ind., training and competing against the Boilermakers. I want to thank the Purdue coaching staff for putting together a good meet for our team. I also want to thank the Purdue administration for allowing our team to practice and train in their facility.

This past year we did not travel south to train. Despite that, we trained and came together as a team very well. I was very proud of our swimmers and divers and their maturity and focus through the month of December. We are very lucky to have such strong and committed student-athletes here at MSU.

This Friday we travel to South Bend with the men's team. The meet against Notre Dame starts at 5:00 p.m. The Spartans and the Irish have a hockey game scheduled in South Bend on Friday at 8:00. If you are going to Notre Dame for the hockey game, come over to the pool (it's in the same complex) and support the Spartans.

We have a time change for our women's home meet against Ohio State next Friday. The meet will begin at 3:00 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m.

I want to thank many of you who sent me cards, notes and e-mails wishing the program a happy holiday season.

We received a lot of support over the break from a number of people. I am especially grateful to Intramurals who allowed us to use all three pools on campus to train. They also let us use the university fitness room for our dry-land activities. I also want to thank a number of local restaurants, specifically Hobies for providing meals to our team.

Until next week,
Matt Gianiodis


January 7, 2010


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I am hoping you all had a good holiday season and a great new year. January is always a time to reflect and to look forward at the same time. This year it is magnified because we finish and begin a new decade.

For me this has been the "Spartan decade". I have been fortunate to spend all ten years at Michigan State and it has been the best time of my life. The decade was not without great disappointment, but most all of it has been great for me and my family. I started the new millennium as an assistant to Richard Bader and I finished the decade as the head coach of the Spartan Swimming and Diving program.

Looking forward I have many goals in the next 10 years. Number one on my hope list is that Michigan State University ends the next decade with a new aquatic facility. This past October we marked the 50th anniversary of the IM west pool. In 2020, the pool will be 60 years old. At that point, I would hope it would be time for a change. It is my belief that a new facility at MSU is going to happen and I most certainly hope that I (and all of you) will be around to be part of it.

We leave today (Jan. 7) for three day training/meet with Purdue. I want to thank the Purdue Aquatic staff for helping us out with pool time for our training. This trip was put in place when we decided not to take a trip to Florida for training. As it turned out, not going to Florida was a great decision after the 30 degree temps in Ft Lauderdale this winter.

Training here at MSU has been going very well. We have utilized all three pools on campus and we have also used the new fitness room in the IM West building. You can see some video of our training on the you tube channel.

Next Friday, the Men's team will be at Notre Dame at 5:00 for our annual meet. Please come out and see us if you can.

We had a very good semester academically. We had seven team members receive a 4.0 for the fall - highest among all the programs at MSU.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


December 17, 2009


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Happy holidays to all of you. I want to begin this week by congratulating three Spartans who earned their degrees this past week: Marlys Fuqua, Heather Kiluk and Kris Olszewski. All three walked this past Friday and if you check on my twitter page, you can see the picture I took of Marlys and Kris. We wish the entire class of 2009 (all of who are finished with their undergraduate course work) the best of everything.

This Friday, our team will assist in distributing toys to needy families at the Salvation Army Lansing toy distribution center. This is the fifth time we will participate in this activity. It is a great experience for our team.

I would like to hand out my annual swim and dive program holiday "gifts" for 2009. Every year I thank many of the people who help our program behind the scenes and get no credit for their work.

Kaitlynn Osborn -Kaitlynn is a kinesiology graduate student and she is assisting our program this year. She has been invaluable in a number of areas this fall. I want to thank her for her help.

Terry Gillespie and Dean Olson -Terry and Dean are the IT guys for the athletic department. Many times they come over to the IM west and bail us out of the many computer/blackberry problems we have.

Holly Baumgartner -Holly works in the compliance office and she is the one who get the privilege of proofreading this blog every week for potential NCAA infractions. She is a great asset to our program and our department.

Brian Fickies- Brian is the IM sports aquatic director. He is great with us in scheduling and providing access to the pools on campus for our training.

Of course I only picked four people, but they are part of a much larger support network for our program. I want to thank everyone here at MSU.

I also want to have a special holiday thank you to my wife Eileen and my children, Costa, Ana and Thomas. They are incredible supporters of me and of MSU swimming and diving.

I want to remind everyone that the end of the year is the best time to make a donation to the Spartan fund. If you any questions about how to go about making your donation, contact me.

The swimming and diving program has had a very good 2009 and we look forward to 2010.

I still haven't heard from Tings

I want to wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season

Until next time,
Matt G


December 10, 2009


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We had a pretty exciting two days in Grand Rapids this past weekend. We had eight women compete at the Calvin Invitational. The highlight of the weekend came when freshman Kristin O'Connor made her training camp cut time with a 52.78 in the 100 freestyle.

We are now a few days away from exams, so academic pressures are increasing. From an academic standpoint, we have had a very incident free semester.

This Saturday we will be in Muncie, IN for our annual meet with Ball State. The meet begins at 2:00 PM. If you live nearby, please come out and support the Spartans.

I got three really nice e-mails last week with compliments about my San Antonio story. I do appreciate the feedback. By the way, I still haven't heard from Tings.

I want to congratulate Coach Dantonio and the MSU football team for making a third consecutive bowl game. Good luck in San Antonio.

Until next time,
Matt G


December 3, 2009


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We have eight women competing in Grand Rapids this weekend at the Calvin College Invitational. The meet is on Friday 12/4 and Saturday 12/5 and it begins at 10:00 AM. We would love to see you out there supporting our team.

I am hoping that all of you had a great Thanksgiving break. Our team got a well deserved break and they returned to campus as healthy as we have been all season long. I am hoping we can take it all the way through December so we can make a good push to the Big Ten meet in February.

We have the names and short bios of all our early signees in the Class of 2014. It is currently on our website. Special thanks to Jeff Barnes for putting that together.

Finally this week I am feeling a little reflective. This weekend I am coming up on the 10 year anniversary of my favorite trip I ever took as an MSU coach.

Back in December 1999, I took John Munley and Michael Tingley to the US Open meet in San Antonio, TX. The meet was the last international meet before the 2000 Olympics and it was filled with superstars from all over the world. They ran two flights of prelims: morning and afternoon. I was lucky enough to go with two kids who were good long course swimmers, so our prelim swims were in the morning.

I was still an assistant coach beneath Coach Bader and Mary Ellen Wydan so I had very few real responsibilities. My wife and I had only one child then and so life was a little less hectic at home too. (Those of you on the team may remember the joke that every time I took a trip with "Tings" nine months later Eileen would have a baby). I remember being on the river walk amongst thousands of Nebraska and Texas fans (they were in San Antonio for the Big 12 football championship game) and John and Tings were yelling, "Go State!"

Eight months after that trip, Coach Bader retired and Mary Ellen left. I began to take on a much larger role within the program and with those responsibilities; the trips became much more work (less fun). John isn't around to reminisce and I don't hear from Tings very much but I will never forget that weekend in San Antonio.

Until next time,
Matt G


November 25, 2009


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To start this week, I want to congratulate our men's team for winning the Northwestern invitational this past weekend. It marked the first time since 2001 that we finished first in any three day meet and the guys swam and dove very well. Our women finished 3rd and they swam and dove well also. You can access full results of the meet at msuspartans.com

I got to see Dianne (Oliver) Johnson up at Jenison and rub her belly a little bit. I am looking forward to seeing the little guy soon.

I want to thank the people at Jenison for their hospitality again this year. Grand Valley was a more than worthy opponent for our team and the meet was very exciting. I also wanted to thank all the people who cam out to watch the meet. We had a great crowd.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to acknowledge the great Spartans who make me thankful every day:

-A great team of Spartans who practice hard everyday in the water and in the classroom.

-Great parents who understand the real meaning of support and encouragement.

- Alumni and boosters who unconditionally support our program year in and year out.

-Administrators at Michigan State who do everything they can to provide an environment to allow us to succeed. President Simon is an incredible fan of Spartan Athletics and Mark Hollis is an incredible Spartan. They are both making Michigan State the national model of a successful athletic department.

-Kathleen, Eric, Tim and Kaitlynn-the best staff in the country.

-Nancy Wing-our team secretary fro 13 years. She is the best!

-Dr Sierra, Brian Fickies, Joel Eddy-the intramural staff that works so well for and with our program.

-Richard Bader and John Narcy-great Spartan coaches who still provide me mentorship and advice.

-Richard Mull and Damon Robertson-two guys who help so much in our home meets.

-many others who give their time and talents to our program.

I wish you all the absolute best Thanksgiving,

Until next time,
Matt G


November 4, 2009


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To start this week I want to remind everyone about our meet on Friday night at Jenison High School against Grand Valley. The meet begins at 6 PM. There is an admission charge of $5 for adults, $1 for students K-12, Children under 5 are free. Whether you are a Spartan or a Laker, please come out and support college swimming in the Grand Rapids area.

Next week we will be at the Northwestern Invitational on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I want to invite all of our fans and alumni in the Chicagoland area to please come out to the meet. The start times on Friday and Saturday are prelims at 10:00 AM and finals at 5:00 PM. On Sunday the prelims are at 9:00 AM and finals at 3:00 PM. We will be staying at once again at the Holiday Inn North Shore, 5300 West Touhy, Skokie, IL 60077. Please feel free to come to the meet and say hello.

Since I will not be in East Lansing next Saturday, last week was my final home football game for 2009. I want to take a moment and thank all of our alumni who "host" me at their tailgates. Fall in East Lansing is really a great time-especially when the outdoor pool is open. Thank you to Tom Munley, Doug and Liz Peot, the Yocums, the Beckers, Dave Berger, and Gregg Mihalik.

November 11 is the beginning of early signing and hopefully by next week, I will be able to up-date our incoming class of freshmen.

Until next time,
Matt G


November 4, 2009


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On Saturday, the outdoor pool closed for the season. It is always a sad day because of how nice it is to swim outside. So we have moved indoors until April.

I want to remind all of our fans and alumni that we will be helping the downtown coaches club sell 50/50 tickets this Saturday at the football game. Please look for one of our team members and buy tickets.

Our team has used the past week to get healthy and I am pretty excited to say we have had some very good practices. Our training has been the most consistent since the summer. Every swim team will need to go through dealing with the flu this year. I am hoping we are through it and I am hoping we don't have another outbreak this year.

A reminder that we will be in the Grand Rapids area next Friday night - swimming a meet against Grand Valley. The meet begins at 6:00 PM. Please come out and support collegiate swimming whether you are a Spartan or a Laker.

Next week on Wednesday is the early signing period for the Class of 2010. We have worked very hard this fall, in particular my assistant Tim, to put together a nice class. In the next couple weeks, after they sign, I can give you an update on our incoming class.

Until next time,
Matt G


October 29, 2009


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To start this week, I want to let all of you know that Mike Orris '98 is back home with his family. Mike had a horrible bicycle accident back in May and he has been in the hospital and rehab ever since. He has recovered enough to be sent home. We are all thankful for Mike's continued recovery. We missed him last week at homecoming, but I am pretty confident we'll see him here next year.

I have to say that we have had a full share of illness this year. We have had H1N1, upper respiratory viruses, strep throat, etc, etc. It has been very hard to run a complete week of practice and it has been particularly tough on the kids. My hope is that we are hitting this stretch early and when we get to the second semester, we'll be through it.

The sickness put us in a particularly tough spot in our tip to Iowa. The Hawkeyes are very tough and they are really improving. It made it so tough on our team to run with such a strong team. We did the best we could, but we all realize that it is a long season and there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

I want to thank all of the parents who made the trek out to Iowa City to support the team. That is a very long ride and we are very appreciative of the effort.

There are a few highlights from the Iowa meet on our various media sites. I encourage all of you to go ahead and check those sites out.

For our fans and supporters who live in the Grand Rapids area, I want to invite you all to come to our "home" dual meet at Jenison High School against Grand Valley. The meet will be on November 13 at 6:00 and we are hoping to get a very big crowd.

For those of you with young children, I wish you great times Saturday on Halloween.

Until next time,
Matt G


October 22, 2009


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Starting this week I would like to thank all of you who attended both events this past homecoming weekend.

On Friday we had our 40th season celebration with our home meet against Illinois and then the reception at the Spartan Hall of Fame Café. I think the happiest person at the reception was Jennifer Parks, who had the chance to see so many of her former athletes. We had about 35 former swimmers and divers at the event and I was so happy to be part of that.

On Saturday we had our 54th Alumni meet. We had incredible attendance at the meet and we had a great time. I had the chance to see and talk to so many of our alumni. During the Heusner Award presentation, we had a great tribute to Coach John Narcy. He asked me to include a thank you from him this week and it is printed below:

To all who attended the presentation of the Heusner Award on Saturday, October 17,. Coach John Narcy would like to say.......

"Thank you! That was the loudest ovation I have ever heard. It is still ringing in my ears and thundering in my heart!! I'll remember it forever."

So we had a very successful homecoming. As usual we had seven decades represented. I want to thank Jack and Dave Seibold for coming. I would also like to give a special thank you to Jane Hoag-DeMarchi, who comes back from Italy and is a great supporter of ours.

Our various electronic media pages have a lot of videos and pictures form the weekend and I invite you to visit those pages listed at the top.

A few reminders this week:

We compete against Iowa this Friday and the start time for the meet is 4:00 CT. The Hawkeyes are much improved as they get ready to move into their new pool next season.

The next big local event for us will be our meet in Grand Rapids at Jenison High School on Nov 13 at 6:00 PM. We love to go to Grand Rapids and showcase Michigan State.

Thanks again alumni and boosters. Your support is very much appreciated by all of us in the swimming and diving program.

Until next time,
Matt G


October 15, 2009


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Really brief this week. I am looking forward to seeing all our alumni and boosters at both events this weekend. Please if you have any questions about anything, let me know.

Our women are looking forward to starting the season Friday night against Illinois. We are hoping for a big crowd that night.

Next week I plan to have a big update from homecoming.

Travel safe and we will see you all soon.

Until next time,

Matt G


October 8, 2009


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This week I am dedicating this to Matt Wallace who made it a point to remind me last week I didn't provide an update. I want to apologize for that, however, we were preparing for a very busy weekend.

I think the best place to start this week is to congratulate Coach Dantonio and his staff for the big victory against Michigan on Saturday. I did have a chance to see Bryant Steele, who dropped by practice before the game on Saturday. I also want to thank the Big Ten Network for taking footage of our team on Friday and airing it during the game on Saturday.

I want to remind everyone that we now have multiple ways to follow our swimming and diving program. We have an MSU swimming and diving face-book fan page. We also have my twitter page and we have a channel on you-tube. That has been keeping us pretty busy with things. The feedback I have gotten from many of you though has been very positive.

Next weekend is homecoming. We will be awarding the William Heusner Service Award for the 7th time. This year we have 5 very worthy recipients. Margaret Smith, the Mull family, Shawn Elkins, Sam and Lori Stark-Kasley and John Narcy

If you can, please be sure to make all the festivities that will take place on Friday and Saturday. We are looking forward to having a big crowd on both days.

We did have the Green vs. White meet on Friday night. I want to thank all of our parents who put together a post-meet dinner for the team and their families. In particular, Bonnie and Dan Schmitt, who organized most of it.

For some of you old timers who wish to feel nostalgic about your time at MSU, I want you to know that we have spent most of the last week swimming outside in some real steam. The weather has changed and the Spartans are showing their toughness swimming outside. Some things never change through the years!

Until next time,

Matt G


September 23, 2009


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We have really been fortunate this year with late summer weather. It has been like July on the outdoor pool deck this past week with temperatures in the 80's. Needless to say, our swim team is getting quite a bit of sun and we hope this weather lasts long.

Big news this past week had to be the seventh version of our team scavenger hunt, "The MSU Amazing Race." This year it was the women's team versus the men's team. On the line was total control of the movie selection for the team bus rides this year. The contest came down to the final clue and freshman Alex Pierce stole the victory from the men's team when she found the bonus clue. The final score: women 38, men 37. I guess that means we'll start the ride to Iowa off with "The Notebook".

I wanted to pass along some sad news. I received an e-mail form Don Morey that former MSC swimmer and assistant coach Allyn McCormic passed away on September 19. Al was living in the Saginaw area and had taught phys. ed. and coached swimming there for many years. He swam at MSC from 1948-1952 and served as an assistant coach to Coach McCaffree.

Next Friday at 6:00 PM we kick off the 40th women's and the 88th men's swimming and diving season at Michigan State University. Our annual green and white meet will take place at the IM West building and admission is free. We hope to see you there.

We are also now only three weeks away from homecoming and the big 40-year reunion and celebration of women's swimming and diving. I want to again put up the itinerary for the weekend up:

Friday, Oct. 16
5 p.m. Women's meet vs. Illinois
8 p.m. Reception at the Spartan Hall of Fame Café
Saturday, Oct. 17
9 a.m. Alumni meet at IM West

Please if you have any questions at all - let me know.

I want to let everyone know that we are now posting video of practices and meets weekly on the MSUswim youtube channel. It is a great way to stay up to date with the Spartan swimming and diving program. Of course, you can also get near daily updates by following twitter.com/msuswimcoach

One final reminder that we will be running a Master's/Tri swim clinic this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Any questions - please contact Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu

Until next time,
Matt G


September 16, 2009


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We have been really blessed so far this year with the weather. We have had some gorgeous, sunny days so far. I have taken quite a few pictures which I have posted on twitter if you are interested.

We have had some pretty spirited practices also and the team has had a very good attitude so far. We have had great leadership by our seniors and everyone seems to be very well focused.

I had a great time last Saturday at the football game - final score notwithstanding. I spent the second half meeting with Coach Fetters and his wife. He is looking and doing very well. He expressed to me the desire to say hello to all the old-timers.

Last Thursday I sat Mark Lancaster at the Young Presidents Organization of West Michigan luncheon. Jeff Lambert was also there as a member of the group. I was really impressed with how hard people are working within the confines of a tough economy. I was also very proud to see two alums being part of such a group.

I want to thank Ian Clutten for stopping by and seeing me during practice last Saturday. I want to also thank the Yocum's for feeding me after practice. A big apology to Tom Munley - didn't get over to Breslin but I definitely will be there for the Michigan game.

Reminder about the Masters/Tri swimming clinic we are doing on September 27 at 10:00 a.m. If you have any questions, let me know.

We had some Spartans compete in the Big Shoulders 5K swim:

Kirk Nelson 1st, Scott Carl was 4th, Steve Bargwell 8th in 35-39 age group
Chris Clarke 1st in the 40-44 age group
Jennifer Parks 1st in the 65-69 age group

This year was the race was the USMS open water national championship. We have 3 national champions. Pictures of this event were posted on the MSU alumni Facebook page by Steve Bargwell.

Finally this week, let's all wish the Spartan football team the best against the Irish.

Until next time,

Matt G


September 9, 2009


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I had a real thrill last Saturday to meet Rolf Groseth and his wife Jaynee before the football game. Rolf swam on some great Spartan teams in the 1960's. He was in East Lansing because he is The Vice President for Inter-Campus Affairs at Montana State. His wife is the President and CEO of the Montana State Alumni Association. Rolf was literally wearing 2 different MSU hats on Saturday.

This weekend the Mich State IM/rec sports will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the IM west building. Further information on the celebration can be found http://imsports.msu.edu/50th/

Coincidently, Coach Fetters will be in town this weekend for the Central football game. I am looking forward to seeing him.

I have a big update on the women's reunion on homecoming. Our meet against Illinois on Friday night will begin at 5:00 PM. Following the meet, we will have a reception at the Spartan Hall of Fame Café on Lake Lansing Rd. http://www.halloffamecafes.com/prod/spartan/directions.htm

The reception will begin at 8:00 PM with a buffet and a cash bar.

We will have practice this Saturday outside beginning at 7 AM. If you are in East Lansing for the game, please stop by.

Until next time,

Matt G


September 2, 2009


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Classes have begun here and a new school year is on us. You can only imagine the excitement around campus and within our team now that the campus is alive with activity.

This week I got the chance to go to Dr. Milton Muelder's 101st birthday party on the outdoor pool deck. Many of you may remember "Milt" coming to the pool every day to swim. His swimming has been greatly reduced the past couple years, but he still comes around to say hello. Milt is a true Michigan State University treasure and I am privileged to know him.

I want to congratulate Vicki (LeFevre) White on seeing her son Blair voted as one of the 2009-10 MSU Football captains. That is quite a great honor for her family and it is particularly awesome because Blair started in the program as a walk-on

I want to invite all of you to attend the annual club men's water polo tournament this weekend. Many of the games will be held outside and the weather is supposed to be great.

I want to remind everyone, as I did last week, to please drop by the pool anytime on any football Saturday.

Look for the Spartans swimmers and divers on the football field this Saturday.

Until next time,

Matt G


August 26, 2009


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The campus is alive with the excitement that comes with a new school year. Many of our team members have moved back to East Lansing to being classes on September 2.

We begin a new football season in nine days. The campus is very excited about this year's schedule. I want to remind all of you that if you are tailgating, please stop by the pool during practice. We plan on practicing outside before every home football game except Penn State. I love it when people come by our practice especially alumni.

Our team will be announced with all the other athletic teams at Michigan State before the September 5 football game against Montana State. This is an annual event now and we are excited for the recognition. Look for us if you are at the game.

Speaking of football games, our team will be selling 50/50 tickets at both the University of Michigan game on October 3 and the Western Michigan game on November 7. If you have season tickets, or plan to be at either game, please buy tickets from our team members.

I want to extend a thank you to Jim Pignataro, he Director of the Smith Center. Jim invited me to go to the new faculty orientation luncheon on August 25. I had the opportunity to meet many of the people who make this university so outstanding. I also had the privilege of hearing President Simon address the new employees and she was very inspiring.

I want to remind everyone that we are planning to do another Masters/Tri swimming clinic on September 27. Details will be forthcoming, but if you have any questions, please call Kathleen Milloy at 517-355-4761

I want to wish you all a very happy ending to summer. I am looking forward to the fall and I do hope to see many of you soon

Until next time,

Matt G


August 20, 2009


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I want to start this week by apologizing to Lindsay (Fetters) Dieckman for omitting her two weeks ago from the Spartan fund list. Lindsay has continued on the family tradition of donating back to the program.

I spent last week out west doing a little recruiting.

I sent out the notification letters to our five Heusner Award recipients this week. We will present the award as we traditionally do at the alumni meet on homecoming. Once again this year's recipients are: Shawn Elkins, Sam and Lori Kasley, The Mull family, John Narcy, and Margaret Smith.

A reminder that Homecoming this year begins on October 16 and the Alumni meet will be on the 17th at 9 a.m.

I want to congratulate Dianne (Oliver) Johnson and her husband Phil. Dianne recently told me that she was pregnant and she is due in February. And congrats to Katie (Sophiea) Jeffrey who told me she was pregnant in a wedding thank you note.

I want to thank Steve and Dawn Lintjer for hosting my family on their boat this past weekend in Grand Haven. After the boat ride, we all went to Dan and Bonnie Schmitt's house for a mini Spartan/Buccaneer reunion. Besides the Lintjers and the Schmitt's, Eve Brusie `07 and her family were there. Eve is heading into her second year of med school and she is getting ready for her rotations.

Finally, last time I forgot to thank Katie Sophiea, Ian Clutten and Andrea Yocum for inviting me and Eileen to their weddings. Each wedding for me is a reunion and I get a chance to catch up with so many former swimmers/divers. I really do appreciate being included on the invite list.

We are now exactly two weeks from the beginning of the fall term. There is no better place to be than Michigan State in the fall.

Until next time,

Matt G

August 6, 2009


It has been a long time and for that I am sorry. I had a fairly busy and very rewarding June/July.

I want to remind everyone that I do constantly update my twitter account at www.twittier.com\msuswimcoach also we do have a nice MSU alumni facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=58935241302&ref=ts and we have a group set up for our 40th anniversary of women's swimming on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=101519453562

I want to introduce Tim Loeffler. Tim comes to us from the University of Minnesota. He went to high school at Fenwick in Illinois. Tim has been on the job for a little more than a week. He is going to do very well at MSU.

We have had a great summer of swimming. We went to the World Championship Trials in Indianapolis in the beginning of July. Our men's relays placed in the top 3 twice and Kevin Puskaric had the 12th fastest 100 breaststroke time in the meet. Our women made the top 8 in the 400 Freestyle relay. It was a very exciting opportunity for the Spartan swimmers.

In late July, a huge group of Spartans competed in the Sectional Championships in Oxford, Ohio. That meet was the deepest and fastest sectional in the entire country. It had many Big Ten swimmers in the meet and our team did very well. We had more than 10 World Trial cut times at the meet. It was a great summer of swimming.

The final big meet of the summer is this week at the US Open. Incoming freshman Jacob Jarzen is competing out in Seattle all week long. Good luck to him.

I wanted to take the opportunity to publically thank the Spartan Fund donors for 2008-09 (The fiscal year ended on June 30). We had a very good year of fundraising, despite a tough economy. The number of donors increased from last year and I think that is a testament to the love that all our alumni and boosters have for our program.

Before I list the donors, I want to make a special not of Ms. Cynthia Conway from Grand Rapids who initiated a new endowed scholarship for Men's swimming and Diving in honor of her brother Lee Mulnix. We greatly appreciate her generosity.

The donors (in no particular order) for 2008-09 are:

Daniel & Martha Jamieson
Peter Lundquist
Paul Fetters
Kathleen Pille
Mark Holdridge
Alec & Claire Mull
Mike Darbee
Jean Edwards
Mindy Arbaugh
Susan Eareckson
Tosh Imai
Mr. and Mrs. David Polk
Douglas Rowe
Jim Clemens
James Kent
Thomas & Susan Kirkpatrick
Dan Batchelor
Larry & Anne Edwards
William and Nancy Hargreaves
Michael and Sandra Fuqua
Kevin and Debra Kalmbach
Jim Bradford
Harold White
Ruth & Philip Mayercak
Bob & Patrice Jones
Jack Seibold
James & Mary Yeomans
Kristin Nelsen
Michael & Lisa Habel
Tom Kwasny
Mike Robins
Jack Zatirka
Jim & Dianne Wertz
Norma Stafford
Jane Hoag-DeMarchi
Patrick Saucedo
Annie & Doug MacAskill
Eric Best
Richard Edwards
Kent Johnson
Peter & Laura Rodin
Jason Vadney
Matt Wisniewski
Ian Clutten
David Kasley
Mary Jane & Dan Meyers
Matthew Wallace
Phillip & Barbara Johnson
Margaret Smith
Samuel & Lori Stark Kasley
Coach & Dorothy Fetters
Carmen & Kathleen Saucedo
Richard Laegault
Richard Mull
Patrick & Mary Tyrrell
Tony Grace
Bruce & Kimberly Huber
George & Mary Anne Bird
Bruce & Kimberly Huber
Bob & Ilene Darbee
Manny Noguchi
Geraldine James
Scott & Vander Beek
Michael & Rose Deford
Douglas & Valerie DeMartin
Edwin Joba
Larry Schroeder
Gary Dilley
Dick & Jane Farnsworth
Richard Forrest
Adam Schmitt
Larry Golen
Don & Jacqualine Korten
Matt McNichols
Jim Thurston
George & Lori Kruggel
Elyse Whitcher
Dave Berger
Tom Munley
Michael & Catherine McCarthy
Nancy & Frederick Reeves
Philip & Nancy Decker
Steve Bargewell
Joe Buys
Mike Campbell
Stacie Carr
Tom Garmyn
Mark Lisenby
Michael Munley
Patrick & Mary Anne Munley
Ron Pohlonski
Corrin Popps
Kevin Doak
Kathleen Milloy
Gregg Mihallik
Doug & Elizabeth Peot
Dawn Polk
Robert & Natalie Van Beek
Thank you again for your support. We look forward to having a great 2009-10.

I want to thank all of you for your patience throughout the summer, I plan to be updating regularly now.

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


June 26, 2009


This Sunday at 8 AM We will have the Munley Master's meet. Anyone is invited to put on a suit and participate. Every year this event gets bigger and it is a credit to Tom Munley and Mark Lisenby. They have been the driving force behind the meet. All proceeds go to The John Munley Memorial Scholarship. This year's recipient is Ricky Forrest and he will be at the meet.

One week form this coming Monday, we will be traveling to the world trials in Indianapolis. I invite all of our supporters to come watch the meet. The USA swimming nationals are more than just a meet now-they are a real event. The meet goes July 7-11.

Tomorrow night I will see many old Spartans at Katie Sophiea's wedding. I plan to see just as many on July 11 at Ian Clutten's wedding.

I do hope to see many of you this Sunday. Get out and swim for John's memory.

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


June 11, 2009


I want to thank many of you who have passed along your well wishes to Mike Orris and his family through care pages. Your support has buoyed him so well and he has made incredible progress. Again, Mike's updates on carepages is located at:

http://www.carepages.com/carepages/185083/invitations/557660/3c429fb63ed7cecc65ca68f3a500597aee2c81a5?client_code=default&ipc=miv

We are all hoping for the best.

I want to pass along the information for the annual Munley Masters meet held here at MSU on June 28. The meet begins at 8:00 AM. There is an informational flyer linked on our website. The meet has really become a summer alumni meet and it is a great time. Please make an effort to come. If you have any questions regarding the meet, feel free to ask.

I want to thank the Yocum family and Ajit Sandhu for coming out to the Coaches Road Show event in Novi. I had a great time being part of an awesome event.

I want to thank Adam Schmitt, who became the latest former swimmer/diver to become a member of the Spartan Fund. The end of the month marks the end of our fiscal year and I plan to list all of our donors for 2008-09 in early July.

This week begins our summer sports camps and we are getting excited about that.

Hope you all are enjoying the beginning of summer. We are in full summer mode right now. This morning we had more than 50 kids in the outdoor pool at Spartan swim club practice. The weather in the morning has been a little chilly, but it is nice to be outdoors.

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


June 5, 2009


I apologize for the lack of up-dates. I have been more busy the past couple weeks than I thought. I wanted to get one update to you all though. Last weekend, Mike Orris'98 had a horrible bike accident. He is currently in the hospital and he has a Care Page set up, if you cut and paste the below link into your browser, it should take you there. You have to register (it's free) and then you can get updates on how he is doing.

http://www.carepages.com/carepages/185083/invitations/557660/3c429fb63ed7cecc65ca68f3a500597aee2c81a5?client_code=default&ipc=miv

Whether you were on Mike's team or not, please log on and give Mike and his family some support. This is going to be very hard on his family and it is times like these that the Spartan swimming and diving community can come together to help one of our own.

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


May 21, 2009


Didn't think I would have much, but I did have a pretty interesting week.

Let's begin with our academic report from the spring semester.

We had five team members with a straight 4.0 semester - Jordan Jackson, Alycia Mokedanz, Sarah Morey, Mark Rogers and Brian Rockwell.

The women's team semester GPA was a 3.18 and the team cum is now at 3.17.

The men's team semester GPA was a 3.10 and the team cum is 3.22 The 3.22 is the highest the men's team has been since I came to MSU in 1997.

By the way, and I am doing this strictly for Eric's benefit, the women divers finished the spring semester with a 3.49 cum GPA.

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get a couple of phone calls from alumnae. The first call came from the girls of 2003. I was happy to hear from all of them from their reunion in Tampa, Fla. It was fun to speak to them all on speaker phone and they all promised me that they are sending checks to the Spartan Fund soon.

Almost immediately after receiving the call from Florida, I got another call from the girls of 2005-06 who were out in East Lansing for Andrea Yocum's bachelorette party. My best guess is that that phone call was initiated by Alicia Copestick.

I was very happy to share in my own way with both celebrations.

This week marked the opening of the outdoor pool and we have had quite a bit of sun. Summer is right around the corner.

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


May 14, 2009


Commencement was last week. I took some video of the annual Friday reception at the Smith Center. You can find the video at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLZcmAj1nIY

It was great to have one more "good time" with Marcus Poteete's Mom, Dad, uncle, aunt and grandmother. I got to know them last summer in Omaha. It was particularly cool to see his sister come out to support her brother. I also got to see Mark Roger's parents, Julie Kahn's parents and Alison Johnson's parents. I saw Danielle Williams with her entire family and Alycia Mokedanz was there also. They were all deservedly proud of their kids getting bachelor's degree's at Michigan State University.

Let me say for the last time how proud we all are of Mark Rogers. He had so much hardware hanging around his neck that it was hard to see his actual gown. An incredible student, who just happened to be an athlete, Mark is destined to be successful and we are privilege to contribute to that success.

Congratulations to Michael Van Beek who just accepted an offer to officer candidate school with the US Air Force. I spoke to him about it yesterday and he seems very excited about the opportunity.

Congratulations to Kate Duncombe for graduating from Nursing school this month.

Homecoming 2009 is the weekend of October 16-18. This year, we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary season of Women's Swimming and Diving at Michigan State. Now as a disclaimer, I know that there was women's swimming and diving at Michigan State long before 1970, however according to the athletic department record, 1970-71 was the first official season of women's varsity.

We are hoping that we can get a huge presence of women's swimmers and divers here. We have a home meet against Illinois the Friday of homecoming and then we'd like to have a reception after the meet. Then we'll have our annual alumni meet on the morning of the 17th.

I have had an e-mail conversation with Jane Hoag about homecoming weekend and she is coming. Of course I have floated the idea past JP already and she is excited too. My hope is that all of you can come and then get after your teammates to come with you.

Please note that we will continue with our regular homecoming festivities also. The alumni meet will proceed unchanged. We are just hoping that we can get a huge contingency of women's swimmers and divers to attend the entire weekend.

For the Spartan mother's out there: Happy belated Mother's Day.

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


May 7, 2009


To start this week, I want to apologize for omitting Liz Whitcher's wedding a few weeks ago. Liz is getting married on August 22. The fact that I get updates from people doesn't bother me at all. I am sorry for omitting things, but I promise to get them in here if you send along information.

The most exciting news of this past week is that Dr. Milton Muelder is back swimming again in the IM west pool. Milt has been a lap swimmer for a long time and he has spent some time away from the pool. Now that he is close to his 101st birthday, he has been cleared to swim again. Great news and it is a pleasure for me to see him every day again.

We have a number of people going through commencement ceremonies this Friday: Alison Johnson, Julie Kahn, Mark Rogers and Marcus Poteete. I wish all the best to each of them and their families.

That is about it for this week. With exams wrapping up, we start focusing to the summer and long course season. A reminder that there will be a number of Spartans competing at the US National Championships in Indianapolis on July 7-11. If you live in the area, please come by and watch the swim meet (Michael Phelps will be there also).

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


April 30, 2009


We had our banquet this past Sunday honoring our 10 departing seniors. It marked the 61st time Spartan seniors have been awarded the Golden Spike. What a great group of people. Full coverage of the banquet and all the award winners is on our website. You can also see the video of the Golden Spike ceremony at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I27olMM5Ya8

I want to thanks Jack Seibold and Tom Munley for coming to the banquet.

A reminder that you can get up-dated on our program now on twitter at:

http://www.twitter.com\msuswimcoach

I made an omission a while back when I reported results from the Master's state meet: I left out Dawn Polk. She graciously reminded me that she also swam well. So I wanted to pass that along.

Speaking of Master's swimming, Tom Munley reminded me that our annual Master's open long course swim meet is on Sunday, June 28 at the IM west outdoor pool. The meet will be gin at 8:00 AM. Please if you are interested or you have any questions, let me know and I will point you in the right direction.

I have two Hall of Fame announcements:

The first I received today from Don Morey who told me that Howard Patterson was elected to the Saginaw County Sports Hall Of Fame. Howard was a 1945 Arthur Hill grad, state champ, MSC varsity, and 1948 Olympic team member. A November banquet in Saginaw will officially induct them. This Hall of Fame is one of the best run in the state.

The second I found out from Momma Munley, who stopped by the pool. In our hour long talk she told me that Tom Munley will be inducted this September in the Portage Central High School Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to both Howard and Tom.

It was very good to see Mrs. Munley on Tuesday of this week. She was in East Lansing for work but as usual she found time to stop by the pool to say hello.

Next week is exam week and next Friday is commencement.

Just know that I haven't forgotten you JPM and I never will.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


April 23, 2009


One final reminder that our banquet is this Sunday (4/26) at noon in the stadium tower. If anyone has an interest in attaending, please e-mail Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu

I often use this space to describe great Spartans so this week I would like to talk about Tony Grace.

Tony came by to see me this past Saturday. He flew to Michigan for the weekend to see friends and family. He told me about his job in New Mexico and he told me that he didn't have a lot of money. In fact, he told me he spent the first month in New Mexico eating nothing but black beans and eggs because he couldn't afford anything more than that. At the end of the conversation, he pulled out his wallet and handed me a $100 bill saying, "here is something for the team, spend it where you need it the most."

I want to thank Tony-a four year walk-on here at MSU for making his first donation to our program. Tony is just one of many of our alumni who care deeply enough about our program to donate money. I want you all to know, as always, that I appreciate your support.

On Sunday we will present our annual awards. We now have 7 of the 14 awards named after great names in our program: Jack Seibold, Jennifer Parks, John Narcy, Kevin Zielinski, John Munley and Jason Vadney. Next week, I will provide the full list.of winners next week.

Recruiting is finishing up and it looks like we will have a very good class of Freshmen this September.

I want to remind everyone that our spring football game is this Staurday at 1:30 PM. It is always a fun event and it looks like we are going to have great weather. If you plan to attend, please let me know. I am going with my kids and I would love to meet up with you during the day.

We are now a little more than a week away from exam week. It is hard to believe how fast time goes by.

It is also hard to believe that on Sunday I am going to say goodbye to 10 incredible Spartans as they receive their golden spike.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


April 16, 2009


It has been a while and I am sorry for that. I have had a very exciting 3 weeks. Last week I had an opportunity to return to New York and spend time with my family for Easter. I also had the opportunity to attend both Final Four games in Detroit. I know many of our alumni attended the Final Four also.

I want to extend my congratulations to Coach Izzo and the entire men's basketball program. Coach Izzo has been the standard bearer for our department. He sets the bar so high for us all and his tireless work has transformed our department. Everyone knows Michigan State University and for that I, and many of my colleagues are grateful.

The Final Four run made me particularly happy for my old boss Richard Bader who has been a mainstay with the basketball program now for nine years.

Back to swimming news. Our banquet is going to be held a week from Sunday, April 26 at 12:00 p.m. It will be held on the fourth floor of the stadium tower and if anyone is interested in attending, please contact Kathleen Milloy and she will provide the details.

We have begun preparation for the Long Course season, our kids have committed very well through this spring and many of them are training very hard. Our goal is to take a big squad of kids to the World Championship Team Trials in Indianapolis in July.

We have a big summer of weddings coming up also. Katie Sophiea ties the knot in Late June. I am planning to attend Ian Clutten's wedding here in East Lansing in early July and Andrea Yocum's wedding is scheduled for late July in Novi.

Should be a busy summer.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


March 26, 2009


First off this week is a huge congratulation from our program to both basketball programs here at MSU. Of course it comes as no shock to see Coach Izzo lead his team to the Sweet 16, but seeing the women earn their way to the Sweet 16, that was something special. As usual it is very exciting at MSU in March.

I would also like to congratulate the Cal Bears, who won the NCAA championship last week. The meet came down to the last relay. I am wishing all of our fellow Big Ten men's teams the best of luck this week.

Exciting news this week is that Chris and Laura (Atkinson) Koerner had a baby girl this week. Samantha Hartley Koerner was born on March 24. We all wish them the best in their up-coming sleepless nights.

This week we have a five boys traveling to the USA swimming sectional championships in Indianapolis this weekend. They are all shooting for some early long course times.

As we move toward the long course season, I think many of you will be interested in knowing that Capital Area Swim Team will be changing its name to Spartan Swim Club. That means the MSU swimmers who stay in East Lansing this summer will be representing the Spartan Swim Club at the Nationals and Sectionals. This has been in the works for a while and it is something we endorse in order to try and promote swimming in the Mid-Michigan area.

Finally, we are in the process of putting together another Master's swimming clinic in April. So please look out for that soon.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


March 19, 2009


I want to begin this week with an update of our signed recruits. First off is Josh Geschwendt who won the 100 butterfly last weekend at the Michigan High School State meet. His team also won the team state title. Jacob Jarzen won the 100 backstroke title in Illinois and he won the 200 backstroke at the Midwest Sectional meet in Deerfield, WI. Lauren Baisden swam very well at the Pennsylvania High School State meet. Lauren will be competing at the Y-nationals in Ft. Lauderdale in April.

Last week, almost as a footnote I mentioned our banquet date. Our team banquet will be on April 26th in the fourth floor club area of Spartan Stadium. The banquet will begin at 12:00 PM. If you have any questions concerning the banquet, please contact Kathleen at milloy@ath.msu.edu.

This week we have Sean Costello competing in the USA Swimming Junior National meet in Orlando, Fl. He will be competing unattached and his best event is the 200 butterfly.

That is all for the week. We had a beautiful St Patrick's Day this week with a 70 degree day in East Lansing. We are beginning to put together the plans for our spring and summer long course season. We have quite a few team members staying this summer and we are looking forward to it.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


March 12, 2009


I want to wish our divers best of luck at the NCAA Regionals in Minneapolis this weekend. You can follow along the results on our web page.

At this time of the year, swimming coaches get obsessed with times: What is going to make the NCAA's? How many records did we break? What percentage of drops did we have for the season? How did we perform relative to last year? I naturally was in the middle of this thinking last week when it was broken by Matt McNichols telling me about a job he had accepted with Kraft foods in Chicago. It was at that point; I decided that this week, I would provide an update on our seniors of the past 2 years and how amazing their job opportunities have been despite the recession.

Start with Matt McNichols, like I said, he has just accepted a position with Kraft foods in Chicago. Matt turned down 2 other job offers with Conagra and General Mills. Matt Torres is on the verge of accepting a position in packaging also. Jason Vadney has been employed by State Farm Insurance since his graduation last year. Adam Schmitt has a good job at the Founders brewery in Grand Rapids. Tony Grace has a great job in New Mexico at a tire refurbishing company. Danny Schemmel is in graduate school and doing a lot of coaching at the University of Arizona.

Michael Van Beek looks to be going in Officer Candidate School with the US Army. Mark Rogers will be working with the computer engineering firm he interned with last summer in Washington, DC. Kris Olszewski will be finishing his course work next year and Marcus Poteete is in the process of finding a job.

Alison Johnson accepted a position with Wells Fargo bank back in February. Heather Kiluk and Julie Kahn are finishing up course work. Marlys Fuqua is getting ready to apply to graduate schools Alycia Mokedanz is planning graduate school at the University of Florida. Danielle Williams is also preparing for graduate school, but she is going to take some time off first

A very impressive group and one of which we can all take pride. There are many times that I lose perspective on what our mission is here at MSU, these kids accomplishments are so incredible more so than any time or score.

I would like to offer my condolences to the family of Lewis Michaud. "Louie" passed away last month. He was a varsity letter winner in diving in 1952, 53, 54. At the 1954 Big Ten Championships, he placed 6th in diving. All of our best to his family.

Hope all is well-want to remind everyone that the spring football game this year is on April 25th. We may have something planned with our program in conjunction with the game. Also, our banquet is on April 26th at 12:00 noon.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


March 5, 2009


We are back from the two week's of the Big-10 Championships. We had some very good performances and I am hoping that you all followed along on our website. Just for future reference, and I should have mentioned this three weeks ago, you can follow the meet live on the Big-10 network's website. I know that the coaches in the Big-10 are pushing very hard for more live media coverage. I am pretty sure that next year the meet will have more media outlets that make it much easier to follow.

I think you all know that we did not finish the way we wanted in the championship, but we did have a very good season. We broke a number of records and we have many top ten performances. The plan for 2008-09 was to give our team multiple opportunities to swim fast and dive well and we did just that. We have grown up very much this year and I am very hopeful that we can build on that success in 2010.

I want to thank Steve Bargwell for putting together the MSU swimming alumni group on facebook. It has been great to see many of you on there and I have been able to keep up with many of your activities. Of course it is always interesting to see the pictures of how well behaved our alumni were while they were students at MSU.

I have moved further into cyberspace this week by getting my own page on twitter. My username is msuswimcoach. I invite you to follow my page and I will up-date it as often as I can.

Finally this week I want to remind all of you that our program exists in large part because of the dedication and generosity of our alumni and boosters. Your donations are the bedrock upon which this program rests. This is a very difficult time economically and I am fully aware that people's budgets are tight. However, I am asking that you please renew your membership in the Spartan Fund. If you have never been a member of the Spartan Fund, please donate anything you can to our program.

Spring is around the corner and I am ready for it. In fact, I am really looking forward to the outdoor pool opening up.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


February 13, 2009


We had our final dual meet of the year against the U of M men on Sunday. Results are on our web-page. This year we had a number of people help us in our home meet management. I would like to thank them all:

Officials: Richard Mull, Brian Fickies, Joel Eddy, Will Rogers-Snodgrass.

Computer table: Damon Robertson, Eve Julian, Celeste Fuqua

Meet announcer: Jeff Barnes

I want to go a little further with Jeff Barnes. Jeff is our sports information intern. He has worked tirelessly for our program this year. He has been great in updating our website and keeping after me to stay on task. He has also taken a real interest in our program. Most of what you have seen/read this season is because of him. He is a very talented person and his future is very bright. My only hope is that he gets into public relations/communications and out of sports info so he can make a lot more money.

I would like to take the time this week to announce our 2009 Heusner Service award winners. It is hard to believe that this is the 7th year we will be awarding this honor at the alumni meet. For many of you who may not know, the award is named after Bill Heusner who was the meet referee at every MSU home swim meet for 40 consecutive years.

Our winners this year are:

Margaret Smith
Shawn Elkins
Samuel and Lori Stark-Kasley
John Narcy
The Richard Mull Family

All five recipients are very deserving and I am honored to give them the award this year on homecoming.

Remember that homecoming this year is October 16-18. The alumni meet will be held at 9:00 AM at the Charles McCaffree pool.

I will be on hiatus for the next 2 weeks while I am away at the Big Ten Championships. We have had a very good year this year and we have swum and dove well. Our team is very excited about the Big Ten meet and we are planning on doing well.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


February 5, 2009


Last week, I thanked Mr. and Mrs. Tuse for hosting our entire team at their house for lunch. This week, I want to do the same to Mr. and Mrs. Skandalaris for hosting our entire team at their house after the Oakland meet.

Our meet at Oakland was close for both the women and the men. Results are posted on our website. The night before, the women competed against Michigan and those results are also on the website.

Last Friday, we had six senior women say goodbye to the Charles McCaffree pool on senior day. This week we have four men say their final goodbye in their last home meet against Michigan, on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The class of 2009 has come from different points, stayed together and improved themselves for four years. They are four great representatives of Michigan State University.

Kris Olszewski, from Torun, Poland. Kris is a Telecommunications major and he has been the distance stalwart for the Spartans over the last 4 years. He came to MSU in September of 2004 while he was visiting cousins in Northville. He became a Spartan and he never looked back. He has improved in all of his swims and he has been a consistent hard worker.

Marcus Poteete, from Santa Cruz, Calif. Marcus is a Telecommunications major. Marcus has been a Big Ten finalist in the 100 butterfly and he has been a very versatile swimmer for our team. In 2007, he qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials. Marcus has gone from walk-on to one of the better swimmers in the history of Michigan State. I thank Iian Mull for being so persistent in urging me to give Marcus a chance. Listening to Iian was the best decision I have ever made as head coach at MSU.

Mark Rogers from Beverly Hills. Mark is a computer engineering major and he has been a solid sprinter for Michigan State. Mark has interned the past 2 summers honing his engineering skills. He already has a job working in Washington, D.C. I joke with him all the time that he will be the guy responsible for catching Osama Bin Laden.

Michael Van Beek from Grosse Pointe. Mike is a criminal justice major. Mike is Mr Spartan and I am convinced he could pose as Sparty. He walked-on the team in 2005 and he has worked, incredibly hard to become a Big Ten level swimmer. I often joke that I wish I could be with him when he takes down his first "perp" may God have mercy on that poor guy.

In all, the Class of 2009 consists of four good people who will go on to be come great men. I feel priviledged to have the opportunity to coach all of them.

Please remember about our meet on this Sunday at 3:00 against the No. 2 team in the country: Michigan. Please note that the diving will begin at 1:30 p.m. Seniors will be honored at 2:50 p.m. The swimming will begin at 3 p.m.

Until next time,

Matt Gianiodis


January 29, 2009


I want to start this week by thanking Mr. and Mrs. Tuse for hosting our entire team at their house for lunch last Saturday afternoon. The team was treated to a homemade Italian feast. In fact, many of them over-ate a little bit and they had some issues in the last session of the invitational. I do want to thank the Tuse's however for their hospitality.

We did participate in the Shamrock Invitational last weekend and we had some mixed results. We improved off of the times from our meet against Purdue, but we still weren't as sharp as we'd like to be.

This week we do have our final women's home meet against Michigan on Friday night at 5:00 p.m. Our program says goodbye to six outstanding student-athletes. As is with every class, these six women have faced many highs and lows over the span of there careers here at MSU. Their contributions to the team and the program are many and they will all be missed.

Marlys Fuqua, from Fairport, NY. Marlys is a marketing major and she has been the distance stalwart for the Spartans over the last 4 years. She has tirelessly worked to improve her swimming and she has worked equally hard academically. Last season Marlys was a member of the varsity record setting 800 Free relay.

Alison Johnson, from Rochester Hills. Alison is an economics major and she has been a versatile swimmer for the Spartans. Alison has contributed in almost every event through four years (except the backstroke events).

Julie Kahn from Saline. Julie is a psychology major and she has been the anchor of the sprint group for MSU. She has spent every summer here at Michigan State, training hard to get better. She owns top ten times in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

Heather Kiluk from Libertyville, IL. Heather is an advertising major and she has been one of the most versatile swimmers in the history of Michigan State University. She is the varsity record holder in the 200 and 400 IM, as well as the 800 Free Relay. She has been a Big-10 finalist and she is one of the hardest workers in program history.

Alycia Mokedanz, from Pickering, Ontario. Alycia is a kinesiology major and sh has been very tough battling through numerous injuries while continually diving at a high level. She is a Big Ten finalist and she has scored many points in dual meets for Michigan State.

Danielle Williams, from Dorchester, Ontario. Danielle is the longest tenured senior on the team after taking an injury red-shirt year after shoulder surgery. She has been a multiple Big Ten finalist and she has won many meets in her 5 years in East Lansing. She has also finalled at numerous Canadian national championships. She has continued in the MSU tradition of highly decorated female divers.

All six women will be missed and they have all been great Spartans.

One final note, we do have our last away meet on Saturday against Oakland in Rochester Hills at 1:00 p.m.

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


January 22, 2009


We had our annual tilt against Purdue this past weekend. The meet results and a meet recap are posted on our website.

I had the chance to see many alumni who were in town for Ian Clutten's engagement party. I saw Dave Habel, Matt Wisniewski, Lindsey Rodin, and Erika Templeton. I also got to see Chad Wilson and his dad on their way to the MSU basketball game. I also saw Mike Darbee in the crowd. Of course after seeing all of the alumni make it to the meet, I was even more disappointed by our performance.

Our men's meet against Michigan has been moved again. We had rescheduled it to Saturday, February 7. However, due to a club water polo tournament, we had to move it again to Sunday, February 8 at 3:00 PM. That meet will be our senior day meet, so please try to make it out if you can.

Our women's season finale will be one week from this Friday also against Michigan.

This Friday we do have a three session meet with Denver and West Virginia at Notre Dame. If you live near South Bend, we would love to see you at the meet.

Until next time,
Matt Gianiodis


January 13, 2009


Happy New Year, it has been a while and I apologize for that. My intention was to have one final update back in December, however I was affected by horrible stomach flu, the same flu many of our team members had. Then I had to start my holiday shopping and then we were off to Florida.

A couple of important things to begin this week:

Our meet against Purdue is on Saturday at 12:00 PM. The Spartans play a basketball game against Illinois at 4:00. So if you plan to come to the game, please stop by the pool.

Next week we have a four team, three session meet at South Bend. The meet is on the 23 and 24th. You can check our website for the start times

Our senior women's meet is against Michigan on January 30 and the men are scheduled to have their senior meet against Michigan on February 7.

I want to congratulate our men's and women's team on their academic report for the fall semester. The men finished the semester at 3.17 and their cum gpa is 3.24. The women finished the fall at 3.18 and their cum is 3.17. Both teams did very well and in particular our freshman women finished the semester with the highest gpa of the four women's classes-not an easy feat.

We had 5 team members get a 4.0 semester: Brian Rockwell (who has a 4.0 cumulative gpa), Brian Akers, Jordan Jackson, Brooke Sauchak and Kerry Sodonis

Now, concerning our training trips. Eric took the divers out to Hawaii and they had a good training camp from December 14-December 23. They got very lucky with the weather on the mainland on their trip home and they got home safely in time for the holiday.

The swimmers went off to Florida on December 28 and we took 2 full days to get to Delray Beach. We stopped at the University of Tennessee and the University of Florida and I would like to thank their coaching and aquatic staff's for being so accommodating to our team.

When we were in Florida, we spent New Years Day in Orlando to watch the Capital One Bowl. Man did we have a great time. Before the game, Mr. and Mrs. Wertz hosted the team at a tailgate. They fed well over 50 people and we are very thankful for that.

We stayed in Delray Beach until January 7th and then we traveled home with stops at Georgia Tech and Louisville. Again both set's of coaching and aquatic staff's were very accommodating. I had the chance to see Roland McDonald, who coaches diving at George Mason, at Georgia Tech.

We got home on the afternoon of January 9th and the team was very thankful to get off the bus.

I want to thank Tom Nelson, who served as our driver on the entire trip. We travelled well more than 3700 miles and he was as professional as it gets.

We are now little more than a month-and-a half away from the Big Ten meets. Our team trained very hard through the month long break from classes and we have 3 straight weeks of meets to try and get ready for February. We hope to see many of you in the next month.

Until next time,
Matt G



December 11, 2008


Well the semester is pretty much over and next week I should have an update on how our team did academically. Last weekend marked the halfway point of the college swimming and diving season. Most of the teams in the country have had at least one invitational and the nation's top times report is pretty well set for the spring. Our times have held up really well. Full top times can be accessed at usaswimming.org.

On Sunday, Eric and the divers will head to Honolulu for their diving training camp. They will be in Hawaii until December 23. The swimmers will stay in East Lansing until December 18 and then depart for Florida on December 28.

The swimmers will get to Delray Beach, Florida on December 30 in the afternoon. We will be staying at the Residence Inn, 1111 East Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483. We will train at the Aqua Crest Pool, 2503 Seacrest Blvd., Delray Beach 33444. If you are in the area, please stop by and meet the team.

On January 1, we are going to travel to Orlando for a meet against Trinity Prep Aquatics and Limestone College (SC) at Trinity Prep High School. The meet will begin at 8:30 AM. Following the meet, the team will travel to the Citrus Bowl to watch the Spartans and the Bulldogs in the Capital One bowl. We are looking forward to this trip and we are hoping to use the trip to connect to our alumni and boosters. If you have plans to go to the bowl game, please let me know.

It has been a great semester for our program. We have a team that I am very proud of and I know that they are great representatives of Michigan State University. I am hoping that your holiday season has gotten off to a good start.

Until next time,
Matt G


December 5, 2008


As we get through the last week of school, I am reminded of how fast time flies. It is hard to believe that it is almost 2009 and we are more than half-way through the season.

Next week is exam week and I am sure many of you remember the stress that goes along with taking finals and training. I am hoping that both our teams make their academic goals. It is this time of the year that I am so thankful for the Smith Center and Student-Athlete Support Services.

This week, I want to include a mid season status report. Through the first half of the season we have:

• Had 5 divers make their NCAA Regional cut.
• Bettered 7 varsity records
• Had 36 top ten swimming performances.
• Made 7 World Time Trial cuts
• Made 3 NCAA B cuts

Besides the above, most importantly is that we have swum and dove consistently well since the season began on October 11. In my 12 seasons at MSU, I have seen some very dedicated individuals. However this year, I have seen a group of dedicated individuals. A team that is very focused on trying to be great individually and as a team. This team understands what it takes to be successful in the Big Ten. Personally, I am looking forward to the next half of the season and well beyond that into next summer.

I want to remind everyone that we have a dual meet against Ball State next Saturday (December 13) at 2:00 PM. If you plan to attend the Spartan basketball game that night, come by early and watch the meet.

Until next time,
Matt G


November 26, 2008


I wanted to start this week by thanking all of you who came to the invitational at Northwestern this past weekend. The Spartans had a great meet and we had some awesome support from all our fans. There were so many parents and family members who made the trip also.

I want to especially thank Jim and Marcia McNichols, Matt McNichols, Tony Grace, Matt Torres, Mike Rigali and Danny Schemmel who came to the hotel after the Saturday night session and hung out with us for a couple hours. I also got the chance to see Matt Wisniewski and Lindsay Rodin at the meet on Sunday.

I want to thank the Northwestern staff for putting together a good meet and being very accommodating to our team. From day 1 this season, we focused sharply on that meet and the Northwestern staff was very helpful in helping our kids get to their goals. We swam and dove really well and the full results are on our website.

I want to particularly congratulate Marcus Poteete (100 Fly) and Kevin Puskaric (200 brst) who at the time of this writing have times ranked in the top 5 nationally.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to acknowledgewhat makes me thankful:

• A great team of Spartans who practice hard everyday and work in the classroom.
• Great parents who understand the meaning of support.
• Alumni and boosters who unconditionally support our program year in and year out.
• Administrators at Michigan State who do everything they can to provide an environment to allow us to succeed. Mark Hollis is an incredible Spartan and he is working hard to make Michigan State the national model of a successful athletic department.
• Nancy Wing, Richard Mull, Damon Robertson, Brian Fickies, Joel Eddy, Richard Bader, John Narcy, Tylor Fick, and many others who give their time and talents to our program.

Please look this week on our website for an update on the six Spartans in the Class of 2013.

I have had many questions regarding where we are going for our winter break. We will be arriving at Delray Beach Florida on December 30 and we will be staying there until January 7. We are planning to go to the Spartan bowl game on January 1 in either Tampa of Orlando. We most certainly hope to see many of you down there if you are close to the Ft Lauderdale area.

I most certainly hope that you have a great Thanksgiving.

Until next time,
Matt G


November 19, 2008


I wanted to get something out to all of you about where we are staying for the Northwestern invitational. We will be at the Holiday Inn North Shore, 5300 West Touhy, Skokie, IL 60077. Put the full address for the purposes of mapquest.

The meet schedule is as follows: Friday/Saturday 10 AM prelims, 5 PM finals; Sunday 9 AM prelims and 3 PM finals. I am hoping to see many of our Chicago land alumni at the meet/hotel. We plan a very informal get-together at the hotel on Saturday night. Please let me know if you'd like to attend.

This past Friday we had a dual meet with GVSU at Jenison High School. I would like to thank the people at Jenison for hosting a great meet. We had a huge crowd and many people came to watch the meet from the surrounding area. I saw many of our alumni there including Adam Schmitt, Stacey Ketchum and Andrea Stewart. Special thanks to Andrea for filming the meet.

We swam and dove very well against GVSU and the full results are on the website.

Busy week this week getting everyone read for the invitational. So I am going to keep this short. Next week, I will provide an update on our fall recruiting.

Congratulations to Joe Baum and the men's soccer program: Regular season Big Ten champs and Big Ten tournament champs. Well deserved championships for a great Spartan.

Good luck to Coach Dantonio and the Spartans at Penn State this week.

Until next time,
Matt G


November 10, 2008


My freshman year in college I took calculus taught by a Franciscan Friar named Fr Gerald McCaffrey. I don't remember anything from that class other than he would always tell the class, "no matter what else you do, do whatever you can to be one of the good guys." This past Friday, we all lost one of the real good guys when Coach Rick Edwards passed away succumbing to pancreatic cancer.

I joked with Rich Mull yesterday that Rick had to be "one of the good guys" because if he wasn't, his personality would have restricted him from having any friends at all. I met Rick more than 10 years ago and like most people I know, I could not stand him. In truth it took me more than three years to finally feel as though the 2 of us were friends. I remember when I relayed that to him a few years ago and he was shocked, telling me that he felt as though we were friends from the beginning.

We worked together in the summer coaching the Spartan swim club/CAST and it was relationship of coaching together in the summer on the outdoor pool deck. I was always in awe of Rick's commitment. I was in awe that he made no difference between the Olympic trial qualifier and the state meet qualifier. I will always remember the day he compared the NCAA championships to the Capital Area Swim League Championships with a complete straight face. For Rick, swimming was about achieving excellence no matter what level and the coach's responsibility was to do everything he/she could to make that happen.

Rick was never the life of the party. He was an expert in frustrating people with his stubbornness. He was a taskmaster and after speaking to some of his former students at Eastern High School who live in my neighborhood he can best be described as demanding. His ability to never waver was what truly made him special.

I learned very early on to never debate with Rick, because I was never going to win. I also learned that if you needed someone's help, he was the first person to call. I anticipate at his memorial service on Friday, the church will be packed with people of all ages. That I think would make him smile. To see the impact he had on so many different people, would have made him satisfied that he did a good job. And he did do a great job: all the time.

For me, I will always see the guy who came through the pool door in a funny looking hat, wearing a three stooges shirt, in a huff, running about 10 minutes late (straight from the golf course). Never starting the conversation with a good morning or hello, always a "what is plan for today?" while looking at the water.

I will always remember the ridiculously impossible history quizzes on the 4th of July that I scored less the 20% with a Masters degree in History. I will always remember the look of pride he had when he gave out Quality Dairy donuts to the kids after practice.

I will always remember how overdressed he came to our dual meets as a meet official. Rick wore a jacket, sweater and tie staring across the pool at his counterpart official who was wearing shorts and a white golf shirt.

I will always remember that no matter how angry he got with me, how disappointed his was with one of my decisions, he always gave to MSU swimming because he believed in the value of our program.

We definitely lost one of the good guys last Friday and the world is a much lesser place. For me, the outdoor pool deck will never be the same and summer won't be as fun.

Good bye Coach/Professor Edwards you will be sorely missed.

Until next time,
Matt G


November 6, 2008


First off this week is confirmation for all of you that you did see the outdoor pool and our women's swimming team during the broadcast of the football game on Saturday. ESPN came out to the pool and took shots of the team warming up in the outdoor pool for our meet against Houston on Friday. I received a few e-mails about the 15 seconds of exposure on national television. I will say it was a first for our team to have its meet result announced on ESPN.

Speaking of Houston-we won our first meet of the year and by no means did it come easy. Houston is a great, albeit not very deep, team. We had 3 pool records broken including a 200 fly time that was the 5th fastest in the country. They made it even more difficult by going 1-2 in both boards. But we were resilient and we had great meets by Heather, Stephanie, Erinn, Julie and our sprinters. I give a lot of credit to Houston who could have easily won that meet.

We are off until Nov 14 when we compete against GVSU at Jenison High School. The meet begins at 6:00. I may be published as different times in other places. But the meet does begin at 6:00.

It is looking pretty good that the Spartans will be playing in Florida for the bowl game on January 1. Since we will be down there at the same time, we are making arrangements to go to the game. I know we have quite a few swimming alumni in Florida, so when we have our plans all set, I will pass along where we'll be and we can have a swimming and diving get together. That is not to say that I do not hope, as we all do, that the Spartans make it to Pasadena by winning the rest of their games.

Please do not forget that we are planning on having a get together for our alumni and boosters at Northwestern in little more than 2 weeks. I will have full details of the what, where, and when of the reception in the next couple weeks.

I said last week and I want to remind everyone that the swimmers and divers are selling 50/50 tickets at the Purdue game this weekend. The game starts at noon and our practice ends at 10:00 AM. SO our kids will be out maybe a little late. I am asking you to hold off until you see a swimmer or diver coming. Thanks.

Here is hoping that you are having a good fall.

Until next time,
Matt G


October 30, 2008


I want to begin the week by offering huge congratulations to the MSU football program for winning in Ann Arbor for the first time since 1990. I remember watching that game in my apartment during my Junior year at St. Bonaventure University. So it has obviously been a long time and we think it is great for Coach D, his staff and his players.

On Saturday we had our annual meet with Iowa. Their men came to town fresh off a win against Wisconsin and their women had already beaten Nebraska. The women's meet came down to the last relay and unfortunately we lost. The men's meet was a little more lopsided. Despite the losing both meets, we did have good performances in the meet. Full results are up on our website.

This Friday we have a women's meet with Houston and the start time on that is 3:00 PM. If you have time before trick-or-treating, please stop by the pool.

As I said last week, Saturday is the final day of the outdoor pool for 2008. I want to invite all of you to watch our seniors take one final plunge off the 10 meter tower at 10:00 AM on Saturday morning. Many of you I am sure remember your last outdoor work-out as a Spartan. I am quite sure that as you move further away from that day, the temperature has become colder and colder. By the way, the forecast temperature for 10 AM on Saturday is about 31 degrees.

I want to remind everyone that the Spartan Swimmers and divers will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets before the Purdue game on November 8. Please if you are planning to buy tickets that game, get them from a team member.

In two weeks we have the early signing date and we are looking forward to adding a few Spartans to the Class of 2013. Recruiting has gone really well so far this year and we feel good about how things will go early next month.

I want to also remind all of our Chicago area alumni and boosters that we are planning a get together on Saturday, November 22. We plan to start it following the Saturday night session of the Northwestern Invitational. I am really hoping to see many of you there.

That is about it for everything this week. I want to remind all of you that if you are on campus the next two weeks for football games, please stop by and say hello.

Until next time,
Matt G


October 23, 2008


To start this week, let's brag about our team's making the CSCAA Academic All-American team list. The men were 18th overall and number 1 in the Big Ten Conference and the Women were 45th overall and 3rd in the Big Ten. Of course I am very proud of the hard work of our team. I am also very proud of Jeremy Flynn, our academic coordinator, who works incredibly hard for our kids. This ranking and success is a real tribute to Jeremy.

By the way, this past Saturday Jeremy's wife just gave birth to an 8 lbs 5 oz, 22 inch baby boy: Levi Thomas William Flynn. A big congrats to Jeremy and his expanded family. I know many of you know Jeremy and I am sure he would enjoy a note letting him know how you are doing.

I want to say thanks to all the parents who traveled to Champaign for our 2 day dual meet against the Illini. It took our team a little while to get started coming off the bus. We were pretty sluggish on Thursday night. However we re-grouped and performed much better on Friday. I was very proud of our women showing such competitive maturity.

Special congratulations to both Kayla Kalmbach and Sarah Clay for making their regional cuts on the 3 meter board. Kayla was particularly impressive because she spent Friday morning taking a very difficult test and then warmed-up and performed her best ever on the 3-meter-A true Spartan if there is one!

This week we have a big meet against Iowa that starts on Saturday at 12:00. That is good news because the U of M football game starts at 3:30. We are hoping that we can get some support from our fans and boosters to hopefully start off a great day for Michigan State.

I want to remind all of you that if you plan on being on campus for the Wisconsin game, we will be "enjoying" our last day in the outdoor pool for 2008. The pool closes officially at 11:00 AM on November 1.

Like many of you, I am hoping for a big week for Coach Dantonio and the Spartans down in Ann Arbor. Let's go State!

Finally, I want to give a nod to my hometown's favorite pastime: The 5-1 Buffalo Bills! I am hoping for another Super Bowl.

Until next time,
Matt G


October 16, 2008


I want to open this week by thanking our parents who put together a very nice dinner after our green and white meet last Friday night. It was a very nice night and we had a pretty competitive meet. The results are up on our page and we are looking to hopefully build off some very good results.

On Saturday we began our women's season with the unenviable task of facing the Minnesota Golden Gophers. They are a very good and very deep team. The meet was a very good meet and we had some great performances by a lot of Spartans. The results are also posted on our website.

One of the stand-out performances this past weekend was by Becca Ebner who has really improved in her butterfly events here at MSU. For many of our recent alumni: yes that is the same Becca who prowled the MSU outdoor pool as a 10 and under while her older brother Alex was on the MSU swim team. She is now close to really making an impact in the Big Ten Conference.

This week we travel the women to Illinois for a 2 day meet with the Illini. This is the first time in 4 years that Illinois has been able to hold a home schedule because of pool renovations. We are looking forward to making the trip and hopefully doing well down there. Meet starting times are 5:00 PM on Thursday and 3:00 PM on Friday.

I am hoping to see many of you at our Iowa meet on October 25. The meet is on the same day as the MSU/U of M football game. However the game starts at 3:30 and our meet starts at noon. So you can get your Spartan pride warmed up at the meet for the football game. We hope to see you there.

Good luck to the Spartans this weekend against the Buckeyes. If you are going to be on campus, please stop by during our practice from 8-11 on Saturday morning.

Until next time,
Matt G



October 9, 2008
We had a great time this past Saturday at the alumni meet. By our unofficial count we had more than 80 alumni who made it over to the pool. We had a very competitive meet also and everyone seemed to have a good time. I want to thank all of you who made it over and swam in the meet.

It was great to see Clarke Scholes at the alumni meet. Clarke is the only individual Olympic gold medalist in Michigan State history. I had the opportunity to sit with him and his old teammate Bob Barker during the football game.

I had the chance also to see many of our past Olympians last weekend. It was great to hear the old stories about training at MSU and the appreciation everyone has of being a Spartan.

Speaking of alumni, on Monday we officially hired Dianne Johnson to assist with the team for this year. She is really excited to help with the team and we need her help in a number of areas. It is very important to note that without the financial support of our many alumni and boosters, we would not be able to make this hire. Dianne's position is funded exclusively through our fundraising efforts-in much the same way the Rich Mull's position was for seven years.

This week we turn it on for real. We have the Alumni meet beginning at 6:00 PM on Friday night and we have the women opening up the season on Saturday at 2:00 PM against 2008 Big Ten Champion Minnesota. Please, if you have the time, stop by and support the Spartans.

We have a picture gallery up on the web site of the many pictures taken during the alumni meet.

One final note: Our start time for our home meet against Houston on Halloween has been changed to 3:00 PM. Please make a note because that is a change from the beginning of the season.

Until next time Matt G


October 2, 2008


To begin this week, I want to say a little bit about our alumni meet. As many of you know, this Saturday is the 53rd rendition of the Michigan State Alumni meet. Our attendance will again be great this year and we expect 7 decades of MSU swimming and diving to be represented. I always claim that our great attendance is a tribute to the past coaches and mentors of this program. Coaches like Charles McCaffree, Richard Fetters, John Narcy, Jennifer Parks and Richard Bader who cared about their student-athletes. It was their passion that ultimately created to our passion for MSU.

Now a few reminders: We will have the pool open at 8:30 AM. The meets starts at 9:00 AM. We will try a different program this year based on the request by many alumni for more serious events (the plunge however remains). My Early favorite for the Men's 50 Freestyle is Alec Mull and for the Women's Katrina Kniff. We will introduce both squads and award the 2008 Heusner Awards at 9:30 AM. We will try to be done with the meet at 10:00 AM at the latest so you can all return to your tailgates. This year we expect a pretty good amount of Olympians and hopefully many of them will swim and/or dive.

The Heusner Service Award began in 2002 at the untimely passing of Bill Heusner. Bill was a dual meet referee at Michigan State University for 40 straight years. He was a dedicated servant to Michigan State, Big-10 and NCAA Swimming and Diving. Having the opportunity to meet and learn from him was a real privilege for me. This award brings an honor on those who win it while also paying real tribute to the man for which it is named.

This years winners:

Jennifer Parks- JP is a swimming enthusiast and more specifically she is a Spartan swimming enthusiast. She has been a long time supporter of our program and, as she was when she coached, she is a bulldog in her pursuit of a new facility here at MSU. JP has always been there for the MSU program. JP will be here on Saturday to receive an award she most certainly deserves.

George Kruggel-George swam at Michigan State in the late 70's and early 80's. He is the swimming authority on the west side of the state. Many times he has brought to my attention names of future great Spartans. It is no accident that we have had Grand Haven Buccaneer on the MSU team for 6 straight years. George has also shown his commitment to the program by being a long time, generous financial contributor. George will be here on Saturday to get his award.

Rick Edwards- Rick has been synonymous with Mid Michigan Swimming for 30 years. He is a member of the Lansing Eastern Hall of Fame as well as the greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame. Rick has contributed to the program in so many ways. His biggest contribution has come from the coaching he did in the summertime with the Spartans. Rick will be here on Saturday to receive his long deserved award

Bob Jones- Bob Jones has been a long time contributor to Michigan State swimming and diving. Before relocating to Corvallis, OR, he also helped the program as a meet official. He swam at MSU in the 1970's for Coach Fetters. Bob will not be able to attend the alumni meet this weekend. We also pass along our condolences to him and his family at the passing of his father recently in Florida.

Don Patterson- Don was a member of the only MSU Big-10 Championship team in 1957. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year and he immediately asked me what more can I do to help. He made a large donation last year to help with our equipment budget. He is a true Spartan as are all of his 1950's teammates. Don will not be in East Lansing to receive his award this weekend.

Finally this week, we had our Masters/Tri-athlete clinic this past Sunday. It was an initial success and we coached 10 participants. The feedback was positive enough that we will run a few more of these clinics in April and May of 2009. When we decide on the dates in the spring, I will post them.

Looking forward to Saturday,

Matt G


September 24, 2008


First I would like to congratulate Coach Dantonio and the Spartans for their big win on Saturday over the Fighting Irish.

This week we have our first ever Master's clinic on Sunday at 8:00. We hope to have about 15-20 people there and we plan to run the full four hour clinic. The focus will be on stroke technique and training methods. If you have any questions regarding the clinic at all, please let me know.

Next weekend is Homecoming and we will be holding our annual Alumni meet at 9:00 AM. This year marks the 53rd Meet and it is the longest continual running event on homecoming (except football).. Just a reminder that we have added a few more "legit" events in the meet for those of you who really want to go head to head with the Varsity athletes. I am really looking forward to the meet and I hope many of you can get back.

Homecoming this year also will see many of our Olympians come back to MSU. They are being honored by the Varsity Alumni Club and will be recognized at the football game. The Varsity club is having a breakfast to honor members at the same time as the Alumni meet.

Next week I will include a short Bio on the five recipients of the Heusner Service Award. I will also get a few more details on the Alumni swim meet.

Hope all is well with you and make your homecoming plans now. We hope to see you all next weekend.

Until next time,

Matt G


September 17, 2008


Notre Dame Football week is always an exciting time. I know many of our alumni got their first look at Michigan State University as high school seniors on official visits. The atmosphere of Michigan State on a big football weekend is one of the many things that make it great to be a Spartan.

I am determined to make it out to all your tailgates this week. Last week I genuinely tried to make it out to see many of you. But the deluge that was last Saturday made me duck for cover in my office between practice and the football game. (For the record, I did go to the game and I made it to halftime).I want to invite anyone who is on campus this weekend to come over and visit us during practice. We will be on deck from 8-10:30 AM.

We are now about three weeks into the season and so far we have had some pretty good training sessions.

This Friday we are celebrating the tenth year anniversary of the Clara Bell Smith Academic Center. I am sure that for many of you hearing that makes you feel a little old. God only knows that it makes me feel old. I remember walking through the construction zone in September of 1997 with Mary Ellen Wydan on my job interview.

It is amazing to think about the number of tutors, study halls, seminars and programs that facility has provided our swimmers and divers in 10 years (let alone the entire athletic department). The Smith Center is truly the jewel of our department and what the facility has been able to produce is also amazing. The generosity of Steve Smith made Michigan State the national leader in student-athlete academic support and student-athlete development.

I want to remind everyone that our alumni meet will begin at 9:00 on Saturday October 4. I hope to see many of you here.

Also, remember that next Sunday we will be hosting our first ever Masters/Tri swimming clinic from 8AM-12 PM. If you have any questions about the clinic, let me know.

Go State. Beat the Irish!

Until next time, Matt G


September 10, 2008


I was scolded this past Sunday by Mrs. Munley about the lack of up-dates on the Blog. I apologize to all of you out there, but I have been busy. School has started and it has been an eventful 3 weeks. I always feel that September at Michigan State is the best time of year. There is nothing better than having practice outside in beautiful weather.

Of course the beginning of the season means a number of new faces and the introduction of 20 plus new freshmen to Michigan State Swimming and Diving.

I wanted to let everyone know that Coach Fetters is doing well. I saw him this past Saturday at the football game and he looks great. He shared some wisdom with me and I told him I have no idea how he coached for so long. He was up with many of the Fetters clan. It was great to have them back on campus.

I also got to see Deb O'Neil on Saturday. Her brother is the defensive backs coach at Eastern Michigan. She introduced me to her boyfriend. I will say I would have rather she been at the game with her dad. Deb is doing really well, living in St Louis and working for the NHL Blues.

To date we have had 8 official practice days, so the season is starting slow. This year we have really broken down into groups and we'll see if that brings us a little more success this year. Our program has the goal of getting to the NCAA meet again this year and trying our best to move up the standings in the Big Ten Conference.

I want to remind any of you that if you are interested in our Tri/Masters swimming clinic on September 28, please contact me anytime.

Also a reminder that the alumni meet will begin on homecoming at 9:00 AM. We hope to have as many of our Olympians back as we can. The meet actually conflicts with the Varsity Alumni brunch, so we may have to make do without some of the best swimmers and divers in our history.

We are going to change the format of the Alumni meet a little bit this year. We do have a number of people involved in Masters swimming now, so we may have more competitive events involved in the meet.

Until next time, Matt G


August 21, 2008


Let me begin by saying congratulations to Michael Phelps and his achievements in Beijing. I ran out of superlatives by the fifth gold medal. I truly believe that it is an achievement for the ages and despite the conventional wisdom of "records are made to be broken", I don't ever see that record being beaten. I would also like to congratulate Bob Bowman on seeing his hard work become an Olympic legend.

I have spent the last week answering a lot of questions about swimming. I have never seen so much interest in the sport. My hope is that the popularity lasts a little bit and that the curiosity helps our home meet attendance this year.

I want to thank Johan Sunryd for stopping by on Sunday to say hello. He was in town for a wedding and he gave me an update. He is doing very well. He told me a few great stories as his life as a teacher at UMass.

I also got an e-mail this week from Matt Wallace. He got married and he is living in Chicago. I am hoping to see him at our reception during the Northwestern Invitational.

We have the official start time for our alumni meet. The football game on homecoming will begin at 12 p.m. Therefore our meet will begin at 9 a.m. Warm-ups start at 8:30 a.m. Please make a note of that.

Please make note also that the Grand Valley meet on November 14 will take place at Jenison High School.

We are now five days away from beginning school. In fact, today is move-in day in the dorms. The campus is coming alive and the sound of drums permeates the outdoor pool. I want to remind everyone that if you are on campus at all this fall, please stop by.

Until next time, Matt G


August 13, 2008


I want to congratulate all the former Big Ten swimming stars who have won medals at the Olympics the past few days. I especially want to congratulate Peter Vanderkaay who won a very impressive Bronze medal in the 200 Freestyle and Matt Grevers who won a silver medal in the 100 backstroke.

The 400 Freestyle Relay on Sunday night is the greatest race I have ever seen. That was truly swimming at its best and what a split for the former UCSB Gaucho Jason Lezak. There is nothing that I like better than watching someone talk before a race and then proceed to choke his way to second place.

I want to thank Catrin Lenfers for sending me a picture she took while she was in East Lansing last month. She is doing very well, living in Germany. Her trip to East Lansing was part of a bigger trip to see her old teammates.

We are merely 11 days from beginning a new school year. It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over. Like I said last week, with the advent of a new school year, comes the opportunity for all our alumni and boosters to drop by and visit. Our practices are open and everyone is welcome.

I want to wish a very happy 100th birthday to our good friend Dr Milton Muelder.

Until next time,
Matt G


August 7, 2008


I am sure that many of you are getting ready to enjoy the upcoming week when swimming rules prime time television. After watching the trials, I am pretty sure that both the American men and women will have a great meet. I am one of the many rooting for Michael Phelps to get those eight gold medals. However, the event I am looking forward to most is the men's 400 Free Relay; should be an incredible race there.

Speaking of the Olympics I want to wish Dave Burgering the best as a member of the US diving staff in Beijing. Dave's diver is competing on springboard and in the synchro events. Here is an article from the Sun-Sentinal.

I wanted to congratulate all the Spartans who took part in the Harbor springs coastal crawl on August 2. As usual J.P. was there along with the overall winner Martha (Jahn) Martin.

On September 28 we are planning to run a masters/triathlete swimming clinic at the IM west pool from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Manny, Kathleen and I will be running the clinic and we will focus on the stroke technique and some training advice also. The fee for the clinic will be $50 per participant.

I want to thank all of the people who attended last Friday's Spartan Blast and made the walk over to the pool for the aquatics demonstration.

Football season is only three weeks away and the home opener for the Spartans is four weeks away. Please remember that if you are tailgating, make that walk over to the IM west outdoor pool and say hello. We'll be outside practicing for every home game and we love to have visitors.

Until next time,
Matt G


July 28, 2008


I am hoping that your summer has been going well. It has been a very productive summer in East Lansing. We had 17 swimmers and four divers stay and train. Most of them took classes and many of them worked at the pool.

Personally, the summer has been busy. I had a great time out in Omaha at the Olympic trials. I was there for nine days with Kevin Puskaric and Marcus Poteete. Both boys swam well. The week before the US swimming trials, Danielle Williams competed at the Canadian Olympic Trials in British Columbia. Eric accompanied her out there and she had her highest finish ever at a national level meet.

We also had 14 people go to the sectionals at Indiana University last week. All of them swam well, and in the process we broke more than 20 of the Capital Area Swim Team Long Course records.

Really the only downside of the summer so far was watching my son Costa's little league team get "mercey'd" in almost every game. I know that many of you parents out there know all about those "learning experience" games (seasons).

Now the focus shifts ahead to the fall.

For the first time ever, the Varsity S club weekend has been moved to Homecoming. (Homecoming is on October 4). This year, the Varsity club will be honoring all the former Olympians from Michigan State. I am sure many of you have read Bob Bao's article in the MSU Alumni magazine. I know that our program will be well represented. In fact, I was fortunate to meet Ken Walsh while I was out in Omaha. Ken told me that he and his wife are going to be back in East Lansing for homecoming and the varsity club tribute.

I am proud to announce that Rick Edwards will be joining Bob Jones, Don Patterson, George Kruggel and Jennifer Parks as a 2008 Heusner Service Award winner. Rick has been a long time supporter of the program and he has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It is a well deserved honor.

We have finalized our schedule for the upcoming season and it should be posted on our website soon. It is a very challenging schedule but it also has a few more home meets than last year. Please if you are near any of the locations we have meets, come out and cheer on the green and white.

I have so many updates on so many of our alumni in the past couple months. We have had weddings and births. I got to spend a lot of time with Aaron Mahaney when he visited in May. I got a chance to see the long lost Catrin Lenfers when she came to East Lansing in June. I also had the chance to e-mail Chris Bremmer and he told me he will be coming to MSU for homecoming. I also got to meet Mary (McClellan) Lamb who works for Motorola and lives in Hong Kong.

The Munley meet took place on June 29 this summer and it set records for attendance and money raised. Tom Munley once again spearheaded the meet organization. He was helped considerably by Mark Lisenby. The meet has really become a Long Course alumni meet and I know that Tom is looking to move the meet to Saturday next year. The tentative date is June 27, 2009. Hopefully we can do even better next year.

Please be sure to mark October 4 on your calendars. That is our short course alumni meet and we are hoping to get a huge number of people there again this year. Again we will set a time for the meet, when we know the time of the football game.

I want to wish all the Spartans good luck next month in the Master's Nationals in Mt Hood, Ore. I know that Alec Mull is competing out there and I am sure there are many others who will be there. Please let me know of your results.

I hope that you all are having a great summer. I am looking forward to August and some down time.

Until next time,
Matt G


May 15, 2008


I hope all of you are having a good spring. I hope you had a good Mother's Day. Here in East Lansing, we just opened the outdoor pool. Of course as is tradition, the day it opened it rained. Some things you can set your calendar to.

I want to pass along my best to the Arizona State men's swimming team. Their program was cut on Tuesday due to financial reasons.

I wanted to pass along an update: Mike Rigali finished up his course work for his Master's degree in education. He has his student teaching left to do and then he will be certified to teach K-8 in Illinois.

We have finalized our schedule and it looks to be another tough one. The good news is that we have a few more home meets.

One highlight in next year's schedule is that we will be in Evanston for the Northwestern Invitational. I am hoping to do a reception in our hotel for all our Chicagoland alumni and supporters. The reception would be on night of Saturday, November 22 after the Saturday swimming and diving session.

Please note also that the alumni meet will be on Homecoming again this year. We will not set the time until we know the time of the football game.

I hope all is well. We are slowly transitioning from spring to summer. The kids who have stayed for the summer are training hard getting prepared for the summer.

Until next week, Matt G


May 8, 2008


I want to start this week by reminding all Spartans that the Annual John Munley Memorial swim meet will be on June 29. This event has really become a summer alumni meet. I would hope that we get a record number of swimmers this year. We always have great weather and proceeds for the event go the John Munley Scholarship Fund. This year I will not be there due to the U.S. Olympic trials, but my assistant coaches will be there along with members of the MSU team.

Continuing with the Masters theme, I want to congratulate Kirk Nelson for his national championship in the 1,650 (17:16.07) at the U.S. Masters Nationals. Also congrats to Ron Orris for his national championship in the 100 fly (50.79) at the same meet. Alec Mull and Mike Orris also competed at the meet. I am quite sure many more of you have also, but I only got the update on those four.

On Saturday, I was at the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources commencement ceremony. At the ceremony, John Munley was awarded his degree posthumously. I got to spend time with the entire Munley family. It was a very emotional moment. I wanted to thank Associate AD Jim Pignataro as well as the people in the College of ANR for making this possible. I had the chance to have dinner with John's parents before the commencement and I know how much this meant to the family. This was one of the finest examples of a Spartan family and how we take care of each other.

I got an e-mail this week from Steve Ploussard. Plans for the 2nd Golden Spike reunion are set. It is going to happen on September 4-5. I know there is an expectation that it will be bigger than `06. Of course we hope that many of you can make it back.

Well we are into spring at Michigan State. The outdoor pool is filled and we are getting ready for summer. I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


May 1, 2008


I would like to thank the Mid-Michigan MSU Alumni Club for its $300 contribution to the swimming and diving Ralph Young Fund. The Mid Michigan MSU alumni club donated $3,450 to the athletic department for Olympic sports in 2008. Their contribution is greatly appreciated.

Forgot to mention last week that the MSU women's club water polo team won the Big Ten club conference championship. Erinn Wertz, a sophomore on our women's team, plays on the team and they are on their way to the national championships. Congrats to them.

I wanted to pass along our condolences to spartan Jon Cohen. His father passed away last week. The whole Spartan family has you in our thoughts.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


April 22, 2008


Not a lot of information this week. Spring Finals begin on Monday. Adam Schmitt, Danny Schemmel and Jason Vadney will be walking next Saturday at commencement.

Let's begin this week with a big announcement from one of my favorite Spartan swimmers: Katie Sophiea. Katie and her long time boyfriend, Scott, are officially engaged. They are planning a wedding for next summer. Congratulations to both of them.

At Homecoming 2008, the Varsity alumni club plans to honor all the past Olympians in Michigan State history. As you can imagine, swimming and diving will have quite a few representatives in that group. I am very excited that Ken Walsh plans to return to East Lansing for this event. It has been a while since Ken has come back. It should make for a great alumni meet.

Many of you who stayed in East Lansing to train over the summer had the priviledge of training under coach Rick Edwards. Lately, coach Edwards has had some serious health issues and he is currently in the hospital. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. If anyone is interested in the details, please contact me and I will let you know.

I want to spend a little time thanking our sports information intern, Josh Rattray. Josh has done a very good job this year keeping the information updated on our web site. He has been fantastic in covering the meets all year long. He has been great and I wanted to publicly thank him.

In the coming weeks, I will be sure to update everyone on the Class of 2012. We have made a few additions since the November signing date.

The weather in East Lansing has been great and we are looking forward to the Long Course pool opening up. We have 17 swimmers staying to train this summer with the Capital Area Swim Team. So we will look to have a productive summer.

Over the past couple weeks we have had some more commitments and we are in the process of wrapping up 2008 recruiting...just in time to get started on 2009 recruiting.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


April 15, 2008


This past Sunday (April 13) we had our annual awards banquet. As usual, the high point of the program came at the initiation of the Golden Spikes to our graduating seniors. The most engaging thing about our program is the golden spike. I described it at our banquet as the Cal Ripken award. All you have to do to get it is to show up for work every day you are in the program. It is a real thrill to watch varsity record holders stand shoulder to shoulder with four-year walk-ons and be honored equally. It is a testament to our tradition here at MSU.

The individual award winners were:

Jack Seibold Award for Leadership -- Matt McNichols
Jennifer Parks Award for Leadership -- Alycia Mokedanz
Men's John Narcy Most Improved -- David Garry
Women's John Narcy Most Improved -- Erinn Wertz
Women's Spartan of the Year Award -- Marlys Fuqua
Men's Jason Vadney Spartan of the Year Award -- Marcus Poteete
Women's Swimmer of the Year -- Heather Kiluk
Men's Swimmer of the Year -- Adam Schmitt
Women's Diver of the Year -- Danielle Williams
Men's Diver of the Year -- Ivan Zalessov
Women's Freshman-of-the-Year -- Stephanie Fisher
Men's Freshman-of-the-Year -- Kevin Puskaric
Kevin Zielinski Heart Award -- Jason Vadney
John Munley Memorial Scholarship -- Matt Massman

As you may notice we did make a change this year in the naming of the Men's Spartan of the Year award. Henceforth, it will be named for one of the great Spartans, Jason Vadney.

This year's Munley scholarship award winner is Matt Massman. Matt is the sixth recipient of the award. He joins Nick DeFauw (2002), Chad Wilson (2003,04), Matt Wisniewski (2005), Matt Torres (2006) and Mike Van Beek (2007). I want to thank all of you who have donated to the scholarship fund these past seven years.

I got a call last Friday from Dr. Dave Seibold, who told me that his brother was planning to retire from officiating swim meets. He asked me if we could something to honor Jack. We decided to give Jack an honorary golden spike and we gave him a version of his poem, "Hang it up". Below is the version we gave to Jack:

The thrills of victory the tears of defeat,
The sights and sounds of a swimming meet.
This is the heritage of a contest you love,
Struggling swimmers in the water, twisting divers above.
Yet, for all of us the time must be,
When memoirs are woven from many meets he's seen.

Tis time Old Veteran,
Hang it up, Hang it up.

The meets are longer, they're not as fun,
The event list seems endless so long to be done.
Tired of assessing stroking and kicking,
Tired of coaches constant nitpicking.
You've had your fill of distance and dashes,
Younger than your grandchildren are these new teenage flashes.

Tis time Old Veteran,
Hang it up, Hang it up.

O'er many a season one thing is can be assured,
Your volunteer labor sadly goes undisturbed.
Your limbs are fatigued, your senses rebel
As you mentally prepare for that Final farewell
Ah those glorious moments are melting away,
As more you recall golden yesterday.

Tis time old veteran,
Hang it up, Hang it up.

So with tumult ringing in your ears,
In retrospect we look back on all your years
Your love of Spartan Swimming and Diving so great,
Could the program have been without you at "State"
No...no the answer echoes back so bold
Of what our program owes to Jack Seibold.

Good luck old Veteran,
Hang it up, Hang it up.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


April 6, 2008


This past week, Ian Clutten (who has been very busy working for Granger Construction on the new Duffy Daugherty project) stopped by my office and told me that I made a serious omission in my last update. I forgot to mention that he and his girlfriend, former MSU swimming trainer, Stephanie are engaged. The wedding is scheduled for July 11, 2009.

I would also like to let you all know that Alicia Copestick is close to getting married. I was reminded of that when her invitation came in the mail earlier this week.

I also got an e-mail from JP reminding me of some alumni happenings in the world of Master's swimming. According to her e-mail "former MSU captain, Marilyn Early, '79, who made 14 World Masters rankings in the 50-54 age group, her highest was second in the 200 free, SCM, 2:22. Also, she had several third and fourth place finishes in both LCM and SCM.

Melinda Whitcomb Mann, captain and Big Ten champion in the 50 in '78, was second in several events in that same age group, breaststroke, fly and IM. She is a World Masters record holder and won an event at Stanford World Championships in '06.

So congrats to both Marilyn and Melinda.

A week from Sunday is our annual awards banquet. This year the banquet will be in the LaSalle Bank club. In step with tradition, we will be giving out the Golden Spikes for our graduating seniors. We will also give out the season awards. I will be sure to include all the award winners in one of my future updates.

I want to congratulate all of our swimmers and divers who have already begun training and competing for the summer season. I want to especially congratulate Danielle Williams for qualifying for Olympic Trials.

As I write this, Marcus Poteete and Kevin Puskaric are competing at the Toyota Grand Prix in Columbus, Ohio.

I would like to let everyone know that at the Spring 2008 commencement for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources John Munley will be awarded his degree posthumously. According to his older brother Tom, the award was "made possible through the relentless efforts of Richard Bader, Jim Pignataro, and Prof. Bruce Harte, as well as a couple of carefully worded letters by my father to President Simon." I am fortunate enough to be invited to John's graduation party on May 3.

On a very sad note, Coach Richard Bader's mother passed away this past Sunday (March 31) after a prolonged illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Bader and his family.

It is almost spring weather on campus and the last of the ice is off the Red Cedar. I hope all of you had a good winter. I know that many of our alumni spent the winter training for their master's meets, or they spent the winter following around their own children in their swimming endeavors. As you all know, please if you are near campus, drop by and say hello.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


March 14, 2008


I have not been able to update much this past month with both Big Ten meets going on. I apologize for being behind. A lot has happened since the last time.

I would hope that all of you followed along with the results for the Big Ten meet on our website and the host websites. Both meets had their ups and downs and full results are available on our website. We improved off of last year with both the men and the women. The degree of improvement was not as much as we had hoped for, but we are moving in the right direction.

I wanted to pass along a couple of items. First, I received an e-mail a few weeks ago from Jim Thurston letting me know that he and his girlfriend, Mandy, got engaged. According to his e-mail, the wedding should be some time this year.

I also got an e-mail from Kirk Nelson with the latest Fina Masters rankings were released. Three former Spartans were represented:

Alec Mull (1994)
SCM 50 fly 26.63 (10th)
LCM 50 free 24.91 (10th)
LCM 50 fly 26.27 (6th)
LCM 100 fly 58.68 (8th)

Ron Orris (1994)
LCM 50 fly 25.81 (3rd)

Kirk Nelson (1992)
LCM 1500 free 18:02.43 (6th)

Congrats to them.

Our annual awards banquet will be on Sunday, April 13 at 12:00 noon. If you are interested in attending, please contact Kathleen Milloy at milloy@ath.msu.edu

Unfortunately, no Spartans will be at the NCAA championships for 2008. We made it much closer than last year, but we still fell short. We have now shifted our focus toward the summer and the long course season. We will once again be aligning with the Capital Area Swim Team and we will be competing this summer under that name.

I want to thank all of you who came to our meets this past year and gave us your support. We appreciate it.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Jan. 30, 2008


A lot of alumni news this week. First off, let's congratulate Kate Duncombe after she won the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right. The episode ran last week on Jan 31. Her total winnings were in the neighborhood of $32,000; she won a new car and a trip to Acapulco. Kate is now in Nursing school and living in the Washington, D.C., area.

I got a chance to see both Adam Pawlick and Mike Mulshine last week. Both were in town for the school of packaging career fair. Both Adam and Mike are doing well. They both have babies on the way, Mike's first and Adam's second. They have both put their packaging degrees to good use and they are both doing well. I want to thank them both for their support of the program. They have provided guidance to our packaging majors and they were particularly helpful to both Matt McNichols and Matt Torres.

I want to congratulate senior captain Matt McNichols for getting a paid internship with Kraft Foods in Chicago, Ill. It is a great internship and it is surely a step to bigger things. Matt Torres is sorting through his five options and he will be interning this upcoming year also.

I also want to congratulate Eve Brusie for her recent admission into medical school. I would think that for a 3.9 student, who volunteered at Sparrow hospital, is a varsity record holder and four-year letter winner it wouldn't be that hard to gain admission-but med school admission is hard and we are really proud of Eve and her pursuit of her life long dream of being a doctor.

I got a chance to see Sarah Salenski; I know that isn't her last name but old habits die hard. She stopped by the office with her kids last Saturday. She got me caught up on some of the people in her class. Most of the talk was around Ilaria Sciorelli. Ilaria, if you are out there, it would be nice to hear from you.

The winners of the 2008 Heusner Service award are:

George Kruggel:George swam for coach Fetters in the early 1980's. He is a true Spartan and he gives unconditional financial and moral support to the program. He is a real asset and he is a real beacon on the west side of the state.

Bob Jones:Bob has been a constant supporter of the MSU swimming and diving team since he swam here in the 1970's. Even after he re-located to Corvallis, Ore., he has consistently supported the program.

Don Patterson:Don gave the largest financial gift in the history of our program this past year. He and his teammates from the 1950's era have consistently honored the memory of their coach, the great Charles McCaffree, by being supporters of our program.

Jennifer Parks:JP, who was the rock upon which the women's program at MSU was built, has been a loyal and steady supporter ever since. She is one of our best supporters

We are only one week away until the Women's Big 10's and two weeks out for the men. The rest has officially begun so I ask that you all wish us good health for the next few weeks.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Jan. 30, 2008


Before I write about anything else I want to alert all of our supporters that Kate Duncombe '03 will be on the television game show, "The Price is Right" on Jan 31. Apparently she was the big winner on the show so check your local listings.

Our meet against Oakland went well and we performed very well. It was exciting for the Men's team because they finally got to swim at home in front of parents and friends. It was also exciting for the women because it had seemed so long since they could do the same. We won both meets and the results are on our website. A few highlights were the pool records set by Kevin Puskaric and Adam Schmitt. Adam broke Cam Mull's old record in the 200 free by going 1:38.34 and Kevin broke Giordan Pigioli's record in the 200 breast by going 1:59.14. We also had the 400 free relay record go down by Adam, Joe Schmitt, Matt Massman and Jason Vadney. It was a good meet for us and we're hoping to carry it through to the Big Ten meets next month.

I want to thank all our supporters who came out on Friday night. We had a great crowd and the place was really exciting. I have gotten estimates of about 400-1200 people. I don't know for sure how many, but there were a lot and it made for a great atmosphere. I also wanted to thank Pete Hovland and Oakland University. Oakland is one of the few schools left that are willing to come to MSU and have a meet. I would hope that will continue into the future.

I got a chance to see many of our alumni there. I apologize for not saying hello, but I was preoccupied. I know that Al Mull was there to see his little brother's record get taken down. I also saw Tom Munley, Eve Brusie, Pat Saucedo, Carly Zenk, Luke Lehner and JH Berg. Thank you for the support.

Being the end of the dual meet season, I wanted to publicly thank all of our parents and supporters who traveled so well to all our meets. We had some real troopers this year who got to see the four corners of the Big Ten. Of course they got to see other crazy sights as well. Next year we will hopefully have a few more home meets, so travel will not be an every weekend affair.

While we're on travel, I want to let everyone know that once again this year we had John Ricci drive our coach to every meet. He is the most trustworthy driver in the world. I consider him to be part of our program and he never fails us. I am thankful to him and Dean Trailways for such great service.

Well we're on the edge of taper time, so things will start to get a little jumpy around here soon enough. To date between the men's and women's teams, we have 15 top 10 swims and we are very close to possibly breaking a number of team records. We appreciate all your support.

Next week, I am going to officially announce the Bill Heusner Service Award winners for 2008.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Jan. 24, 2008


Happy New Year,
This Friday we compete against Oakland. For the women it is the second home meet of the season. We have had 97 days between our meet against Illinois and our meet with Oakland. For the men it is our home debut and our home finale. It has been 377 days between home meets for the men's team. Friday is also senior night and we have the opportunity to honor six outstanding individuals who have given their hearts and souls to Michigan State:

Tony Grace, Matt McNichols, Adam Schmitt, Matt Torres, Jason Vadney will all be 4-year letterwinners at Michigan State. Joining them will be student-assistant Danny Schemmel, a 2-year letter-winner.

Each class is unique as is their experience at Michigan State. This class, which became one greater when Jason redshirted in 2006, have put their stamp on our program by creating a culture of hard work and excellence. They have all stayed in East Lansing during the summer and trained and competed hard. They are all going to graduate and most of them have good leads on jobs already. They have had injuries, surgeries, great wins and bitter losses. They have had incredible ups and devastating downs. They have persevered through it all showing great leadership. They have never wavered in the love of Michigan State swimming and diving. They are all Spartans and they would be the first to let you know that. I want to personally congratulate and thank them for giving us four (and in Jason's case, five) great years.

Last weekend we had a great crowd at the Michigan meet and many of our supporters then went to Columbus the next day to support us there also. The meets were solid performances for us. Obviously we were a little disappointed with the scores of the meets, but we felt as though we performed well. The results are posted on our website.

I got the opportunity to connect with a few alumni at both meets. Tom Munley, Katie Sophiea and Sean Hickman were at the meet in Ann Arbor. Former Olympian Dave Burgering was at Ohio State and he got a chance to address the team before the meet. Dave was in Columbus as part of the USA Diving coaching staff running a select camp. It is amazing to see what they can do at Ohio State now with the new facility.

I omitted something last week I wanted to share. On our way to Valpo, one of the bay doors under the bus popped open as we were getting on Rte 496. Some bags fell out of the bus onto Kalamazoo and we didn't realize any of this until we were on 496. When the incident happened, Mark and Sandy Siegel of Hanover, Mich., were driving behind the bus. They stopped and picked up our bags and followed the bus. They flagged our driver and we pulled over and they returned the bags to us. I consider both Mark and Sandy official MSU swim and dive backers and I thank them for their kindness. Mark wanted to have no credit for what he and his wife did; he really wanted to remain anonymous. I would not let that happen and I wanted to publicly thank him.

Our meet on Friday is at 6 p.m. If you are around on Friday afternoon, please stop by. We can use the support.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Jan. 17, 2008


Happy New Year,

2008 is only a few weeks old and already so much has happened. For the first time in a while we stayed in East Lansing to train. The experience of staying here was quite an experience. In addition to the training, we had a few lessons for our program on a variety of different topics - not the least of which is media relations.

As many of you may know, the IM west pool had issues over the break and when it was officially closed the swimmers were forced for much of the break to train in the Jenison and IM circle pools. My personal highlight was the thick fog in the circle pool when we opened the doors for fresh air.

By the way, when I got word the pool was closed, it was fairly easy to move swimming practices. Diving was a different story. After the IM pool was closed, Eric scrambled to find boards for our divers. After the new year, they were fortunate enough to move some of their training to Ann Arbor for a couple days. I would like to personally thank Chris Burgere, diving coach at Michigan, for helping our program out in a pinch.

Our training must have been pretty solid though because last weekend we had great performances on both Friday and Saturday. Friday night's meet was against Valpo and Saturday was against Purdue.

The Valpo meet was put together partially because MSU grad Brian Morrison was the coach. He resigned a week before the meet so there was not the Spartan reunion we had planned. For losing their coach only a week prior, the Valpo team showed a lot of heart and spirit. I give them a lot of credit. Many of our kids were able to swim off-events and many of our kids who do not normally grab headlines got that opportunity also. Alex Crigler, Matt Massman, Mark Rogers, Jordan Jackson and Mike Vanbeek all won their first ever collegiate race. The meet again showed how adaptive and classy the kids in our program are.

At Purdue, we faced the No. 12 men's team in the country and a women's team who had already beaten our team in November. That being said, our team fared very well. Adam Schmitt had one of his best meets ever, winning three events and doing it with impressive times. Heather Kiluk also had a great meet winning the 200 IM. The other standout was Becca Ebner, who swam her personal best time in the 200 Fly by more than 2 seconds. All of the results from the past weekend are on our website.

This weekend, we are at Michigan on Friday night (Jan.18) at 5 p.m. and then we go to Columbus to compete with Ohio State and Eastern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 19) at 5 p.m.. If you are near, please come on out and support the Spartans.

Both of our teams finished the fall semester with team GPA's above 3.0. The women and men both finished around 3.1. We had three people with a straight 4.0: freshman Brian Rockwell, junior Mark Rogers and freshman Jordan Jackson. I was very proud of our athletes for their academic achievements.

I want to congratulate Clarke Scholes for induction into the Michigan Sports hall of Fame. Clarke is a former Olympic Champion who swam for MSU in the early 1950's for Coach McCaffree. The following link describes what an incredible honor it is for him. http://www.michigansportshof.org./inductees/current.html

Hope you are all doing well. Our program is really doing well. Our long time motor coach operator, John Ricci, commented on the way home from Purdue that he had never seen the swimming and diving team's morale higher. He has been driving us for eight seasons. My request is that if any of you ever see or read anything in any media about our program, you please e-mail me and I will do my best to clear up any confusion.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Dec. 13, 2007


I write this on the heels of our return from Ball State. I am happy to report that we won both meets and we had a few impressive swims to boot. Not an easy place to compete and it really amazes me that there was once a time that the Indiana High School State Meet was held there.

The Ball State trip pushed our motor coach miles up to about 3,000 for the semester. We have toured seven different states, watched nearly a dozen movies, stayed in four different hotels and we still have managed to swim fast and dive well.

This Friday, our team will volunteer at the Salvation Army toy distribution center in Lansing. This is the third consecutive year we have done this community service project as a team.

This being holiday time, I want to thank all of the people who make our program so special:

Kathleen, Manny and Eric - A coach could ask for no better coaching staff in the world. Diverse by any definition. Perfect by no means. Incredibly dedicated and hardworking, not a coaching staff in the country cares more about kids than ours does. Danny Schemmel- Danny is a two-year swimmer who has moved into student assistant his senior year. He has done his best to fill the void left by the departure of Rich Mull. A true swimming nerd, Danny has been an immense help from last spring to today.

Rob Aburto- While being a full-time law student, Rob has volunteered his time to help our program as a volunteer assistant coach. He has also done everything in his power to fill the void left by Rich Mull leaving.

Eric Bean- Eric has assisted the divers in their mental approach this season and it has paid huge dividends.

Nancy Wing- Our secretary for 11 seasons, Nancy is another dedicated tireless worker. She is responsible for us, wrestling and tennis. She is the best secretary in the athletic department and she really keeps our ship afloat.

Jeremy Flynn- Jeremy is responsible for overseeing our academic progress. He has been our academic advisor for five seasons and in that time, we have been honored a number of time both individually and collectively as a team.

I want to also thank all of you who unconditionally support our program. Our supporters are the best and we would not exist without you.

This has been a great semester for us. We are looking forward to the New Year and we hope you all have a great 2008.

Matt Gianiodis


Dec. 6, 2007


It has been a while once again but we have just returned from the Ohio State Invitational and I have had a little more time this week to update you all on the doings of the program.

The Ohio State invitational went fairly well for us. The complete results are on our website. Our philosophy for the meet was to rest for a week and have the team swim multiple events and some very tough doubles. We had numerous best times and we had multiple finalists. Through the three days, we had 11 top 10 all-time performances. In all, we did well and I thank the many of you who followed along and have e-mailed supportive things to our program.

I wanted to announce that in the past two weeks, we received a gift of $14,000 from Don Patterson. Don was the team captain in 1959. He was here with his teammates in September during our 1957 championship reunion. His donation is the largest gift in our program amd more than anything is a testament of the passion and the love MSU swimmers had for Coach McCaffree. Our program has already updated some of our equipment including power racks which hopefully will help our sprinters.

Amy Schmidt, who is scheduled to graduate this month, has just been named Outstanding Senior for the fall of 2007. She earned the distinction by "exemplifying leadership in areas of academic excellence, community service, campus involvement, work experience, contributions to MSU, and its uniqueness." To be considered you have to be nominated by a faculty member and then you have to be voted by your fellow students. This is an incredible accomplishment when you consider the size of Michigan State. We wish her congratulations.

On Monday begins the exam week for the fall term. It is always a stressful time for student athletes.

Our meet against Purdue in West Lafayette on Jan. 13 has been moved from 2 p.m. to 1 p.m. so please make note of that.

Congrats to our football team making the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla. My hope is that our many swimming alumni in Florida get a chance to go to the game and support the Spartans.

Hope you have the time to enjoy the holiday season with your family.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Nov 15, 2007


I apologize for missing last week-spent some time preparing for our fall color tour of New York and Pennsylvania. In the span of three days, we swam 4 dual meets for the women and 3 for the men. It was a marathon, but we felt pretty good about ourselves when it was all over. The highlight of the trip was the two-day meet at Penn State. Our men got to compete against the No. 12 and No. 25 teams in the country. Meanwhile, our women got to mix it up with the No. 17 and No. 20 team in the country.

The results of the meet are available on our web page. In all, we competed very hard and we made it known that our program is no easy out. On Friday night (Nov. 9) we won four of the nine men's events. I was incredibly proud of our kids, who spent better than 14 hours on a bus, coming out and competing like true Spartans.

We left for the trip on Thursday morning in order to make our meet at St Bonaventure by 6:00 p.m. that night. The trip was long, though we did get a good look at Jacobs field in Cleveland and about five inches of snow in Erie. Again it was another proud moment for me when our kids stepped right off the bus and took care of business at my alma mater.

I do want to note that the people at St Bonaventure University were very accommodating to our program. Of course, that kind of graciousness is to be expected from North America's only Franciscan University.

I also want to note that for the second consecutive road meet, we ran into an incredible environment for a swimming and diving meet. The McCoy Natatorium at Penn State held more than 1,000 raucous fans. It was a very fun experience for me and the team. Hopefully we'll be able to show them some Spartan excitement when they come out to East Lansing next year.

For those of you keeping track, the Spartans have now traveled a little less than 1,900 miles in our first two road trips.

Next week is Thanksgiving and it is my wish that you and your family have a great time eating turkey and watching football.

Congrats to our football program for becoming bowl eligible.

Wednesday, Nov. 14 is the official start of the early signing period. Next week, I will give you an update on our recruiting for the class of 2012.

The next competition for the Spartans is in Columbus at the Ohio State invitational. The meet is on Nov 30-Dec. 2. Please come out if you live locally. You can also follow along on our web site.

Until next week,

Matt Gianiodis


Nov 1, 2007


I wanted to start this week by thanking Jim and Marcia McNichols once again for hosting our team last week. On our way out to Iowa, we stopped in Naperville, Ill., and had lunch at the McNichols house. They also received help from Mrs. Lilja, Mrs. Puskaric and Mr. Torres. In all it was a great time and it was a great experience for our team. Thank you.

In 2009, Iowa is going to have their new $15 million aquatic center up and running. For me, that date can't come soon enough because I do not have many good memories in their current pool. This past week just added to the bevy of dismay as I watched our men's team get ties in two of the last three events and lose the meet by one point (150.5-149.5). On the women's side, we suffered a bit of a let-down from the previous week and we lost by a bigger margin. Despite the losses, we had quite a few people perform very well. Danielle Williams remained undefeated on the boards for the season. Marlys Fuqua pumped out two best times in the 1,000 and 500. Adam Schmitt won four events. Ricky Forrest made his collegiate debut by winning two events. Yet despite that, it was a relatively frustrating seven-hour ride home on Friday night/Saturday morning.

One note from the meet: I want to thank the Iowa coaching staff and administration for having such an incredible energetic crowd at the meet. It was an amazing environment in which to compete. I also wanted to thank all of our parents and supporters who hiked out to Iowa City. I also wanted to thank the MSU field hockey team, in Iowa for a game on Saturday, for coming out and giving us their support-quite a rendition of the fight song!

I have just one more note on the Iowa meet. The official results had a number of errors. Adam Schmitt won the 200 freestyle-not Joe Schmitt. As noted, Danielle Williams won the 3-meter board, not Alycia Mokedanz. Erinn Wertz and Mara Loniewski swam in the 100 freestyle. Jon Larocque swam the 100 backstroke, not Joe Schmitt.

This week marks the end of the outdoor pool season for 2007. Mother Nature was definitely on our side this year with all the beautiful weather East Lansing had from May through November. If this is a by-product of global warming, then I am all for it! Our final outdoor practice will be on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9-11 a.m. The practice is followed by watching our seniors go off the 10-meter platform for the final time as varsity athletes at MSU. If you are around tailgating, please stop by.

Next week we are in New York and Pennsylvania. We will be at my Alma Mater, St Bonaventure, on Thursday-that meet begins at 6 p.m. We then travel to State College for a two day meet on Friday and Saturday. If you live near any of the meets, please come out and support the Spartans. If not, then look for results on our website from all three days.

Like all of you-let's hope for good luck on Saturday...Go Green!

Until next week,



Oct. 25, 2007


As you read this we are on our way out to Iowa for a swim meet. I want to thank in advance the McNichols family, who is hosting our entire team for lunch on Thursday. The meet against Iowa is at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26.

I want to thank Jennifer Parks (JP) for taking some time out of her schedule to come and inspire our team last Friday. JP, as she always does, shared her wisdom with the team and went some 40 minutes over her allotted 10 minutes. No complaints here, because her talk inspired the women to go out the next day and win their season opener against Illinois.

We had some great performances in the Illinois meet. Topping the list is Danielle Williams, who was recently named Big Ten Diver of the Week. Danielle had her first collegiate meet since shoulder surgery last year and she won both springboard events. Besides Danielle, we had freshman Stephanie Fisher win two events in her collegiate debut. Julie Kahn pitched in a victory in the 100 free and we won both relays. In all, it was a good way to lead off our season.

It has been a busy week this week getting both squads prepared to go out to Iowa. Please follow along the entire season on our website. If any of you live near Iowa City, come on out and cheer for your Spartans.

Next week is the Michigan football weekend. If you are going to be on campus for the game, please stop by our practice. Next weekend marks the end of the outdoor pool season for 2007.

Until next week,

Matt G


Oct. 5, 2007


As many of you know well, nothing brings a bigger smile to the faces of Spartan swimmers and divers like an extended summer! Having high temperatures in the mid 70's in October makes Michigan State the best place to swim and dive. We have had outdoor practices the entire way and we have been able to train Long Course as though it was the middle of July. Just keep your fingers crossed this global warming continues.

I want to apologize for missing last week, I was a little busy with things and I spent the end of the week traveling back to my hometown in New York. While in New York, I was fortunate to be inducted into my high school's athletic hall of fame. It was a real thrill for my family and me to be given such a nice honor.

OK, back to the important stuff.

We are now 9 days away from the alumni meet. If you have any questions at all regarding the meet, please call me. It is going to be confusing and I want to make sure that everyone has a chance to get to campus and the meet on time.

Also, here is a reminder that our three Heusner Award winners are: Kent Johnson, Dan Batchelor and the Munley family.

Please make note that we are having a Green and White meet on Friday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. We are going to have our team draft early next week and the meet promises to be very competitive. If you are in town, please stop by and say hello.

This Friday, we are going to have Tom Munley address our team for a few minutes. Tom is the fourth alumnus to pep up the team. It is a nice experience for the team to take in some of the wisdom of people who have been through it.

For those of you who are interested, the team of sophomores and juniors destroyed the seniors and freshmen in our annual scavenger hunt. It was a particularly weak effort by senior captain Matthew McNichols. To his defense, Matt may have been distracted in that he has been named the head of the MSU SAAC committee. He has also been appointed to the MSU Athletic Council and the Big Ten Athletic Council. So his poor effort at the scavenger hunt gets a pass.

I really hope all is well for you and I look forward to seeing many of you next week. As you all know, I love Homecoming and I love the alumni meet.

Until next time,
Matt G.


Sept. 20, 2007


Right off the bat I want to let everyone know that we had a great time this past weekend honoring the guys from the 1957 Big Ten Championship team.

Jim Clemens and Wally Dobler did a great job of organizing the event and Eldon Van Spybrook, the president of the Varsity S Alumni group, also helped with the arrangements. In all, we had 18 former swimmers and divers from the mid to late 1950's. They had a full weekend of events including: a visit to Jenison, a picture at Sparty, a breakfast and awards ceremony at the Kellogg Center, a seat in the LaSalle Bank club for the Spartan victory over Pittsburgh and an informal reception at the hotel on Saturday.

The reunion was a great event and it reminded me of the Golden Spike reunion last year. If you have a reunion planned or you want to plan one with your former teammates, please contact me and we'll help you with the plans.

Clemens, the 1957 captain, addressed our team this past Friday. His talk was inspirational and he reminded all the current team members of the importance of contributing to the Ralph Young Club. It is a message that should also resonate with our alumni.

This Friday marks our annual team scavenger hunt. This will be the fifth consecutive year we have the scavenger hunt, and of course, my favorite memory in those five years was when Ian Clutten rode his bike all the way out to the Beef and Cattle Research complex to get an item for the hunt.

Our practices have been very good so far and we have had relatively good weather (knock on wood) for our outdoor practices. The indoor pool is now officially open and it looks really nice. It is still the same pool, but it is so much brighter and cleaner. The new bulkhead is fantastic and the diving end is a real upgrade. Now all we need is a cover for the long course pool and we'd be all set.

Also, I'd like to congratulate David Diget on his induction into the Battle Creek Hall of Fame. Dave was an All-American swimmer here in the late 1950's. He was the head coach at Western Michigan University and he now coaches at Battle Creek Lakeview High School.

I saw Karen Fetters at the Bowling Green football game on Sept. 8. Shawn Elkins stopped by that same week. I also saw Tommy Parker this past weekend and I heard from Lindsay Fetters also. I am glad to see all of you and I hope that you always feel free to stop by or call anytime.

Beat the Irish!
Matt Gianiodis


May 17, 2007


The team grade reports for the spring 2007 semester are officially out. Our men's team finished with the highest term GPA in program history. The 23-member team finished with a 3.22 semester GPA, which was again the highest amongst men's teams in the department. It will almost certainly be one of the highest for swim teams in the country. Our women also did very well, with 20 team members over a 3.0 GPA. Carly Zenk was the only Spartan who finished the spring with a 4.0.

This past month, our program received its largest-ever cash gift in the Ralph Young Fund. George Kruggel donated a gift in excess of $11,000. We are very grateful for his generosity and his commitment to our program. His donation has pushed our fund-raised to over $50,000 for 2006-07. That is another record for our program.

As we move to the end of the fiscal year, I want to thank all of you who donated money to the Ralph Young Fund. Below is a list of names of those who have contributed money since July 1, 2006:

Nadine Crane
Eleanor Heusner
Glenn Disoway
Tom Kwasny
Coach Fetters
Coach Parks
Tom & Susan Kirkpatrick
Jane Hoag Demarchi
Dr. David Seibold
Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Kalmbach
Geraldine James
Mr. & Mrs. David Polk
Don Morey
Dean Taylor
Susan Eareckson
Mr. & Mrs. Michael Habel
Tosh Imai
Bob Rex
Forest & Mary Owen
Jack Seibold
Larry Walker
Rich & Leslie Mull
Ruth & Philip Mayercak
David Coward
Lewis Michaud
Dan Batchelor
Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Tyrrell
Paul Fetters
Elyse Whitcher
Larry & Ann Edwrads
Kevin Smiley & Kristen Nelson
Margeret Smith
David & Elaine Yocum
Lt. Gen. Gordon Fornell
Allan Livingston
Tom Munley
Frank Reynolds
Bruce Richards
Jim Bradford
Mike Darbee
James & Pat Lanker
David Schemmel
Amy Straith-Drexel
Jack Zatirka
Eric Best
Manny Noguchi
Laurie Haring
Doug & Annie MacAskill
Alec Mull
Bob Jones
Dr. David McCaffree
Douglas Rowe
Kevin Schaefer
James & Mary Yoemans
Art & Linda Lessard
Maureen Eberly
Kathleen Wackerle
Kent Johnson
Bob & Kellie Hamilton
Robert & Natalie Van Beek
Michael & Catherine Biasello
Chris & Laura Koerner
Michael & Rose Deford
Jeff & Diane Grace
Dan & Beverly Reponen
Lawrence & JoAnn Rogers
ROI Consulting
Tom & Marilyn Smith
Bruce Wright
Chris & Pamela Lincoln
Bruce & Christine Dejonge
Brian Fitzgerald
Ron & Ann Hendrix
John & MaryAnne Massman
Mary Ruhland
Pat Saucedo
Dani Sawyer
Bryan & Ellen Augustine
Melva Bibbins
Mike & Emely Vadney
Robert & Debra Larocque
Mike & Sandra Fuqua
Larry Golen
Phil Johnson
Dennis & Janet Korn
Joseph & Ana Gordon
Fred Carter
Don Mason
Dan & Mary Meyers
Mary Poteete
Samuel & Lori Kasley
Terry Eudy
Jim Clemens
Don Korten
Deb O'Neil
Karen Carboni Kimple

Of course, I want to thank all the donors. Many of you have been consistent givers and it means very much to all of us involved in the program and the athletic department.

Another reminder of the John Munley Memorial Masters meet on June 24. The information is linked on our web site home page.

Until next time,
Matt G.


May 10, 2007


I have included our schedule for next year. We begin the year by bringing back our traditional Green & White Meet. This year, we are looking for guest coaches in the Green & White Meet, and we may have a guest-coach race during the meet for points.

The one thing that stands out is the lack of home meets. We owe quite a few schools return trips, so we are going to be on the road quite a bit this year. It is a difficult schedule with many Top 25 teams, but one that we hope will challenge us and better prepare us for the Big Ten Championships. The women open on Oct. 20 at home against Illinois. The men begin at Iowa the following Friday. Below is the full schedule:

Fri, Oct 12- Green & White (m&w)- East Lansing, Mich.- 6 p.m.
Sat, Oct 13- Alumni meet (m&w)- East Lansing, Mich.- 9 a.m.
Sat, Oct 20- Illinois (w) -East Lansing, Mich. -12 p.m.
Fri, Oct 26- Iowa (m&w)- Iowa City, Iowa- 5 p.m.
Thu, Nov 8 - St. Bonaventure- (m&w) Olean, N.Y. -5 p.m.
Fri, Nov 9- Penn St/Virginia (m&w)- State College, Pa. -5 p.m.
Sat, Nov 10- Penn St/ Virgina (m&w)- State College, Pa.- 11 a.m.
Fri-Sun Nov 30-Dec 1- Ohio State Invt- Columbus, Ohio- All day
Sat, December 8- Ball State (m/w)- Muncie, Ind.- 2 p.m.
Fri, January 11- Valparaiso (m&w)- Valparaiso, Ind.- 5 p.m. (cst)
Sat, January 12- Purdue(m& w)- West Lafayette, Ind.- 12 p.m.
Fri, Jan 18- Michigan (m&w)- Ann Arbor, Mich.- 5 p.m.
Sat, Jan 19 -Ohio State/EMU (m&w)- Columbus, Ohio- 4 p.m.
Fri, Jan 25- Oakland (m&w)- East Lansing, Mich.- 6 p.m.
Thu-Sun. Feb. 14-16- Big Ten Championships (w)- Columbus, Ohio- 11 a.m., 7 p.m.
Fri-Sun. Feb 21-23- Big Ten Championships (m)- Ann Arbor, Mich.- 12, 7 p.m.
Th-Sat Mar 2-4- NCAA Diving Zones- TBA- ALL DAY
Thu-Sat Mar 14-16- Women's NCAA Champ.- Columbus, Ohio- 11 a.m., 7 p.m.
Thu-Sat Mar 21-23- Men's NCAA Champ.- Federal Way, Wash.- 11 a.m., 7 p.m.

I want to congratulate 2006 Heusner Award Winner Jack Beattie for being honored by the Southern Association of Orthodontists as the 2007 recipient of the Oren Oliver Distinguished Service Award, the highest recognition bestowed by that organization.

On June 24, we are going to host the annual Masters Swim Meet. The proceeds go to the John Munley Scholarship fund. This is quickly becoming a summer alumni meet, and we'd love to get all of our supporters to the outdoor pool.

I want to congratulate all of our graduates for 2007. We have some very impressive work that is going to be done by these great kids. I also want to congratulate Basak Oguz, who retired from swimming last year but stayed at MSU. She recently graduated in mechanical engineering. She won the most prestigious award in the department and is going to be working as a TA in the engineering graduate school here at MSU. This is a great accomplishment.

As we move into the summer, the hope is that our team will put in the necessary work to help us improve next year.

Until next time,
Matt G.


April 26, 2007


I want to begin this week by announcing some exciting news. For the first time in a long while, the Spartans will not kick the Homecoming football game at noon. In fact, the football game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. That will afford us a greater opportunity to showcase our alumni swim meet since we won't have to rush through it early in the morning. The meet time is now at 12 p.m., and we will be able to take our time, and who knows maybe even run some races and dives outside.

Last Friday, the coaching staff, as well as Danny Schemmel, Tony Grace and Michael Van Beek helped out with the Special Olympics swim meet at Holt High School.

On Saturday, our team once again helped out with the Adopt-A-River program. Our assigned area was the section of the Red Cedar River, behind Kirchner Park. Our team worked a solid two hours from 8-10 a.m., and they cleared more than 25, 10 gallon bags of trash. Of course, the number one cleaner was Coach Mull, who also managed to make spare change collecting beer and pop cans along the way. He has a real knack for that.

On Sunday, we celebrated our season with our annual banquet. For the second year in a row, we held the banquet in the LaSalle Bank Club at Spartan Stadium. Thanks to Kathleen's organization, the presentation was very nice. Season award winners were:

Jack Seibold Award for Leadership: Matt McNichols
Jennifer Parks Award for Leadership: Amber Schroeder
Men's John Narcy Most Improved: Marcus Poteete, Joe Schmitt
Women's John Narcy Most Improved: Laura DeFord
Women's Spartan of the Year Award: Marlys Fuqua
Men's Spartan of the Year Award: Daniel Schemmel
Women's Swimmer of the Year: Sasha Lewerenz
Men's Swimmer of the Year: Adam Schmitt
Women's Diver of the Year: Katie Edwards
Men's Diver of the Year: Ivan Zalessov
Freshman of the Year: David Garry
Kevin Zielinski Heart Award: Amy Schmidt
John Munley Memorial Scholarship : Michael Van Beek

We welcomed 11 new members into the order of the golden spike. We also said an official good bye to Coach Mull, although I have a sneaking suspicion that he'll be around next year.

I want to thank both Tom Munley and Jack Seibold for attending the banquet. Their presence connects present to past so well.

By the way, I did get the update from J.P. about how the Spartans did this past weekend at the Master's State meet. Congrats to Alec Mull, Dr. Steve Bargwell, Marilyn Early, Kurt Kristenson, Don Korten and Joe Buys.

We have only a few days left in the semester and then exams. This time of the year, we always have to say good bye--sometimes for a long time--to our departing graduates. One graduate who I am particularly proud of is Johan Sunryd. "Jojo" has earned a full scholarship to the University of Massachusetts to study biochemistry. He is getting his undergraduate degree next Friday, and he is on his way to doing great things.

Next week, I promise a summary of our recruiting as well as our schedule for 2007-08.

Until next time,
Matt G.


April 19, 2007


I apologize for not putting together an update last week. Last week was the signing date, so we were busy trying to get a few more Spartans.

One highlight of this past week was our entry in the world cup intramural soccer tournament. Manny put together a squad of 13 and they were unceremoniously eliminated after three hard-fought games. I have included a picture of the team.

This is a big week for our program. We wrap up our official spring training, we have two separate community service events and the week culminates with our annual banquet.

On Friday, we will have many team members and the entire staff assisting in the special Olympic swimming event at Holt High School.

On Saturday, we will have the entire team taking part in the Adopt-A-River project, cleaning up the Grand and Red Cedar rivers.

On Sunday, we will have our awards banquet in the LaSalle Bank Club in Spartan Stadium. We will have 11 new members in the Order of the Golden Spike.

If anyone is planning to attend the spring football game, please try and stop by the pool. We will be working in the morning at the Adopt-A-River project, however, I will be in my office right before the spring game.

Many of you have e-mailed requesting photos of the new locker room. I have been a little delinquent in getting those out but I have included a couple.

Next week, I will have an update of our banquet (with pictures). I know most of you who read this are familiar with the Golden Spike, so a treat for this week:

Hang it up, Hang it up -Jack Seibold

The thrills of victory, the tears of defeat, The sights and sounds of a swimming meet. This is the heritage of a contest we love, Struggling swimmers in water, twisting divers above. Yet for each competitor the time must come, When memoirs are woven from ribbons he's won.

`tis time Old Veteran, Hang it up, hang it up.

The workouts are tedious, it's no longer fun, Once easy victories have become hard won. Tired you are of stroking and kicking, Tired you are of taking a licking. You've had your fill of distance and dashes, And most of all hearing about teenage flashes.

Tis time Old Veteran, Hang it up, hang it up.

Or' a year long season boredom is assured, As monotonous daily workouts go undisturbed. Your limbs are fatigued, your senses rebel, As you mentally prepare for that final farewell. Ah...those glorious moments are melting away, As more you recall yesterday.

Tis time Old Veteran, Hang it up, hang it up.

So with tumult still ringing in your ears, In retrospect you look back in years. A question prevails that one must submit, Was dedication to swimming really all worth it? Yes ...yesthe answer echoes back as if in a plan, Suddenly you realize swimming's made you a man.

Good luck, Old Veteran, Hang it up, hang it up.

God bless the campus at Virginia Tech,

Matt Gianiodis


April 5, 2007


Last week, I waxed eloquently of the many signs of spring on campus and today I write as it is snowing outside. How great it is to be in Michigan!

The Big Ten released its Academic All-Big Ten awards last week and Michigan State had 42 recipients. Of the 42 Spartan students honored, 22 of them are swimmers and divers. That is pretty good for us considering more than half our team are freshmen. Freshmen are ineligible from being named Academic All-Big Ten.

On Monday April 9, our department will be hosting the 10th Academic gala. This year's speaker is none other than Steve Smith. I know many of you have attended this banquet in the past decade. Each year it gets more and more grand. In fact, this year I am required to attend in a tuxedo. It is a highlight every year for our program because of the large number of team members who are honored for their work in the classroom.

Speaking of honors, a very special congratulations to Matt McNichols. Matt has been selected to represent Michigan State at the NCAA leadership conference in Orlando, Fla. Only one person represents each member institution, so this is quite an honor for our program and especially for Matt. I am very confident that he will represent Michigan State very well.

Next week is the signing date and we are looking forward to adding s few more Spartans for 2007-08.

We are also getting ready for the banquet on April 22. If you have any interest in attending, please contact us as soon as possible.

Until next time,
Matt G


March 29, 2007


"A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something." -Plato

This past week, we have really been able to experience spring in East Lansing. The weather has been spectacular and all the signs of spring are here. Unfortunately, one annual sign of spring here at Michigan State is the rumor that the swimming and diving programs are in danger of being discontinued. As juicy as this rumor is, especially amongst the spectators at age groups meets, it is entirely untrue. In the past year, our program has been the recipient of new locker rooms and a new team room. We have also done a great job of fundraising, thanks exclusively to our alumni and supporters.

There are a lot of people who care deeply for this program and everyone in it and that includes administrators here at MSU. I would ask that if you hear of the rumor, please tell the person you heard it from to contact me and I will do my best to set them straight.

The Spartan swimmers and divers will be taking part in their spring community service projects in the next month. On Friday, April 20, we will participate in the Special Olympics. Then on Saturday, April 21, we will assist in the adopt-a-river project.

April 11 is the spring signing date, and we are hoping to announce a few more Spartan swimmers and divers to the class of 2011.

Finally, best of luck to the Spartan hockey program next week in the Frozen Four.

Until next time,
Matt G


March 22, 2007


At the end of every season, no matter how successful or unsuccessful, every program does an evaluation of the previous year. In our evaluation, one of the areas of need we identified was leadership. Of course, this is not to say we didn't have good leaders last year. In fact, our lack of leadership was a result of me not putting those leaders into a position to lead.

To rectify the problem, I have decided that our program needed captains for the 2007-08 year. For the first time in my head coaching career I will be working with captains. This past Saturday we announced the captains for the 2007-08 season. They are:

Matt McNichols
Adam Schmitt
Jason Vadney
Marlys Fuqua
Heather Kiluk
Alycia Mokedanz

All six understand the responsibility associated with being a captain. They all are ready for the season and have begun to do things in the way of organizing next year.

If you have the time, please say a little prayer for Coach Dewey Newsome of Grand Valley State. Coach Newsome suffered a stroke this past Sunday and he is in the hospital in Grand Rapids. Dewey is a good coach and a good person, your thoughts are appreciated.

Once again, I want to thank all of you who have been very supportive this past month.

Until next time,
Matt G


March 15, 2007


I want to thank the Zielinski family for their input and their support of the newest team award. It will pay tribute to one of the greatest swimmers in the history of our program, Kevin Zielinski (1988-93). His first time at Summer Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., he was named Rookie of the Meet for an outstanding performance. He went to the Olympic Trials (Indianapolis-Barcelona Trials) for the breaststroke. Kevin died last year and his former teammates suggested we honor him with an annual award at our team banquet.

This year we will give the Kevin Zielinski Heart Award. The award will go to a senior who has demonstrated excellence both academically and athletically. We are honored to do this and it is our hope that this becomes another strong tradition in our program.

Swimming and Diving awards:
Jack Seibold Leadership Award
Jennifer Parks Leadership Award
Men's and Women's Swimmer of the Year
Men's and Women's Diver of the Year
John Narcy Most Improved Award
Spartan of the Year Award
Kevin Zielinski Heart Award
John Munley Memorial Scholarship Award

Our banquet is on Sunday, April 22 at 12 p.m. All our alumni and supporters are invited to attend. Questions regarding the banquet can go directly to Kathleen Milloy at milloy@ath.msu.edu

I want to congratulate Ricky Forest, future Spartan, who won a championship in the 500 freestyle this past weekend at the 2007 MHSAA state meet. Ricky is going to help our program quite a bit.

We started spring/summer training this week, with an eye on getting better. Coming off the disappointing short-course season, our team's focus this summer is on the long-course season.

I wanted to also thank you all for your support of our program following two very disappointing Big Ten Meets. Our young people will get much better and we will continue to work hard to improve.

Until next time,
Matt G


March 2, 2007


We have seven divers competing this weekend at the NCAA regional at U of M in Ann Arbor. Katie Edwards, Amy Schmidt, Allie Sayers and Matt Akerly are competing in their final regional meet. We are keeping our fingers crossed that our divers do their best.

As we roll into spring, I want to pay tribute to Richard Mull. Coach Mull has occupied the fourth assistant position for the last seven years. He has made me sane and insane--sometimes in the same minute. He is the greatest coach I have ever worked with. He holds the love of every swimmer/athlete he comes in contact with.

In October 2003, I asked Rich to come to the Indiana football game. I had just been named interim head coach of the team, and I was doing my best sales job to get him to come back. In many ways, Rich saved me that year, and I am always indebted for that.

I want to highlight some of his tenure here since 2000.

First and foremost, he acquired a family member when his son Cameron married Ildiko Szekely.

He also became a grandpa three times over while working for the Spartans.

Richard coached multiple NCAA qualifiers, and he got the chance to see his son Cameron be coached by his other son Iian at the 2004 Olympic Trials.

He has seen many of his swimmers move on to become great people, and he has been a big part of their maturation.

Coach Richard Mull is a true Spartan in everything he does.

He will be missed.

Until next time,
Matt G


Feb. 22, 2007


Back in 1990, my coach at St. Bonaventure had a quote from the epic poem "The Aenied" he liked to share with our team: "To live is to suffer." That quote is perhaps applicable to our program's Big Ten experience in 2007. There is no experience for a swimmer in the country that is more intimidating than the Big Ten Championships. To make a scoring swim at night, you have to have an NCAA B standard. Athletes that are used to coasting into the finals in high school are forced to deal with having to compete full out in order to just get a swim at night. This year forced many of our younger swimmers to learn a hard lesson. As a program, we "suffered" greatly. But through the suffering, we emerged stronger and aware of what it is going to take to compete at this level. The kids never quit, and though frustrated; they represented themselves very well.

We had another very steady year in diving. On the women's side, we had Amy Schmidt and Katie Edwards score. On the men's side, we scored more points than we had in a decade. Between freshmen David Garry and Ivan Zalessov, we scored in all three diving events.

In swimming, we had no other choice than to use our young people. We had freshmen lead off all four medley relays. At the women's meet, we had at least two freshmen on every relay. One bright spot came when we had the second-fastest 800 free relay in program history for the men. It was also the only relay that scored in the top eight in the conference.

In all, the Big Ten Championships were a disappointment. However, we are returning a solid core of team members, and they seem to understand that to battle in this conference, you are going to have to work. We will improve, and we will do it together as a program and as a team.

I want to congratulate junior Matt McNichols, who was named a State Farm Champion in the Classroom. Look for his message at our football games in the fall.

Until next time,
Matt G


Feb. 1, 2007


Nothing quite brings smiles to the face of swimmers like taper time. We are in the midst of our rest period for both the men and women and the energy level is rising. We have all worked very hard this year and we are hoping that we do well. Both Big Ten meets are in very good facilities, so we hope to get very good performances from everyone. Of course, it is our intention to score as many points as we can and hopefully get people through to the NCAA's.

This Thursday at the women's basketball game, the MSU Athletics Department will be celebrating Girls and Women in Sports Day. Our team, along with the other women's teams at Michigan State, will be honored at halftime. If you get the chance, please come on out to the basketball game and support our women's team.

Our team banquet this year is going to be Sunday, April 22 at 12 p.m. This is a change to our traditional Saturday night banquet. We originally wanted to do it on April 21, however, that conflicts with the Spring football game.

Also, Homecoming 2007 will be on October 13. That puts our alumni swim meet on the 13th at 9 a.m. Please mark your calendars for that date also.

I got a chance to see Mike Mulshine ('99) last week. He was on campus recruiting packaging interns. Mike is a Senior Packaging Engineer for Campbell's Soup. He lives near Princeton, N.J., and he was recently married. He is doing well and looking great, and as expected I reminded him during our conversation of the importance of the Ralph Young Fund.

I want to congratulate Alec Mull, who set state records for his age group this past weekend. Al has taken up swimming again, and from the report I get from his dad, he is a state-record breaking machine.

Thanks to all of you who responded to the news that MSU is upgrading the IM west facility. I have gotten many e-mails. Hopefully this is the first step to getting a real aquatic center done at MSU.

At the end of February, we do have quite a few big basketball games. If anyone plans to be in East Lansing for the games, please let me know.

Due to the Big Ten meets, I will not have an update until Feb. 22. I will make sure to catch you all up on our progress then. Please be sure to check our website for results from both meets.

Until next time,
Matt G


Jan. 25, 2007


Our dual meet season came to close last Friday night. Neither our men's nor our women's records ended up where we had hoped. The men in particular never got any breaks and finished at 1-6. The women finished a little better at 3-5-1.

At Oakland, we had many great performances by a lot of people. For the men, Adam Schmitt continued his great season, winning three individual events. Sho Koba won the 200 freestyle. Jason Vadney swam hard in both the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. Chris Olszewski had a great meet. Perhaps, the swimmer of the meet was Mike Van Beek; he swam his heart out in the 1000 and 500 freestyle.

For the women we had great performances by Sasha Lewerenz in the backstrokes, Julie Kahn won the 100 freestyle, Mara Loniewski won the 200 freestyle, and Sarah Biasello got her first win in the 200 breaststroke. It was also nice to see Megan Reponen, a swimmer who embodies what it is to be a Spartan, win both the 200 and 100 butterfly.

Throughout the dual-meet season, we've trying to figure out what direction we'd like to go in when we get to the Big Ten Meet. With that in mind, I made so many mistakes this year in dual meet lineups that it cost our men at least two victories; however, we have seen real progress from October to today. The question of course is how much progress we'll see in February? Of course, we're hoping a lot.

There is a little mix-up on our schedule on the dates for the Men's Big Ten Championships in Columbus. The dates are Thursday, Feb. 15- Saturday, Feb. 17.

The event schedule goes as follows:

That is also the same event schedule for the women's meet in Minneapolis Feb. 8-10.

Congrats to Johan Sunryd, who this past week was accepted into graduate school in molecular biology at the University of Massachusetts.

So, it is getting close to the end of the season. We are in taper time at the pool, and the Spartans are getting ready.

Until next time,
Matt G


Jan. 18, 2007


We hosted the Boilermakers this past weekend and although we performed well, we dropped both the men's and women's meets. Purdue is always a tough team, and over the past six years they have been able to move their programs into an elite status. The Spartans did have great performances by quite a few members of our team including:

As stated last week, it was also senior day for the class of 2007. Lindsay Bockstiegel swam in her final meet for the Spartans. She competed in the 200 and 100 freestyle.

I want to thank our parents who have done so much this home dual-meet season. They have made food, created a hospitality room, sold t-shirts and most importantly cheered loudly at every home meet. In particular, I want to thank Dan and Bonnie Schmitt, Jim and Marcia McNichols, Joni Kiluk, and Larry Schroeder-who has the best "Go Green, Go White" cheer of anyone.

This week, we travel to Oakland on Friday for a 5 p.m. dual meet with the Golden Grizzlies. The meet will be a 16-event format. It is our last competition before the Big Ten meet. Traditionally, when we have a meet at OU we get many of our alumni out to see the meet. If you think you can make it please try to come out and support the Spartans. We anticipate a very tough meet from Oakland. They have a great team and a great coaching staff, so we could use all the support we can get.

This week, I would like to recognize another member of our staff who gets very little attention. Jeremy Flynn is our academic coordinator and he is the main reason as to why our teams have really excelled in the classroom the past four years. He is a tireless worker with no ego. His genuine concern is that the kids on our team set themselves up to be successful in school and afterward. Jeremy is a real asset and I am very thankful he is part of our program.

If you are going to be on campus for any of the upcoming basketball games, please feel free to drop by. If you know you are going to be in town, let me know ahead of time.

As always, remember to renew/join the Ralph Young Fund.

Until next time,
Matt G


Jan. 18, 2007


Happy 2007. I write to you, tanned and healthy back from our trip to the tropics. The swimmers spent eight days in the Bahamas and the divers spent the same time in Puerto Rico. For the swimmers, we trained hard but we also had a little bit of fun. On Jan. 1, we had a whole team single-elimination volleyball tournament.

Of course, we have the ability to take these trips because of the hard work we do in our year-round fundraising effort. The teams trained hard which is always easier to do when you are guaranteed good weather, and we have that in those locations.

And now it is on to conclude the season.

The spring semester is abbreviated by one week, so we only have two meets left. The first is this Saturday when the men and women host Purdue at 2 p.m. It will be Senior Day for Matt Akerley, Lindsay Bockstiegel, Eve Brusie, Katie Edwards, David Lessard, Megan Reponen, Dani Sawyer, Allie Sayers, Amy Schmidt, and Carly Zenk.

The class of 2007 was freshmen when I took the program over in 2003. They have been very supportive of me as we have tried to move this thing forward. The class is full of some fantastic performers and more importantly, great people.

All 11 are great Spartans.

Last time, I mistakenly omitted that in April at our Academic Gala, the men's program will capture the Athletic Director's Cup for having the highest GPA in the athletic department.

I want to thank all of you who sent along your year-end contributions to the Ralph Young Fund. Never too early to start thinking about those tax concerns for 2007.

Four weeks to the Women's Big Ten meet. Five weeks to the Men's Big Ten meet.

Until next time,
Matt G


Swimmers in the Bahamas.