Nov. 21, 2006
First off I hope your holiday season gets off to a great start with Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the season I would like to list the things I am thankful for this year:
Great Spartans who show up everyday and work hard. They represent the university well. They perform well despite built-in hurdles. They have a clear understanding of the history of our program. Without the kids I wouldn't be here and I appreciate that every day.
The hardest working coaching staff in the country. They work in some of the strangest conditions (snow, rain, ice). They work in cramped quarters. They recruit hard. They work long hours for a crazy, and sometimes unbalanced boss.
Parents who understand the meaning of supporting the program. In my four years as head coach I have been blessed with great parents. People like Steve DeFauw, Elaine Yocum, Trudy Nicely, Carmen Saucedo, Jim Lehner as well as so many others. This year is much the same.
Alumni and boosters who unconditionally support our program year in and year out. Their patience and persistence is noted by all of us who are here.
Administration at Michigan State who does everything they can to provide an environment to allow us to succeed.
Lastly, my family who has knows how to be patient with their husband/dad.
Nov. 8 was the early signing period and we were fortunate to get six new Spartans.
The women's program received letters of intent from four quality student-athletes:
Stephanie Fisher (Harlan, Wis.) - Stephanie is a multiple state champion in Wisconsin. She came to MSU and fell in love with the school. She swims the sprint and backstrokes.
Alexandra Dockstader (Kenmore, N.Y.) - Alex's MSU career began at age nine when she won a contest in Swimming World Magazine for a free week at any swim camp in the USA. She selected the Spartan swim camp. Since that day, she has improved quite a bit. Her strength is the freestyles, but she is also good in the IM.
Courtney Roberts (Milan, Mich.) - Courtney is another high character person. She has improved greatly and she won a state championship this past year in the 100 breast. She is well coached by Dan Heika.
Jordan Jackson (Flushing, Mich.) - Jordan has a long standing relationship with Eric. She will continue our tradition of good Michigan divers becoming great Michigan State divers.
The men received two new athletes:
Mark Healy (Jenison, Mich.) - Mark has been swimming for three years and he was a top-eight finisher in the state last year in the 50 Free.
Ricky Forrest (Lake Orion, Mich.) - Ricky swims for Lake Orion but also Oakland Live Y'ers. He is a good distance swimmer and is also very versatile in the IM's.
Please help me in welcoming these six athletes into the Spartan family.
We have had many swim meets over the last two weeks. We had a stretch where we raced five out of nine days. This semester has definitely been one of feeling out where we are and where we can go. We have a very young team and we have been especially hard on them in both training and racing. All of the results are on our website.
I got to see Chris and Laura (Atkinson) Koerner when they came out to the invitational at Northwestern on Saturday night. I had a great time reminiscing with the both of them. I want to thank them for the Ralph Young contribution they slipped me on their way home.
I also found out that Adam Pawlick is the father of a baby boy named Camden. He was born on Oct 5.
Next week we take a few athletes out to the U.S. Open at the new pool at Purdue.
I do wish that all of you have a great Thanksgiving.
Until next time,