The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has selected six assistant coaches to receive the Jean Freeman Scholarship. The scholarships are given annually to six assistant coaches whose exceptional contributions have brought recognition to their college or university, and whose leadership, integrity, honesty, competitive attitude and personal graciousness epitomize those characteristics reflected by Jean Freeman, longtime women's swimming coach at the University of Minnesota.
This year's award winners are Hannah Burandt, Amanda Caldwell, Elise Knoche, Jordan Lieberman, Jeanmarie Madison and Juliet Suess.
The scholarship will provide each of the six selected assistant coaches with the convention fee, transportation and lodging to the annual CSCAA Convention and Clinic as well as the CSCAA Coach Academy.
Recipients were selected by a committee comprised of members of The Summit, The Summit for Empowering Women in Swimming, of which Jean was a founding member. The members of the selection committee are Carol Capitani, University of Texas; Anne Goodman James, Colorado College; Stefanie Kerska, Ann Arbor Pioneer (MI); Susan Teeter, Princeton University and Jill Sterkel of the University of Texas.
Hannah Burandt, University of Houston Burandt has helped Houston to back-to-back American Athletic Conference titles after stints as an assistant at Georgetown, Louisville and Oberlin.
"Hannah is one of the rising stars in the collegiate swimming community. "She is an extremely accomplished technical on-deck coach, but more importantly she is a phenomenal communicator and educator." - Ryan Wochomurka, University of Houston
Amanda Caldwell, Rice University. Caldwell just wrapped up her sixth season at Rice and has helped the Owls to three Conference USA titles and one CSCAA National Invitational Championship.
Amanda has really grown personally and professionally in her six years in her role as swimming coach at Rice University. I am so proud of her and what she has brought to our program. She has truly earned this honor. - Seth Huston, Rice University
Elise Knoche, Southern Illinois University. Knoche just completed her fourth season with the Salukis. Prior to arriving at SIU, she was the head coach at Olivet College and served as an assistant at both Oberlin College and the University of Saint Thomas.
"Elise is the quintessential coach. She puts athlete before self, process before results, and vision before masterpiece. She is the heartbeat of our program and the glue that holds us together." -Rick Walker, Southern Illinois University
Jordan Lieberman, Cornell University. Lieberman, has been the assistant at Cornell for two seasons. Prior to that, he served as the volunteer assistant at Texas A&M and assistant coach at Occidental College.
Jordan has had an invaluable impact on Men’s Swimming and Diving at Cornell; his ability to communicate and connect with the athletes is only surpassed by his drive to become a better coach as he constantly goes the extra mile in all he does. I can’t think of a more deserving candidate for the Jean Freeman Scholarship.
Jeanmarie Madison, William Jewell College. Madison just completed her first season with William Jewell following two seasons as a graduate assistant at Texas Christian University and one season as a volunteer assistant at Florida International University.
"Jean has brought an unrivaled sense of discipline. She effectively holds every student-athlete to their highest standard on a daily basis with intensity and compassion." - Mark Gole, William Jewell College
Juliet Suess, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. A Fullbright Scholar, Suess has spent the past two seasons as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Prior to that, she was an assistant at Occidental College and Glendale, California's Hoover High School.
Juliet brings a spark to the pool deck each day, coaching with a passion for our sport and compassion for each student-athlete. - Charlie Griffiths, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Since its establishment in 2012, the CSCAA's Freeman Scholarship has enabled many of the nation's top rising assistants to rub elbows with the country's top coaches at the CSCAA Convention. Of the forty-two selectees, nearly a third have become Head or Associate Head Coaches including three of the inaugural selections. Six years later, they reflected on their selection:
Jesse Moore, Women's Associate Head Coach, Northwestern University:
Receiving the Jean Freeman Scholarship afforded me the opportunity to attend my first CSCAA convention. Beyond learning about X’s and O’s I explicitly remember meeting amazing coaches like who taught me more about Jean and her legacy and have since then provided me mentorship for my career. The incredible coaches who implemented this scholarship impacted my life and have definitely inspired another generation of coaches to carry on Jean’s legacy in different forms."
Tulane Head Coach Katie Robinson:
Knowing the value and namesake of the award instilled in me a sense of purpose and integrity that I carried with me throughout that first convention. I knew it was a great honor and I wanted to do it justice by learning everything I could.. I still am grateful for the Freeman Scholarship and in many ways hold myself accountable to the purpose and integrity the award instilled in me years ago."
Shane Pelton, Head Coach, Cal State University, East Bay
For me, being associated with this award is quite an honor, and even more so being one of the inaugural receipts tied to such a legendary person, Jean Freeman. The convention has always been a place that allows you to network, learn, and interact with many of the great minds in our sport. Some of best memories mentorships and friendships started here.
The Freeman Scholars will be recognized at the 2018 CSCAA Convention and Awards Banquet, May 6-8, 2018 in Evanston, Illinois. http://www.cscaa.org/convention/