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 Kristin Walker of Georgia Southern University, Daniel Dozier of UNC Asheville, Mona Groteguth from the University of Indianapolis, Alice McCall at Florida Atlantic University, Nathan Harding of Biola University and Wabash College’s Daniel Burke.
The scholarship will provide each of the six selected assistant coaches with the free registration and lodging at the 60th annual CSCAA Convention and Awards Banquet and CSCAA Coach Academy. Airfare is generously provided by All Sports International
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. Since its establishment in 2012, the Freeman Scholarship has enabled many of the nation's top rising assistants to rub elbows with the country's top coaches. Of the forty-eight selections, nearly a third have become Head or Associate Head Coaches including three of the inaugural selections.
Daniel Burke, Wabash College
Burke wrapped up his first year as an assistant at Wabash, but what a year it was. Following the first practice of the season, the head coach announced his resignation to accept a new position leaving Burke as the interim head coach just days into his new job. Wabash Head Coach William Bernhardt explains:
It would be hard to put it all that Dan adds to our community and program on one sheet of paper. The trust the athletes have in Dan speaks volumes to the type of person he is. He wants to help our young men grow in so many more ways than as just swimmers and divers and this adds value to their collegiate experience and affirmation that our program is making a bigger difference on the lives of those that we have the privilege to work with. Winning this award is such an honor for our program and our institution. Everything that Coach Freeman embodied I see in Dan.
Kristin Walker, Georgia Southern University
Like Burke, Kristin Walker unexpectedly found herself promoted to the role of GSU’s interim head coach. This year, Walker helped head coach Amanda Caldwell (herself a Freeman Scholar) and the Eagles to a 4th place finish at the CCSA Championships. Walker aims to “use swimming as an avenue to positively impact student athletes to confidently discover and utilize their gifts with a passion. Caldwell adds:
The Jean Freeman Scholar is an amazing opportunity for Kristin to grow and learn as a young coach. She has been a constant amongst a lot of change for our students within our program these past three years.
Daniel Dozier – UNC Asheville
In his three years as head coach Elizabeth Lykins’ assistant, Daniel Dozier has helped UNC Asheville break twenty-eight school records, while improving over 150 points at the CCSA Conference Championships. Dozier has primary responsibility for the Bulldogs’ sprint and breaststroke groups. Head Coach Lykins says:
"Having Assistant Coach Daniel Dozier selected is a true honor for UNC Asheville. Coach Dozier is involved across campus as well as with athletic department initiatives and his commitment to the team, the program and the university is unwavering. Daniel regularly questions the norm and consistently encourages team members to be the best possible versions of themselves. We are very proud of Daniel's success and excited to see him continue influencing young lives through the sport that gave him so much."
Mona Groteguth, University of Indianapolis
In her two years, Mona Groteguth has helped Jason Hite lift the Greyhounds to unprecedented heights including back-to-back third-place finishes at the 2018 and 2019 NCAA Division II Men’s Championships and GLVC titles. Her impact at UIndy has been immediate explains head coach Jason Hite:
Mona brings a strong drive and knowledge to the pool deck and office. She is always working to make us better. I feel like I can always bounce ideas off of Mona and we are going to get exactly what we want to accomplish out of our workouts. The opportunity to represent UIndy at the CSCAA Convention is impactful. It means that as a staff we can divide and conquer. We listen to more speakers and bring multiple perspectives back to our team.
Alice McCall – Florida Atlantic University
From coaching the distance group to leading men’s recruiting to coordinating alumni and fundraising, Alice McCall has done a little bit of everything at FAU. This year she helped the Owls to a runner-up finish at the CCSA Championships. Head Coach Lara Preacco explains:
Having Alice represent Florida Atlantic University a Freeman Scholar represents the path that we have taken as a team in the past 4-5 years. Alice brings a strong work ethic and a great desire to push our Team to improve in all aspects of their lives: athletically, academically, personally and as a cohesive unit. I am excited and I can’t wait to see what achievements we will see from Alice, as well as FAU in the next few years.
Nathan Harding – Biola University
After two seasons at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Nathan Harding is now helping head coach Ryan Kauth lead Biola University through their transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II. These efforts were highlighted this season by the Eagles earning the highest GPA among Division II women’s teams. Head Coach Ryan Kauth:
Nathan has quickly become one of the most mindful, supportive, and influential coaches I have ever had the pleasure to coach alongside. He does a great job of balancing being a supportive assistant, while inserting himself boldly in areas where I need him. His wisdom and intellect allow me to see things from a different perspective, which makes me a much better coach. This award is an opportunity for others, across the nation, to get a small glimpse of what a great coach he is