by Ryan Allen
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Being the new kid on a very small block might be pretty intimidating, especially for the University of La Verne’s aquatic program, which starts its inaugural season against Cal State Northridge Saturday, Nov. 7.
John Hallman, the men’s and women’s head swim coach, may be a new kid on the La Verne block, but he is no stranger to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference neighborhood.
Hallman, a former Pomona-Pitzer coach, is “extremely optimistic” about the upcoming season.
“We have a good group of people. We have a lot of talent, but even more so we have a good group of characters, a lot of leaders,” said Hallman. “A good three-fourths of the team came from leadership positions from their high school. Already some people are starting to step forward and take on leadership roles.”
Even though this is the first year of the aquatics program at ULV, Hallman has been working hard recruiting.
“Last year’s goal was to get La Verne recognized in the area,” Hallman said.
Last year, Hallman and Tim Hugar, the head men’s and women’s water polo coach, spent the entire year recruiting and helping each other in the recruiting process.
This year, Hallman’s goal is not only to have the squad win, but to build a strong foundation and “lay down the framework” from which the future swim teams can build off.
“I want to develop the structure around the founding swim team for years to come,” said Hallman.
The two coaches are counting on each other to condition their athletes who crossover and participate in both swimming and water polo. Since swimming will get the female players in shape for water polo, and water polo will get the male swimmers in shape for swim season, the system works well for both coaches.
After Northridge, the swim team will not have a home meet until Saturday, Dec. 5 against Whittier College and Biola University.
“If you start off strong, it is less of a bumpy road,” Hallman said.
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.