Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 9, 2018

Kocsis Redesigns Swim Program

Allyson Fogerty


Mike Kocsis loves swimming and knew he wanted to be a professional coach after his first season as an assistant coach for his high school team. “The chance to help individuals grow, learn, and achieve their goals is such a fulfilling experience and I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life,” he said. So when a head coaching position presented itself at Manchester University, Kocsis applied straightaway.

Originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota, Kocsis made his way to an assistant coaching position in Williamsburg, Kentucky at the University of the Cumberlands. As an assistant coach at the University of the Cumberlands, which is an NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) school, he saw his teams win many successes. The women’s team won their fourth straight conference championship and the men won their fifth straight conference runner-up. The women’s team also won third place at Nationals, and his teams had 11 Academic All-Americans which is the highest amount for a single year in team history.

Kocsis credits his time at his previous university as one that taught him the invaluable difference between coaching at a high school level, and coaching at a collegiate level. He learned how to better create season plans and practices and was able to learn the interpersonal skills needed for a coach to communicate with their athletes.

While at Manchester, Kocsis is excited about the chance to build the University’s swim program. He said his team was anxious at first about his new approach to practices and training, but he feels they are all on the same page now and look forward to seeing how the program grows and adjusts this season.

One of Coach Kocsis’s swim captains, Mikki Goetz, senior accounting and finance major, is excited to see what Kocsis can do. Her graduating class was the first class to be affiliated with a Conference, and while she has seen the program change and build under a different coach, she sees that Kocsis is excited to jump in and build the program even more.

Goetz notices of the team a more cohesive atmosphere under Kocsis. While they love and have respect still for their previous coach, they know that Kocsis’s new vision for the teams is more aligned with their visions as well. She said that practices are going better and that even though they started the season without a head coach and all the bumps in the road at the beginning, she sees the team “set off to see high results in the end.” Both Kocsis and Goetz see that this year is one of adjustments and one of the hardest for Kocsis comes as this being his first head coaching position. He at times feels overwhelmed with all of the things there are to learn and manage. “Joining the program in October when the season was already underway and having to learn everything on the fly also made this challenge even more difficult,” he said. But with all of the support from the other coaches, and the teams themselves, Kocsis feels supported and always has help with any questions that arise.

Kocsis is excited about this season at Manchester University, with the team atmosphere and positive feedback he has been receiving, he knows this year will one of positive growth for both himself, and his teams.