Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 7, 2016

Coach Kroll with Students

Swimming and Diving Coach Mike Kroll speaks to spartans.

MU Swimming, Diving Looks to Recruit New Members

Maddie Jo Shultz

The sport arrived at Manchester at the same time as the man who currently coaches it, Mike Kroll. During his high school years, the Buffalo, NY native was involved in football and track and field, but his cerebral palsy limited him to the manager position. However, he was able to participate as an athlete by joining the swimming team. Kroll developed an interest in coaching when he observed what he described as, “the relationship between coaches and collegiate athletes and the impact coaches have,” and he began coaching on a club level before moving to the collegiate level.

There isn’t a pool on campus, but Manchester’s team uses the Strauss-Peabody Aquatics and Fitness Center, located only two blocks away. “Pre-season, it’s up to the athletes how much they practice,” Kroll says. However, swimmers typically practice Monday through Friday for several hours in the afternoon during season. If they have a meet coming up on a Monday, they often have Saturday morning practices, as well.

Manchester’s swimmers participate in two different types of meets: dual meets and invites. During dual meets, the Spartans compete against another team in their division.  Invites include a number of teams coming together to compete. The team’s first invite this season takes place at Wabash College for all Division III school in Indiana. The following, a much larger invite, will be at Purdue University and will include all schools in Indiana, from Divisions I, II, and III.
During a typical meet, there are relays and individual distance events, followed by diving and a freestyle relay. In a regular relay, each swimmer uses a different technique, such as backstroke or butterfly. Divers in Division III diving use two springboards, a one-meter and a three-meter.

Coach Kroll anticipates success from this season’s swimmers and divers. “We have a decent team, and we’re returning a good group from last year,” Kroll says. “We also have some good first-years.” Members of the women’s and men’s teams usually specialize in either swimming and diving. However, Manchester’s swimming and diving program is trying to overcome its newness. “We’re working on the framework and the expectations of the program,” Kroll says. “We also need to get the word out that the program exists. Our greatest challenge is recognition and the overall public knowledge of the sport.”

If any Manchester student is interested in swimming or diving, contact Mike Kroll via his email,