Friends of Bates Athletics has definitely made an immediate impact with giving up twice as much as the previous year - and the proof is definitely all around us. However, the most important addition to the program, and the biggest benefit from the FBA is the addition of Jacob Shanley to our staff. Three years ago I took over a team of 25 total, and now we are sitting at over 50 in the program! Another full-time staff member was a hope of mine since day one, and it feels great to be checking off another goal accomplished.
Jim Steen, but more directly it came from Jake's own desire to work hard and his ability to compete his best, against the best. A backstroker, IM'er and breaststroker, he came out of Old Town, ME as one of Maine's finest, and clearly went on to develop into one of the best collegiate swimmers in Maine's history. We are thrilled to have him come back home and join us as we take our next step as program. His help in recruiting and coaching, coupled with his knowledge of big meet swimming and championship team chemistry will help everyone in the program take another postitive step toward achieving lifetime bests, and fast swimming.
Personally, I met Jake during my last year working at the Total Performance Swim Camp, and was so impressed with his attention to detail, ability to teach, and work ethic that I called him up and asked him to help me build my own swim camp. Four years later, Jake is still on board, and remains one of our camp's most popular and admired coaches with props coming from not only the kids, and me, but also the staff and college counselors. We are thrilled to have Jake here with us - working hard and accomplishing his goals. Without the help from the FBA this would not have been possible, so thank you goes out to both Jake and all those that have given and helped us out with donations over the years.
John White '39. John was literally one of the fathers of Bates Swimming and Diving as he and his dad Harold (Bates' first swim coach) started the swim team his freshman year. The two teamed up to help Bates swim to a 3rd place finish in New Englands - our highest finish to date! John went on to live in Maine and the Lewiston/Auburn area, and not only make a name for himself locally, but also nationally and internationally as a US Masters Swimmer, and FINA World Record Holder.
As you know, you simply can't replace a great person with new lanelines and flags, or any equipment for that matter, so bringing another great person into the fold here at Bates was truly one of the best ways to remember and celebrate John. We are proud of what this program stands for, and most importantly the people associated with it - and look forward to coming together again this year to see just how good we can be!