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New swim coach believes specificity is key

September 16, 2011

Alexander De La Pena

Monmouth welcomes yet another new Head Coach to the athletic department.

This summer, Monmouth College hired new head swim coach, Alexander R. De La Pena. De La Pena will be the fourth swimming coach at Monmouth since the program was reinstated in 2004. He replaces Kurt Niemeier.

De La Pena built up quite the resume in his time before arriving to Monmouth. His coaching career started at St. Lawrence University in New York in 2007, where he worked for two years and coached eight school record holders, and three swimmers that reached NCAA cut times.

Then he worked as an assistant at Oberlin College in Ohio. At Oberlin his athletes set thirteen school records and one athlete reached the NCAA championships.

After building his success Coach De La Pena set his sights for a head coach position.

“I took the job here because of the student centered approach here at Monmouth College,” said De La Pena.

He also said he was very impressed with the opportunities that Monmouth has to offer its students.

“There has been a lot of new construction in the past decade to help enhance and improve the student experience here,” stated the new coach.

Even though the coach finds academics to be of the utmost importance, he still has very high athletic goals for his team. 

The coach stated that he expects his program to be a top contender for the Midwest Conference Championship title.

“I am confident that we will be challenging Grinnell for the conference title in the near future,” said De La Pena. 

The new coach also has his sights set higher for his athletes. Competing at a high level at the conference level is going to be  one goal for his team, but the national level is the ultimate goal.

“I also plan to increase our team presence at the NCAA Championships,” he said.

Coach De La Pena understands he has set high goals for his team, but he is confident that they will reach them.

The new coach has a plan for his athletes, which he believes will prepare them to the best of their ability. He believes in a coaching style that relies on specificity and recovery. 

“I want our athletes to be ready for our higher intensity practices and that cannot happen if they are fatigued before they get into the water,” he said. 

The coach also believes that everything that his team will do will have a purpose.

In addition to the competitive goals, the coach also has some goals of his own. He wants to create the best environment for his athletes to compete and practice in.

He stated that he is excited for the upcoming season because of his talented athletes, so keeping a positive atmosphere will be easy.

Jon Welty
Contributing Writer

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