Nine-time All-American and two-time Olympic Trials semifinalist James Wike has been hired by SwimMAC Carolina to be the newest senior division coach. Wike will work with senior swimmers at SwimMAC’s south site on the campus of the Charlotte Latin School.
Wike brings three years of NCAA Division I coaching experience to SwimMAC. Most recently he spent a year at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. where he was an assistant coach. While with the Grizzlies he worked with the backstrokers, individual medley and middle distance swimmers. Prior to working at OU he worked for two years with Auburn University, his alma mater.
SwimMAC Head Coach and CEO David Marsh knows Wike will be able to help SwimMAC pursue its goal of empowering young people to be champions in life through swimming as he has already seen it happening.
“James is wise beyond his years as he is also the son of a coach and has the passion and energy to make an immediate impact” Marsh states.
Wike will work closely with Regional Manager Russ Kasl to ensure a seamless transition between coaches. Marsh adds, “The benefit of swimming for SwimMAC is you embrace the system in which the coaches’ coach thus you will find the majority of our student/athletes perform regardless who is training them.”
“It was really important to bring in the right person for this role, someone who is a team player and has a vested interest in helping the entire senior division get better,” said Kasl. “James has a proven track record of working with this class of swimmers and I believe these groups will continue to grow and thrive under James.”
Wike has the same respect for Kasl and SwimMAC as they have for him, “I am honored to be chosen as the senior one leader in the south division. I look forward to working with Russ every day as he is very established not only in North Carolina, but nationally as a strong coach.”
“Russ and SwimMAC have cultivated a very high level group of athletes who are extremely committed. I am a competitive and goal oriented person and these swimmers are the same. I anticipate we will be able to work well together to help them achieve their goals.”
Wike rose through the swimming ranks over the years by starting his career in his Sterling, Ill., his hometown. He was a three-time state champion in the 100 back, captured the 200 IM title once and was an eight-time all-state swimmer for Sterling High School.
He went on to swim for Marsh at Auburn and was selected as the team captain for the 2006-2007 season. His decorated career for the Tigers included nine All-American honors and three Southeastern Conference championships. Wike helped the Tigers win back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007.
During his time with the Tigers he was also a member of the U.S. National Team at the Japan International Grand Prix.
Following his swimming career at Auburn, Wike assisted the late Richard Quick and current head coach Brett Hawke from August 2008 to March 2009, culminating in the men’s team winning the NCAA championship that year. Wike directed the team’s backstroke group, with every athlete scoring points at both men’s and women’s NCAA’s.
Wike gained experience scheduling events, managing events and working on contracts by serving as the assistant to the director of athletics back at Sterling High School in the fall of 2009. Following that tenure he ended up at Oakland.
The Oakland swimmers Wike worked with 17 swimmers were named First Team All-Summit League and 10 captured Summit League individual titles. Additionally, he assisted in developing a dry land training program for the team, as well as recruiting.
The 2010 Auburn graduate holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in business, exercise science and psychology.4
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