Just four years after capping his college career with back-to-back Division III national championships at Denison University (Ohio), Matthew Hedman is returning to the D-III ranks at Grinnell College (Iowa) with the same goal in his sights.
After graduating from Denison in 2019, Hedman worked toward a master’s degree from Ohio University in coaching education before joining the Hope College coaching staff as an assistant during the 2020-21 season. Last season, the Hope women’s team captured its third Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) title in a row and the program sent 10 swimmers in total to the NCAA D-III Championships.
As a swimmer, Hedman was a distance specialist at Denison, earning runner-up finishes in the 1650 freestyle during the Big Red’s championship runs in 2018 and 2019. A nine-time All-American, he received his bachelor’s degree in health, exercise and sports studies with a minor in psychology. He owns certifications as an ISSA strength and conditioning coach, ASCA Level 2 coach, and USA Swimming Coach.
“I am so excited for this opportunity to lead the swim and dive programs at Grinnell College,” Hedman said. “This is truly a dream come true for me. I would like to thank my family, friends and mentors for helping me throughout the past few months. I’m thrilled to begin getting to work with this highly-talented group of student-athletes and helping them grow into the best versions of themselves. It is an honor to take over this highly-successful program from Erin (Hurley), who has done amazing work in the past 29 years. I hope to continue the tradition of success in the program while continuing to raise the level of performances on the national level.”
Hedman replaces longtime coach Erin Hurley, who retired this spring after nearly three decades leading Grinnell’s swimming and diving teams. She guided the Pioneers to 39 Midwest Conference (MWC) crowns during her 28 seasons in charge — 21 on the women’s side and 18 on the men’s side. Hurley also received 21 MWC Coach of the Year honors across her career, 12 for the men’s team, five for the women’s, and four for overall.
A Nebraska graduate, Hurley helped Grinnell claim its first individual national championship in school history a decade ago when Michael Brus won the 200 backstroke in 2013.
This past season, the Grinnell men took home the MWC title for the seventh season in a row while the women made it back-to-back wins in February. Freshman Sean Colson earned Swimmer of the Year honors on the men’s side and went on to place 18th in the 200 back at NCAAs the next month (1:48.23). He was the first member of the Grinnell men’s team to make NCAAs since 2016, and the first swimmer to earn a berth since 2014.