NJIT Swimming Lays out 6-year Plan to Rescue, Rebuild Program

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Following the recent announcement that the NJIT Men’s swimming program has reached an agreement to head off reinstatement, head coach Rob Franc has sent me an overview of his 6-year success plan to develop NJIT into a mid-major swimming power.

Overall, Franc thought that the suspension and subsequent reinstatement of the program would have a positive effect upon the psyches of his athletes.
“What I think this whole experience will do is create a stronger sense of ownership for the current student athletes.  Through that I hope to spark some fast swims and create a higher profile for NJIT swimming,” Franc said.

This plan provides a very interesting insight into how you rebuild (or even build) a program. The plan is ambitious, but by no means inconceivable.

There are a few very interesting parts of this plan.

First of all, NJIT  is hoping to build its athlete base on the strength of its  academic program. The University’s national reputation, both academically and athletically, is on the rise, and NJIT is recognized as one of the most technologically advanced institutions in the country.

Secondly, I think that the plan of building a USA-Swimming program along with the offshoot of the NCAA squad is absolutely brilliant. Newark is a relatively large metropolitan area, and has a relatively strong history of swimming. This includes being the youth training grounds of the Famed Gus Stager, who won 5 NCAA titles at Michigan (1 as a swimmer, 4 as a coach) and was the coach of the 1960 US Olympic Team.

Despite this, Newark is only served by two very small, very new (under 3 years old) USA Swimming programs. If Franc and NJIT were able to start a program associated with the University swim team, it would be a great way to raise the profile of the team, attract local interest to the program, develop future talent, and create an additional stream of income for a coaching staff, thus potentially allowing a recovering program to funnel more money back towards the athletes.

It also includes a plan to reinstate the women’s program, which hasn’t yet been able to work out a deal like the men’s program has. Franc has previously remarked that the women have been invited to continue to train with the men until such a time when their program can be reinstated.

Check out the plan below. It’s really interesting stuff, and offers some great insights into the sort of strategies that can be used to help build, or rebuild, a program.

NJIT Aquatics 6 year Success plan

Vision Statement

NJIT has a niche and with the proper motivation funding and support I can fill that niche with
elite athletes from around the world. What NJIT can offer is an education and a degree with a
high potential for job placement. Finding the athletes that want to compete at a Division I level
and graduate with a marketable degree should be easy, creating a program that is viable will be
challenging. As a coach I demand constant discipline of myself and my swimmers and nothing
but the best: if today was hard tomorrow will be harder.

I have 3 distinct goals over the next 6 years.
1. Bring this program to a level that is highly competitive on the Mid-Major field
2. Gain entrance to the AEC and gain multiple NCAA B cuts
3. Fill the niche that NJIT offers and develop multiple All American athletes with a strong Alumni
connection (with stronger financial support)
Assumptions

In order for these goals to come to fruition I am assuming that NJIT has plans to reinstate the Men’s and
Women’s program should it prove viable, and eventually scholarship money will increase. This is the
most basic and rudimentary assumption, without it we can go no further. I cannot make this assumption
without the promise that NJIT swimming will become a viable sport in the future and with the athletes
currently enrolled, and that with the reactivation of scholarship money we can recruit top classes.

Risks

The biggest risk we face is that with the location, NJIT will never be attractive to the top recruiting class in
the nation. It is possible that we will set out on a mission to create a viable team and constantly be faced
with this problem. But Ohio State has proven this to be a possibility.

Strategy and Objectives
Year One, Season 10-11
Mets 2/18-2/20
ECAC 2/25-2/27

Primary Objective: Maintain team cohesion, increase competitive nature of work, develop current athletes.
Mid Year objective: reinstate recruiting for 11-12 season
End of Season Objective: ECAC A cut qualifying relay 400 free, with provisional B cut times for each
member
Pre Season: Maintain accurate records and post weekly results of prescribed exercises
designed to illicit the voluntary (but enthusiastic) activity of 10-11 student athletes

September 7 – 24 maintain regular 6 times a week practice schedule regular 30 minute
dryland prior to workout
September 25 – October 23 Begin Double sessions, lifting and high intensity weeklies

October 24- October 29 Rest fully for MSM Invite to gauge progress and dealing with stress
of competition schedule
October 29 2010, first competition, MSM invite

Dual Meet period
November 1 – December 10 train though meet schedule

December 10-16 Final Exam week, Light non-mandatory practice
December 17-Dec 28 Winter break

December 29- Jan 17 Winter training on campus
(Suggest Winter break Classes)
Jan 15th First meet back
Jan 29th 2011 Last meet

Championship period
February 1-27

METS 2/18-2/20 Rest bulk of team through to METS
ECAC 2/25-2/27 partial rest of ECAC qualifiers or possible qualifiers

March 7 – May 5 8 Hour weeks

Post Season: Stroke and aerobic conditioning maintenance, strength building routines

Year Two, Season 11-12
Mets 2/17-2/19
ECAC 2/24-2/26
Primary Objective: Reinstate recruiting, develop championship team, men top 8 at METS, place at
ECACs, begin USA club program at satellite site, begin additional funding through swim lesson program
Mid Year objective: reinstate women’s team, begin female recruitment
End of Season Objective: continue ECAC qualification, extend to all team members, add AEC teams to
schedule
Actual break down of season depends on dual meet schedule, similar to 10-11 season.
Year Three, Season 12-13
Mets 2/17-2/19
ECAC 2/24-2/26
Primary Objective: Reinstate recruiting, develop championship team, men top 8 at METS, place at
ECACs
Mid Year objective: reinstate women’s team, begin female recruitment, groom club team
End of Season Objective: continue ECAC qualification, extend to all team members, add AEC teams to
schedule
Actual break down of season depends on dual meet schedule, similar to 10-11 season.
Year Four, Season 13-14
ECAC
Primary Objective: Top 5 at ECACs, begin bid for entrance into AEC, increase scholarship funding, recruit
elite freshman class, develop diving team, part time club coaches
Mid Year objective: reinstate winter training trip, larger AEC schedule, hourly diving coach at JFK
End of Season Objective: Top 5 at ECACs, swim with times that score at AEC

Year Five, Season 14-15
ECAC
AECC
Primary Objective: Entrance into AEC, recruit 4 divers
Mid Year objective: Part time Dive coach to be competitive at AECC
End of Season Objective: top 8 at AECC, NCAA B cuts

Year Six, Season 15-16
AECC
Primary Objective: Multiple NCAA B cuts, top 5 at AECC, move USA club to Newark, Sectional qualifiers
for USA club team
Mid Year objective: Groom diving team
End of Season Objective: Multiple NCAA B cuts

What I think this whole experience will do is create a stronger sense
of ownership for the current student athletes.  Through that I hope to
spark some fast swims and create a higher profile for NJIT swimming.

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Eastside Fan

What is stopping the AEC from immediately offering the invitation to NJIT to join the conference right now? NJIT fits in geographically, academically, profile-wise (NJIT is also in the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, see http://www.aplu.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=249 )

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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