Paul Bennett | Head Coach | Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving | Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

We look for unique student athletes who are interested in the sciences, business, premed or engineering. These students must be willing to work, commit to the program and be prepared to learn more about the science and art of our sport. While Swimming and Diving is classified as an individual sport it is perhaps the furthest thing from it – the amount of training, the intensity of the work and the duration of the season will cause any single person to crumble – but with the support, encouragement and expectations of a team behind him, the student athlete can truly achieve.

Could you give an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

We have student athletes who surprise us each season. There will be athletes whom we expect will quit and walk away because the demands or the work load is too high – and they stay for four years and contribute greatly – or there are the athletes who come in frustrated and disenchanted with the sport because they haven’t seen the improvement they want or would expect for several years, and after three short months they are faster than their lifetime best times/scores – and then there are my personal favorites, the shy and meek athletes who develop over the course of three years into leaders and the backbone of the team.