A Keene State College coach has been allowed a great opportunity and honor. Only a handful of coaches across the country get to do what this coach was offered.
Jack Fabian, head coach of the swimming and diving team, was asked to speak at this year’s American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
Fabian was one of two division III coaches chosen to give a presentation at the clinic and was in the company of coaches from the top-collegiate swimming schools in the country.
The KSC swim coach said he gave his presentation on distance training in a division III season, which is relatively shorter than division I and II. Despite the shorter season, Fabian, along with his assistant coaches, had managed to mold many of his swimmers into All-American athletes.
In 2013, Fabian’s team ranked ninth place in division III schools in the country at the NCAA tournament.
Coaches around the country came to the clinic and got to see Fabian give his presentation. Fabian said that the speech he gave was nerve-racking, but ultimately ended up being the best talk that he had ever given.
“It’s been one of the highlights of my career,” Fabian said. Fabian also added that he learned from the other coaches attending the clinic and applying that knowledge to his practices.
“If I stop learning, I’ll stop coaching,” Fabian admitted. Fabian said that he’s also looking to absorb new knowledge on the sport that will benefit his team.
Assistant coach Dan Morse, who swam for Fabian from 2008 to 2011 and has now been his assistant for three years, said that it came as no surprise that the seasoned swim coach was asked to speak in Jacksonville.
“Look at his results throughout his career,” Morse said.
Morse also noted that Fabian’s men’s squad has been the highest-scoring public institution the past two seasons and he has coached seven All-Americans during that time as well.
According to keeneowls.com, Fabian received his doctorate in molecular biology from the State University of New York in Buffalo. Whether it be under the microscope or in the pool, Fabian is as thorough as possible.
“Very intelligent, very scientific—very scientific in his approach to the sport, more so than any other coach I’ve met … always has a season-long plan,” Morse said. He continued, ”He always knows exactly what kids should be doing for each stroke.”
Lindsey Day, a senior captain on Fabian’s team, mentioned the differences between Fabian and her past coaches.
”He’s much more technical than most coaches … he’s trying new stuff every day. It’s never repetitive with him, it’s never boring, it’s always to make us better,” Day said.
Morse, along with Day, both credited Fabian’s scientific and well-prepared approach to the sport as a key factor in making the Owls one of the top division III swimming and diving teams in the country.
Fabian said that working out and training are two different actions and he does his best to challenge his athletes to be more focused and driven.
“People can just work out or they can train. When people train, it’s a performance practice,” Fabian said.
He continued, “They’re very engaged in that. The amount of neural activity is at a much higher level—that type of performance practice carried out over numerous times of the week will take a kid to the next level. That’s what we need in a nineteen week season.”
He also added a bit of his goals for this coming season.
”I would like this team to be the best team I’ve ever coached,” Fabian said.
In order for this to become a reality, Fabian said that students need to be taking care of themselves when they are out of the pool or training with the team.
That part is up to the athletes themselves, but if this year is going to be anything like last year, the Keene State Swimming and Diving team, along with the school itself, has something to look forward to.
Dr. Fabian also has a hand in coaching an Olympic hopeful, but this one is a little closer to home.
Fabian’s daughter Eva is also an accomplished swimmer, winning the 10K race at the 2011 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships.
She also took home a gold medal for her performance at the 2010 Open Water World Championships, as well as many other accolades. Although talent runs in the family, Fabian is just as dedicated to each of his swimmers at KSC.
“Every kid counts,” Fabian said.
That dedication to coaching is what Fabian said keeps him motivated and always looking for new methods to put his team in the best position to win.
Jacob Barrett can be contacted at email@example.com