The Florida A&M University Men and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams enter the 2002-3 season with seven new recruits, a number one ranking in black college competition, and a new coach on the way.
The 2001-2 teams won the Historically Black College and University National Championship, competing against Howard and North Carolina A&T.
They also placed fourth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference finals, receiving three gold medals, one silver and two bronze.
With the talented new members, Coach Olaves-H has high expectations for the performance of next year’s swimming and diving teams.
“The team better be in the top 3 in the conference,” laughed Olaves-H.
“They should be breaking records. Records are made to be broken, not to stand still.”
Olaves recruits by talking to coaches across the nation and attending swimming and diving clinics such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association clinic in Austin, Texas. He was one of ten coaches invited.
Partial or full athletic scholarships are awarded to all team members.
This is Olaves-H’s last year as head swimming and diving coach. While serving as head coach of the four teams, he worked as aquatic director and a physical education professor.
He anticipates that the athletic department will search for a coach to work full-time.
“I will definitely miss working with the students,” Olaves-H said, “But I am happy that we will have someone who can give them undivided attention.”
The athletic department has not begun advertising for a new coach and had no comment on the upcoming search process.
Athletic Director Ken Riley notes that the swimming and diving program has made great strides under Olaves-H and continued improvement is the priority.
“The swimming and diving program was one area of concern,” recalls Riley.
“It was difficult to fill the teams. Coach Olaves-H has done a good job getting the numbers and training a competitive team. Many have set individual records. It is very important that whoever replaces continue in that direction,” he said.