Today: Jul 16, 2024

The secret to the Owls success

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Head coach Tim Quill has been named NE-10 conference coach of the year 13 times, along with winning a combined 17 NE-10 conference championships.

PAULA CAPUTOGeneral Assignment Reporter

As the Southern Owls swim season concludes, head coach Tim Quill has once again proven he can take two teams filled with promising athletes and mold them into winners.

“He pushed me really, really hard,” Owl’s men’s swimmer Alexander Polaco said. “I probably dropped about 42 seconds in the 500; my 200 time I dropped about 10 seconds, and I’ve never been faster.”

Polaco, who was an incoming freshman this year, said he believes if he pushes himself hard enough and puts in the extra work over the summer, Quill can guide him to becoming a more versatile athlete by the time senior year rolls around.

Sophomore Sarah Thompson, who has been swimming since the age of 10, said in the short two years she has spent at Southern learning under Quill, the experience she’s had and the skills she has acquired are incomparable to the years before.

“He’s really taught me a lot about the sport of swimming,” Thompson said, “what it’s like to compete, what it’s like to be on a college level.”

Thompson said Quill is such an exceptional coach, because he never gives up on a swimmer. According to Thompson, he always knows how to push them, he always knows how to keep them going, and he always knows how to keep them motivated.

“Swimming is like a love-hate relationship,” Thompson said. “He always brings out why you do this sport, why you love to do it–to compete, and I think definitely just the way he keeps you going is what’s so great.”

In 13 seasons as the head swimming coach at Southern, Quill has won eight out of the last nine Northeast-10 Championships for the men’s team, and nine straight with the women’s team.

“It’s a great feeling to be dominant like that,” Quill said. “There are some people that never get a chance to win or be part of a championship team ever in their competitive or coaching careers. I’ve been very, very fortunate to have the support that is needed to field a program that is capable of winning a conference title.”

Quill said there are no secrets to the team’s success and the reason they’ve been able to successfully defend their titles is because they are a hard working program.

Under Quill, Owls swimmers have broken more than 75 university records, and seven NCAA Division II records. He is a 13-time Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year and six-time Metropolitan Conference Coach of the Year.

“What we do in here every day is a reflection of how they’re going to approach their lives, Quill said. “The things they learn in the pool they sometimes can’t learn in a classroom and vice versa. It’s about life-long lessons in here so you’re kind of trying to take what it is that they do each day and apply it to what the rest of their life is going to be like.”

Quill said he uses all sources of motivation and tactics in his coaching style. According to Quill, athletes benefit from both positive and negative reinforcement. He said the main goal and purpose is to get the most out of the athletes every day.

“Maybe sometimes my expectations are a little bit higher than theirs,” Quill said. “I want to win as badly, maybe even more than they want to win sometimes. I think that they see that every single day and I think that is what convinces them that there’s really a lot of passion in what we do, and what we believe in, and why we come back to the pool every day.”

Quill said he can sum up his coaching career so far at Southern as both fun and demanding. He said he realizes his job goes way beyond the swimming pool.

“I’m responsible for how well these kids do academically in school and how they present themselves in the light of the university,” Quill said, “making sure they always put their best foot forward. I think we’ve been successful by competitive achievement standards, but I think there’s still yet a lot further we can go.”

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