Five Minutes With Rob Brownell, Head Swimming and Diving Coach

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Rob Brownell serves as head swimming and diving coach at The University of Olivet, working with both the men’s and women’s teams. He places a strong emphasis on building trust and respect with his athletes, believing this creates a strong foundation for hard work and success. Coach Brownell is especially passionate about treating his team as a family, and his own family even supports the team.
What brought you to OC, and why do you love OC?
A former coach from Olivet encouraged me to apply for years. Finally, the time felt right and I decided to leave high school coaching and the financial field to coach full time. I believe God has a plan for all of us, and His has worked out perfectly for me!
I love OC because of the relationships, personable staff and friendly atmosphere on campus. The swimmers are great and so are all of the students here. I love every day!
Where do your passions for coaching and swimming stem from? 
Coaching is great because of the relationships. I love being able to interact with the athletes, coaches and everyone around. Swimming is a fun challenge because you can see improvements, greatness and even failure. The clock doesn’t lie.
What’s your coaching style like?
I am pretty laid back — rarely do I yell or scream. I believe that by getting to know my athletes and building good bonds with them, I can build trust and respect. Without that, they won’t listen. Building this trust makes them work harder and accomplish more. However, expectations are always high and we continue to strive for more.
I work on the ROI method, or return on investment. I give more time and attention to the athletes who give me a good “return.” That return might be their heart, work ethic or leadership ability, or all of those. Either way, if they show they care, I invest more into them. I also am a big believer in family. My personal family is involved with the team, and the team is part of our family. I think this helps create strong bonds among everyone.

Why do you encourage students to attend OC?  
I believe that the personal attention students receive at Olivet contributes to their success and encourages greatness.
What do you look forward to in your role? 
I am looking forward to maintaining high academic and athletic standards. I hope to maintain Academic All-American honors in the top 10 highest ranking teams annually. I also hope to help athletes qualify for the National Championship meet regularly.
What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself? 
I’m not very interesting, but I do love Star Trek! I am a geek when it comes to that.
Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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