One gauge of a good assistant is their readiness to take over a program when needed. Danielle Korman has proven herself ready not once, but twice. Just reading the first line of Head Coach George Kennedy's recommendation could be a metaphor for the impact Coach Korman has on their program - without her, it wouldn't be complete.
What isn't complete is her career, and this year we we recognize her Honorable Mention Selection for Rising Assistant Coach-of-the-Year.Nomination from George Kennedy, Johns Hopkins Head Coach
Earlier I started to write and accidentally it was sent without being complete...so I hope that I can write a full letter here. Dani is a fantastic recruiter, deck coach, inspirer, and has a great swimming mind. She knows exactly what it takes to get swimmers to go fast and the team respects her for that. She has helped in every aspect of our program and it has started with the recruiting. We have had three excellent classes in a row due to her leadership in this area.
During the time that Dani has been assistant our women have broken twelve team records. She is primarily responsible for our women's improvement to the 6th place team at NCAA's. The men have improved as well and Dani is responsible for our dryland program, and inspiring our team. She has the respect of the student athletes and I can give her any responsibility and know if is in great hands.
Thanks for the opportunity to recommend Dani.Nomination from Greg Earhart, Carthage College Men's Head Coach
I simply want to add something in addition to what George has said. Dani served as our graduate assistant at Carthage College from 2006-2008. When she accepted the position, I’m not entirely sure she wanted to coach, but when she left she knew it was her destiny.
Fresh out of Kenyon, I immediately felt comfortable turning Dani loose with our guys. I confess they weren’t the easiest to work with and I remember a particular incident when I had to read them the riot act for not according her the proper respect. The thing was some of them very much took what she said to heart. They saw that she had a considerable amount to share and not surprisingly those guys, particularly Andy Bax – a 22.6 50 freestyler, thrived. That year Andy won his first of two conference titles and a year later was a 20.8 50 freestyler.
It is entirely possible that Andy could have gone faster, but in the Fall of 2007 our women’s coach, Sue Nutty, unexpectedly had to leave the team to care for her gravely ill mother. Dani went from being the youngest of young graduate assistants to the interim head coach of our women’s team. Dani didn’t just hold the fort until Sue’s return, she helped Amanda Croix and three relays become the first NCAA Qualifiers in school history. Never a player on the national scene, the Lady Reds cracked the top twenty that year and Dani’s efforts set the stage for three-straight top-ten finishes.
There are some extraordinary people being nominated here and many more who should be. Dani ranks among them her performance under such trying circumstances ranks among one of the most extraordinary performances I’ve been blessed to witness.Nomination from Student-Athlete:
I am a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University and have just completed my second year swimming under George Kennedy and Dani Korman. I cannot say enough positive things about my experience as a swimmer here at Hopkins. I came into the program hesitantly because I was a synchronized swimmer and could have potentially pursued that at a very high level, but I have never looked back. Dani has been the main factor contributing to my satisfaction with my decision to come to Hopkins.
During my freshman year, I originally began training mostly with Dani because I was considered a sprinter and she is primarily the sprint group coach. Dani caters her practices, both in and out of the pool, to our specific needs. She has a wealth of knowledge about how build not only speed, but the strength and power that it requires.
My personal experience with Dani is built upon everything that I think a coach-athlete relationship should be. I trust Dani completely to write the sets and run the practices that I need to reach my goals. Whenever she gives us a particular set, no matter what it is, there is a reason behind it and a specific part of our race that we are targeting. Her organization and consistency with practices leaves very little room to question her anything that she has to offer.
I not only trust Dani irrevocably with my swimming, I also look to her as a mentor. Our relationship has grown and evolved from simply a coach telling a swimmer what yardage to train and what times to go, into something deeper. She knows me inside and out so that when I am struggling with anything, I can look to her for support and encouragement. A specific example of this is this past year’s NCAA Championship meet. I was not having the meet that I anticipated – my races were not my best and towards the end of the week, I was losing confidence and my attitude was becoming increasingly negative. After having one disappointing swim after another, Dani always knew what to say to get me back on my feet. I am fully confident in saying that I could not have made it through that meet without her on deck with me.
This past season, I have become more of a mid-distance swimmer, however, even though Dani is primarily the sprint group coach, I have requested to be able to continue working with her next year. She is not only responsible for the speed that I have gained within the past two years, but she has also contributed greatly to the mental and emotional growth that I have undergone. As Coach Kennedy recently told me, “Dani is the best thing that has ever happen to your swimming.” In fulfilling her role as my “swim coach,” Dani has become much more than that to me. I think the world of her coaching abilities and am so honored to be able to train under her. Since she is still young, I am excited to see what more she can bring to our team and to see her fulfill her potential to become one of the greatest people I have had the pleasure to call my coach. – Taylor Kitayama