Assistant COY Honorable Mention: Jenn Verser, Dartmouth

Nomination from Head Coach Jim Wilson
Jenn handles the stroke group for Dartmouth Swimming. We have a fine swimmer from Slovinia who as a freshman won the Ivy League in the 1000 and 1650 freestyles. During his sophomore year, he broke his thumb and couldn't train at the level required for the mile, so he switched to IM and breaststroke. Under Jenn's training the past two season, he has become the Ivy League Champion in the 200 and 400 IMs and 200 breaststroke as well as becoming a NCAA finalist in the 200 breaststroke as well. She has done a consistently fine job with the swimmers she has coached in the stroke group.

Nomination from Nejc Zupan
The first time I talked to Jenn was over the phone. I am originally from Slovenia and English is my second language so the recruiting process was a very unfamiliar and overwhelming experience. However, Jenn was incredibly patient and kind with me. She guided me through the process and helped me acclimate to a completely new environment. Being the only international student on the team, I faced unique cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic barriers. I can say without a shred of doubt that I would not have overcome all these obstacles without Jenn’s help.

The fact of the matter is that Jenn is not a coach just for the required 20 hours a week. She is there for the team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anytime I need something, whether it is related to swimming, academics, or my social life, I know that I can count on Jenn to help me. Her commitment to stand by her athletes and to bring out our best is truly an inspiring quality that has made our team stronger and more successful.

Jenn firmly believes that a successful athlete must be a successful student. This philosophy has led our team to have the highest combined GPA in the country, an accomplishment that seemed impossible just a decade ago. However, perhaps her most enviable quality is that she always leads by example. Knowing that education is important, she constantly participates in conferences and lectures that help her to better herself as a coach. She takes her role on the team very seriously and professionally, approaching each task with responsibility and passion, which motivates her swimmers to do the same.

Personally, I have improved drastically in my three years of working with Jenn. She helped me to become an NCAA finalist in the 200-yard breaststroke, an almost-inconceivable achievement for a swimmer who had done nothing but long distance freestyle for 10 years. Jenn’s faith in me and her passion for excellence helped me achieve something that no Dartmouth swimmer had for more than 30 years. For that I am very grateful. There is no doubt in my mind, nor any of my teammates’ minds: Jenn truly is an assistant coach that makes a difference.