Marci Whitford has been coaching swimming since she was in college.

“I starting coaching young kids while in college,” she said. “It’s just something that I grew to love.”

So after she moved to Greenwood from Connecticut when her husband was transferred two years ago, it seemed natural that she would look for a full-time coaching position.

“I was looking to get back into the sport. It’s something that I’ve done forever,” Whitford said.

Whitford was hired as pool director and boys and girls swimming coach for Whiteland Community High School and started in July. She also serves as head coach of the new Whiteland Hypersonic Swimming Club for ages 7 to 18.

“When I was hired they said they were looking to build a program in town,” Whitford said.

“The interest is great. There are a lot of kids who enjoy the sport and want to be swimming year-round with the club.”

Whitford, who swam at Central Connecticut State University from 1998 to 2002, served as a volunteer assistant at IUPUI during the 2014-15 season.

Whitford started coaching as an assistant coach at her alma mater. She then coached high school and club swimming in Connecticut.

“I’ve kind of dabbled in all the different areas of the sport,” Whitford said.

Whitford talked with the coaches about the changes that were implemented last season.

“From what I gathered it was more competitive last season,” Whitford said. “That’s what I’m working to improve on this year, as well. We’re just trying to get the kids to swim as a team and compete as a team.

“Obviously, we want them striving for personal bests but really focusing on that team atmosphere, and they’re doing a really great job with it. It’s starting to show, for sure.”

Whitford said there are a few seniors on each boys and girls team. Whitford said there is a large junior class and a large freshman class on the boys side and the girls side, as well.

“We have a few more sophomore girls,” she said. “The juniors have stepped up and helped with that leadership with not having as many seniors.”

There are 23 on each of the boys and girls squads.

“It’s a good size for the space we have in our pool (six-lane, 25-yard pool),” she said. “We don’t have a pool as big as Franklin or Indian Creek.”

Whitford said there is always an adjustment period when a new coach is hired.

“I had quite a few high school swimmers join the club in the fall, so they got to know me and got to know my expectations, so it was much smoother,” she said. “The kids that did swim (in club) were able to communicate with the kids that didn’t swim and know where I was coming from.

“Then we sat down before the season and went over their goals. We’re hammering on the goals that they set because I had them create the goals. So they can feel like it is their team. That’s gone really well.”

Whitford said the club has about 60 to 65 members, including high school swimmers who joined the club in the fall.

“For the first season, I’m super happy to see what we have (on the club),” she said. “We hope to get more in the spring and summer season and start to be a presence in the Johnson County area.”

The Whitford File

Name: Marci Whitford

Position: Swimming coach at Whiteland Community High School

Personal: Husband’s name is Ian. Whitford specialized in swimming the butterfly and freestyle at Central Connecticut State. Attended South Windsor (Conn.) High School. Majored in physical education in college. Started teaching physical education and health at a middle school and coached at a private high school in Connecticut. Left teaching when a full-time coaching opportunity opened up.

What do you do to relax? “We’re still discovering Indianapolis. We have a dog (chocolate lab named Daisy) and we love taking her for walks and hikes. We’re finding different parks.”

Favorite recent book: “I have a bunch of stuff downloaded on my Kindle but haven’t had time to get to it, especially now with the club going and everything.”

Author photo
Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.