skip navigation

So Much More Than a Winning and Innovative Coach

By Ned Skinner, SwimSwam, 04/11/19, 12:00PM CDT


Some do it for the money, some for the accolades, some because their parents make them or whatever the case may be

For the past 30 years I have proudly considered myself a disciple of Sam Freas. It seems like in modern times coaches are only making the news when they are doing something wrong or being accused of something. Rarely, it seems that a coach is being praised for supporting a young woman or man through the trials and tribulations associated with college life and beyond. I am writing this for me as much as anyone. I hope the parallels that many of us feel about Sammy can help us heal during this time of loss and reflection.

The 1988 SEC Championship swim/dive team at LSU is a classic example of Sam’s greatness. What started out as a hodge podge of misdirected, but solid swimmers and divers in 1985 (when Sam took over) became a confident, and determined team that believed in our abilities. Indeed, Sam was a master motivator and incredible recruiter.