SPRINGFIELD, Missouri, July 11. JASON Hite, a former Panthers swimmer and graduate assistant, is returning to the program as an assistant coach for both men's and women's swimming, Drury head coach Brian Reynolds announced on Monday.
Hite, 37, has been serving as head coach of the prep program at Springfield's Kickapoo High School for the past nine years. He replaces Jason Owen, who left DU last month to become head coach of the men's and women's swimming program at Lindenwood University in St. Charles.
“It's always kind of been a career dream of mine to get to coach back at Drury again with Brian,” Hite says. “Swimming is a passion of mine, and to combine that with my alma mater is very exciting. To be a part of continuing the great tradition of swimming at Drury is also very exciting to me.”
Hite is a 1997 Drury graduate with a degree in Elementary Education who spent the two years afterward as a graduate assistant coach for Reynolds while earning his masters degree in Gifted Education.
A former 200 Fly specialist and Academic All-American for the Panthers, Hite has served as an instructor at the Phelps Center for the Gifted in Springfield since 1999, when he also began his prep coaching career by guiding the Parkview High program for four years.
“Jason is a committed coach who's interested in raising the bar of the individual athlete,” Reynolds said. “I really feel like he can come in now and help us not skip a beat. That's really what I wanted in looking for a replacement for Jason Owen, because we are on a pretty good pace right now … I wanted someone to come in, fill that void and ease the transition, and I think Jason is that kind of guy.”
The Drury men's swimming squad is the eight-time defending NCAA-II national champions, while the DU women have captured four of the past five D-II national titles, finishing second by a single point to Wayne State in this past year's national meet in Mansfield, Texas.
Hite and wife Heidi reside in Springfield with sons Ethan (9), Harrison (8) and Max (5).
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