The Morning Swim Show, March 1, 2012: Tim Wise Talks About Meeting Academic Standards at Yale, Cracking Into Top Two at Conference

PHOENIX, Arizona, March 1. WE continue our look at some of the smartest college swimming teams in the United States on today's edition of The Morning Swim Show, as Yale coach TimWise talks about the expectations and realities his swimmers face at the Ivy League school.

Wise, who has been a part of the Yale coaching staff for 14 seasons, talks about what his men's team expects when they first walk onto campus and how they have been able to be the top-ranked team in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America's Scholar All-American list. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.

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Morning Swim Show Transcripts
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(Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)

Peter Busch: Welcome to the Morning Swim Show for Thursday, March 1st, 2012. I am your host Peter Busch in the FINIS Monitor today. We talked to Tim Wise he is the Head Coach of the Men's Team at Yale University and this guy is just ranked number one in GPA of all division 1 swim teams according to the college swim coach's association. Tim Wise joins us right now in the FINIS monitor from new haven Connecticut. Coach, welcome to the Morning Swim Show, how are you?

Tim Wise: I'm well thanks. Thanks for having me.

Peter Busch: So 3.59 GPA from the team, that is pretty impressive even for Yale. That was very impressive even for Yale. We talked to McGee Moody from the University of South Carolina for yesterday show. His women received the honor the women's side. He attributed the success to changes that were made in kind of the study hall at his school, anything that you can attribute to this success too?

Tim Wise: Specifically, no, I think it is just a cumulative effort of trying to hold the guys a little more accountable to why they are here to get a good education and to try to swim pretty fast.

Peter Busch: You know Yale obviously you don't get in unless you are smart but it is still this classes are relatively more difficult probably in a lot of ways so you know is it tough for them to push themselves and accomplish all of the things that are on their plate there?

Tim Wise: It is you know I think for college it is one big session in time management and you know these guys aren't really any different. I don't believe that anybody else. My assistant coach and I were joking the other day that you know we are kind of resting for our meet right now and they were jumping around a little active, a little excited and we looked at each other and said you know these guys are the, you know the guys at the top of GPA and the nation so we kind of laughed at that. I think they were just really have to, you know buckle down and manage their time to a greater degree whether it is here or at the state university at some place. Every kid faces the same challenges.

Peter Busch: You guys have your conference meet this weekend, right? Down in Princeton?

Tim Wise: Right.

Peter Busch: Tell us about the team this year and who are some of the swimmers to watch for?

Tim Wise: The team is improved quite a bit this year. We have been trying to do a little better job the last couple of years. This is my second year as the head coach and last year we were 2 and 8 in dual meets and 4th at the conference meet, and this year we were 6 and two in dual meets and we are hoping to improve on that at the conference meet. We have got a small group of guys in the upper classes we have only got 8 upper classmen on the team and so that leaves us with about 19 or 20 under class one so it is a relatively young group you know dominated by the freshmen and sophomores that really don't know any better.

Peter Busch: You know, one of the best swimmers obviously you have had at Yale in the 14 years you have been there, Arizona guy, Alex Righi, became one of the best sprinters in college while he was there. Is it you know, is it getting harder and harder to attract kids at that level of talent to your school?

Tim Wise: You know, Righi is an interesting case. We have got a woman on the women's side right now, who was relatively equal in talent with Righi walking in the door, a woman named Alex Forrester, and you know you really don't necessarily recruit those kids. They recruit you to a greater degree. You know Righi for example walked in the summer between his junior and senior year and sat on our couch and said, "If you guys get me into Yale, I will come, it is where I want to go to school." That is a relatively atypical type of thing, but if a kid makes that type of commitment to you, you certainly want to do everything you can to help them through the process if they are academically qualified.

Peter Busch: Alright a fair number of the kids on the team because there is no sports scholarships at Ivy League Schools do they get any academic help?

Tim Wise: No, we don't have any academic aid either and it is a Yale policy. If Yale handed out academic scholarships, basically everybody would qualify for one of those too. So everything that we do is need based on parent or student demonstrated need.

Peter Busch: Wow I did not know that.

Tim Wise: Yeah.

Peter Busch: All Ivy League schools do that?

Tim Wise: Right.

Peter Busch: Wow. Well give me the makeup of the conference this year. What should we expect to see at the conference meet?

Tim Wise: The conference is a little deeper this year, top to bottom. It has got some really good freshmen. It usually has good freshmen, and you know what we are all trying to do with this conference is try to crack into the top two. For a long, long time, for 35 years Harvard and Princeton, Harvard or Princeton have finished first or second at our conference meet in regard to the Ivy's and so the battle historically has been between those guys and then everybody else for third in a lot of cases third around here can feel like a win. from my stand point 2 years ago we were 5th at the meeting last year, we were 4th at the meet so we are hoping to move up and you know we are just going step-by-step here incrementally and trying to get up and compete with Harvard and Princeton and since they are the only guys that have won the meet for the last 35 years, it is really just a matter of number one, getting to the point where we are competitive and/or better than everybody else and then stepping forward and sitting down and making the commitment to saying what are we willing to do programmatically here to get up and compete with those guys. And so we are not there yet but we are making some progress.

Peter Busch: Is there anything specific from a program standpoint in the swimming that you as a coach want to improve on and implement there?

Tim Wise: It is everything. It is everything that we do, we are trying to improve. We are trying to recruit better kids. We are trying to be more connected with our alums. We are trying to raise more money. We are trying to build a new facility, everything that everybody else is trying to do, we are trying to do here.

Peter Busch: Hey, if that is a fast kid you can take it.

Tim Wise: I wish. More than likely my wife trying to track me down.

Peter Busch: You have to give Swimming World some credit though when they sign.

Tim Wise: I will do that.

Peter Busch: Well coach thanks a lot for joining us, good luck at the conference made this week.

Tim Wise: Peter, thanks for having me.

Peter Busch: Alright that is Coach Tim Wise joining us in the FINIS Monitor from New Haven, Connecticut, that is it for today's show. I am Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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