PHOENIX, Arizona, October 13. TEXAS Christian University will be a part of the Big 12 next year, and swimming head coach Richard Sybesma joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show to talk about the effect moving from Conference USA will have on his teams.
Mostly, he says the switch will be nothing but positive, as TCU will compete against top-level teams and re-introduce the "rivalry" with the University of Texas, which existed in the days of the Southwest Conference. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)
Peter Busch: This is The Morning Swim Show for Thursday, October 13th 2011. I'm your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS monitor today we'll talk to Richard Sybesma. He is the head swim coach at Texas Christian University, TCU for short. The school just announced they're moving into the Big 12 Conference. Coach Sybesma joins us right now in the FINIS monitor from Fort Worth, Texas. Coach, welcome to The Morning Swim Show. How are you doing?
Richard Sybesma: I'm fine, Peter. It's good to see you today.
Peter Busch: What do you think about the move to the Big 12?
Richard Sybesma: Oh it's fantastic for TCU and our entire athletic program. We are very excited about being in the Big 12. It's just an awesome opportunity for us.
Peter Busch: Now you guys have kind of been bouncing around. You were going to go to the Big East, now you're going to the Big 12. I imagine this is a little bit better for you guys in terms of geographical location.
Richard Sybesma: Oh yes. Almost every school is within driving distance of us and with our schedule the way it is, we'll be able to swim pretty much the same dual meets just all over the nation that we want to and we'll still continue to have invitationals that we want to go to and then our conference meet will be one of the best in the country.
Peter Busch: This will make it, correct me if I'm wrong, five conferences in the 33 years you've been at the school for you?
Richard Sybesma: That's true. We started with the Southwest Conferenc,e which is very similar to what the Big 12 is now.
Peter Busch: That's got to be some sort of record.
Richard Sybesma: Well when you look at it, starting in 1979 I've been a part of TCU Swimming four or five decades, which is pretty incredible. It's been an incredible ride and we've been competitive in every conference we've been in and it's been great.
Peter Busch: We've seen TCU and other smaller schools like Boise State have tremendous success in football, and that has sort of caused a lot of this conference shakeup. Can it be possible to have that same success from a small school in swimming because right now it's really the usual suspects always in the top 5 or 10?
Richard Sybesma: I believe so, yes. We've had some outstanding individuals from our program make it to the NCAAs as well as scoring at NCAAs, so it's just a matter of getting more and more. You've seen Northwestern, I think you'd remember, about five or six years ago where they had some huge success so it can happen, yes.
Peter Busch: Has the great success form your football program allowed the Athletic Department to give more financial support to you guys on the swim side?
Richard Sybesma: Oh, definitely. The trickle-down effect for all our sports has been great. And having our football team playing BCS bowls the last two years in a row and particularly win the Rose Bowl, that was huge for our entire athletic program.
Peter Busch: Tell me about Edgar Crespo. He's part of your top swimmers this year, a great breaststroker.
Richard Sybesma: Oh yes, he holds a school record at 53.3, he's made the NCAA's both his freshman and sophomore years, and now he's headed out to the Pan-Am Games at the end of this week to represent his home country of Panama. He is an ideal swimmer to coach, just a phenomenal athlete, a very hard-working student, and a great person.
Peter Busch: Who else to look out for this year on your team?
Richard Sybesma: Well Laszlo Gyurko is also one of four seniors and he's from Hungary. He was 47.2 last year in the 100 back and our medley relay was 21st in the country last year at 3:12, so we've got some outstanding freshmen coming in. Our returnees just look like we're going to have a great year.
Peter Busch: Probably opens up the recruiting a little bit. Now that you'll be in the Big 12 Conference you can tell recruits "Hey, you want to swim against Texas every year?" That could certainly help.
Richard Sybesma: Oh yes. Also in Texas in dual where we're used to in the past when we're in the Southwest Conference, and we'll renew that rivalry and then also we'll swim just about everybody that we want to or that we have in the past. This year actually we're headed to Notre Dame, tomorrow we're going to swim Notre Dame in Michigan this weekend and then we were headed up to New York City, we're going to swim right away at Saint Peter's College in November. We were beginning to look towards swimming some schools in different parts of the country this year.
Peter Busch: Well Coach, good luck with the move to the Big 12 Conference, your fifth in a long tenure that at TCU. We're excited for you.
Richard Sybesma: Well thank you very much, Peter. We appreciate the interview today.
Peter Busch: All right. Richard Sybesma joining us from TCU today and that is it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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