Pace Welcomes New Swimming and Diving Coach


JAMES MIRANDA, Sports Editor

The new school year brought in a new head coach for the Pace swimming and diving crew. Coach Dan Allen becomes the fourth head coach in the 12 years since the program started.

Allen grew up in southern Indiana and took up swimming as a competitive sport when he was very young. He attended Indiana University his freshman year before transferring to SUNY Geneseo where he competitively swam all four years in Division I and III, respectively.

Allen says his passion for the sport “runs in the family.”

“I think the only reason I got into swimming was because my older brother was taking swimming lessons and I wanted to do what he was doing,” Allen said. “It’s funny, my mom used to take [us] down to a local college pool and he was doing swimming lessons and I told my mom, ‘I want to do swimming lessons,’ next thing I know, I got really into it. Loved it.”

Allen passed all his swimming lesson levels at 4-years-old and made a swimming team at age five. Out of high school, D-I schools like Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, and Indiana University heavily coveted him for his accomplishments. To list some off, he finished third in New York State for freestyle in his senior year of high school;, he made Junior Nationals and was qualified for the US Open.

“Literally, swimming’s been in my blood ever since I was 4-years-old,” Allen said.

Allen formerly coached at his Alma Mater Geneseo for four and a half years. He then took a D-II job at Salem International University. In 2010, he coached at Buffalo State College. According to the Setters Athletic website, in his four seasons, his teams broke 55 records, and he has led some to championship rounds as recent as last year with Buffalo.

Allen has two philosophies, one regarding academics and the other to his coaching persona. While at Buffalo, his men’s team averaged a GPA 3.0 or higher in 5-of-8 semesters while the women did so in 7-of-8 semesters.

His philosophy on academics is key, so if his students don’t want to pursue a career in swimming, they have something to fall back on.

“What really intrigued me [about Pace] was the academics,” Allen said. “The athletic department really sold me on athletics here. I think [Pace] has a strong athletic background. I think the department knows what they want as far as a team.”

Allen sees potential and improvement to come.

“I look at this team and I think they have potential to be better than what they are,” said Allen, in reference to his teams. “Our girls’ team right now is very competitive. The guys’ team kind of lacks the numbers, but we’ll get better with recruiting. A couple of years from now, I think we’ll push forward towards the top of the NE-10.”

Allen believes he is coming into a unique situation at Pace because he’s a new coach and having his swimmers and divers to buy into his philosophy will take some time. He expects his team to put in the work and believes his teams will be able to excel in the NE-10.