(Courtesy of WMU Athletics )
Western Michigan head womens basketball coach Shane Clipfell has announced the hiring of John Swickrath, completing his staff for the 2014-15 season.
Swickrath comes to WMU from Coastal Carolina and was previously in the Midwest as an associate head coach at Eastern Illinois. He began his collegiate coaching career as a head mens coach at the Division III level and was also a head womens coach for an NAIA institution.
We are very happy to welcome John and his wife Mindy to our Bronco family, Clipfell said. When we started the search we were looking for experience and a passion for our profession. We were in a position to be able to take our time and while we had many very qualified applicants, I think we hit a home run with John. His previous experience as a head coach and building a program will provide valuable resources for this job.
Johns primary roles with our program will be with individual skill development and defensive game planning as well as being actively involved with recruiting.
I am honored and thrilled to be joining the womens basketball program and Western Michigan University community, Swickrath stated. Coach Clipfell is building a tradition of excellence and after meeting his staff and talented players I could not be more excited to be joining them. I want to thank Coach Clipfell and Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard for this incredible opportunity. I cant wait to get started.
Swickrath spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant at Coastal Carolina where he was the post development coach and served as offensive coordinator. The Chanticleers posted a 15-16 overall record and a 10-10 mark in Big South play, while ranking second in the conference with a 71.9 points per game average. Coastal set several program during the season, highlighted by Angelica Henry recording Coastal Carolinas first ever triple-double. The Chanticleers set program records with their 4-0 start to Big South play, largest margin of victory in a conference game with a 30-point win at Longwood on Dec. 28 and largest margin of victory in a Big South Tournament contest with a 35-point victory against Charleston Southern on March 4.
Swickrath guided Alexx Puckett to a career-best season in 2013-14 that featured Coastals first Big South Player of the Week honor since the 2010-11 campaign. Puckett averaged career-highs with 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. In addition, the senior closed the season shooting 42.9 percent from the field, ranking ninth in the conference.
During the 2012-13 season, Swickrath was the associate head coach at Eastern Illinois. Swickrath helped the Panthers to a 20-12 overall record along with a 12-4 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference and the leagues regular season championship. Moreover, he played an instrumental role in Eastern Illinois upset win at Missouri in the opening round of the WNIT.
Prior to Eastern Illinois, Swickrath served as the head womens basketball coach at Brescia University (Ky.) from 2008-12. At Brescia, he posted a 66-62 overall record including a 60-44 record in his final three seasons. After recording a 9-23 mark in his first year rebuilding a team that only won two games the previous season, he posted back-to-back winning campaigns highlighted by a 21-win season in 2010-11. Swickrath also inherited a team with a 2.20 grade point average and saw that increase to a 3.30 grade point average at the time of his resignation to accept the position at EIU. Additionally, he was also the assistant athletics director for sports information during his tenure in Owensboro, Ky.
Prior to Brescia, Swickrath was the head mens basketball coach at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va., from 2003-08. During the 2003-04 season, he led the Hornets to the programs most wins since the 1996-97 season while defeating conference rival Roanoke College in Salem, Va., for the first time in 18 years. Swickrath was also an assistant coach at Lynchburg for one season (2002-03) before being promoted to head coach - he was one of the youngest head coaches at the NCAA Division III level at the time of his promotion at the age of 25.
Before entering the collegiate coaching ranks, Swickrath was an elementary physical education teacher from 2002-04 in the Lynchburg City Schools system. In 2003, he served as the camp director for the Hornets Hoops Basketball Camps.
The Spencerville, Ohio, native was a three-sport athlete at Denison University (1996-2001) participating in baseball, basketball and football. He earned a bachelors degree from Denison in 2001 before obtaining a masters degree from Indiana Wesleyan in 2005.
Follow @BroncosFirst for WMU basketball updates all season long.