Out with the Old and In with the New
For the tigers, it's all about the "new." Out with the old, and in with the new. In fact so much new that Missouri swimming and diving coach Brian Hoffer jokingly says he feels out of place.
"It feels like I'm at a new school, it feels like I'm at a new place, that, even though I'm at Missouri, you know, I live in the same house...It's a totally different job," Hoffer says.
But that general new feeling isn't just because his team has a new home in the Missouri aquatic center. Of the 57-student-athletes on his roster, an astounding 25 of them are freshmen.
"We've kind of transplanted our roots and put it into this new facility with a bunch of swimmers that are going to be able to take this program to the next level," Senior team captain David Darmitzel says.
With the youth movement propelling both the men's and women's teams to national rankings, that next level seems closer than ever.
"We're allowing them to compete, and they're allowing us to be good. And I told them that in the recruiting process, that don't expect to come here and sit on the bench. You're going to be in there swimming and diving, and they are, and they're a big part of why we've improved," Hoffer says.
And coming in knowing they'd have to make a difference right away benefits them now, and makes the future look even brighter.
"I came in here knowing that I'm going to have to make a big difference for myself, you know, if I want to help this team out. And i think I'm going in the right direction, helping everyone out. You know, pushing myself, and that pushes everyone else," freshman Jake Hoffman says.
"With this freshman class and 25 new people, we have a lot of amazing swimmers coming into the team and a lot of amazing swimmers that we're planning on to have next year. I think in the next couple of years we could become one of the top teams in the nation," freshman Lori Halvorson says.
With the additions of 25 swimmers and the aquatic center, anything's possible for the new-look tigers. The tigers get in the water for the 3-day Purdue Invite on the weekend of November 18.