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The huddle

December 7, 2018

U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach Offers Advice

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Photo by Navy Sports

Bill Roberts is the Men’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach for the U.S. Naval Academy. He hails from Aurora, New York and went to school at Springfield College. Roberts has been the head coach for 15 seasons at the academy and has been with the program for a total of 18 years. In each of his first 15 seasons, he has to lead the team to the Patriot League title. Roberts has also been named league coach of the year on eight occasions.

He was a four-year letter winner and two-year captain at during his time at Springfield College. Roberts went into coaching right away after graduating. He became the head coach of the women’s team at Wells College in his hometown of Aurora, N.Y. After two seasons at Wells, he served as a graduate assistant coach at East Carolina, where he also earned a master’s degree in athletic administration. In the summer of 1996, he joined the Villanova program for one year before coming to the Naval Academy. Roberts also had a brief stint with Colgate before returning to coach Navy.

Roberts looks for many qualities in a recruit, but the most important thing he looks for is the athletes desire to compete. He stated that he wants a recruit to be willing to compete for all four years. The coach of any program wants longevity from the members of his team. He also believes it is essential for a recruit to pursue their full potential as a student, an athlete, and a person. Concentrating hard in the classroom and performing well on and off the pool makes it easier for a coach to want to recruit the athlete.

Head Coach, Bill Roberts, told LRT Sports he prefers to be contacted by the athlete in the summer heading into their junior year. This gives the athlete a year and a half to decide where they want to attend university and participate in their given sport. It is vital that the initial contact is done by the athlete themselves rather than their parents. Roberts stated one big don’t in the recruiting process, is not to get caught up in early signing and committing to a school. A high school player tends to lose focus and determination in a sport once they know that they are attending a school. It shouldn’t be like that. Schools can change or even pull any offer given to the athlete at any time they want to. High school athletes have to play their sport each day out like it is going to be their last.

Roberts has some advice for those that get turned down at their dream school. He firmly believes that it should be used as a form of motivation to prove the program wrong. Someone can use this to find a school that genuinely appreciates their worth and potential value to the team. The recruits should always stay positive during the recruiting process to avoid rash decisions.

Coach Roberts has a strong opinion on social media and the use of it by the athlete. He said that social media is an important glimpse into an individual. The athlete needs to be careful on what he or she put up on any of their accounts because it can have a drastic effect on the recruiting process. He believes that the athlete needs to be honest on all of their social media profiles and be willing to take responsibility for their online actions. If a mistake post happens, an athlete needs to own it and be willing to accept any consequences that may occur.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE