Franklin College swimming sees big success for small school

Franklin College Swimming & Diving head coach Andrew Hendricks (WTHR photo)

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WTHR) — Andrew Hendricks has always been a sports fan and swam nearly all of his life. So when Franklin College approached him 10 years ago about starting up the swimming and diving program, Hendricks accepted and began building.

"It sounded fun at first," head coach Hendricks said. "Once I was committed, I wanted to be committed."

Hendricks can recall the early days when his team would eat peanut butter sandwiches out of the back of their small van and get lapped in the pool at meets. But over the last decade, the women's team has grown into the most successful Division III team in the state of Indiana.

"It's been a blessing to grow as fast as we have," Hendricks said. "Most every coach thinks we're five times the size that we are. When I tell them (Franklin College is) 1,000 students, their expressions are priceless."

For a small school of only 1,000 students, their success is big. The women have posted back- to-back undefeated seasons. This year, they broke 14 school records and 10 conference open records.

This past weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Grizzlies had a program-record five women competing in the NCAA DIII championships. It was a historic weekend to cap off a decade's worth of work, but the team insists this is only the beginning.

Filed under: