Swim director sets out to rebuild teams

photo of Chris Hansen

photo of Chris Hansen provided by CSUB Athletics

David Mendoza, Staff Writer

After another tough but successful season, Coach Hansen sits down to discuss what it’s like being the Director of Swim for both Men and Women’s teams at CSUB and the many challenges that come with it. When asked what inspired him to become a coach he was honest and shared that he did not have plans to be a coach after graduating college, but after moving back home he changed his mind. Chris Hansen began his coaching career as an assistant coach at East Carolina University and also earned a Masters of Arts in Exercise and Sports Science there. After earning his masters and starting his coaching career he shared that he “fell in love with it more and never stopped.”  

The next step after spending many years as an assistant coach was becoming head coach. This began when Chris Hansen was brought into CSUB as the head coach for the men’s swim team. At the time the women’s team had their own coach. CSUB contacted Hansen for the head position and was informed he would only be coaching half of the team for a couple seasons. It was not until a few seasons later that Hansen would be coaching both men’s and women’s swim.  This has been one of the many adversaries he has faced as head coach at CSUB. Over the many years Hansen has spent coaching at CSUB, he has seen many coaches leave the program. 

Having to adapt with new coaches being a part of his team has been a reoccurring issue, however Coach Hansen shared his biggest challenge of coaching yet; COVID. After discussing possible solutions with the athletic director and president of CSUB they came to a conclusion that it would be best to cancel the 2020 swim season. The decision also included to only allow seven world championship qualifiers to continue training. This was not an easy decision to make as they had to choose seven student athletes over the rest of the team, but Hansen shares that the team handled the situation well.  

When asked what qualities he looks for in a swimmer to be a part of his team he discusses it comes down to the person’s character and after COVID “it’s 100% more that way.”  

He shares that he wants an athlete that has a good attitude, loyalty, communication skills, and is a nice person. As he shares “I would much rather recruit a good attitude of a slower person than a bad attitude of a faster person.”  

Now looking forward to next season Coach Hansen discusses that a majority of his team will be graduating, so next year will be a rebuilding year for the team but he is determined to continue to have his athletes compete at the highest level of the NCAA Championship and World trials.