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Pursue swimming and academics at highest level

See what Emory University Swim coach Howell has to say about recruiting:

1. How would you describe yourself as a coach?

I support our student-athletes to reach their potential both in the pool and the classroom. Swimming at Emory is a balance between swimming and academics, but it is a high-level and committed balance. I enjoy being a part of that entire experience. I am more than just a swimming coach and that is one of the primary reasons that I am at Emory.

2. What is unique about the experience at Emory?

There are several unique aspects about the Emory experience. First, we are mid-sized school with a small learning environment. Even though Emory has around 6000 undergraduate students, the student-faculty ratio remains 7 to 1 and the average class size is about 17 students. Second, our location is wonderful. A great college campus with access to Atlanta. We are not a city campus, but you are only about 15 minutes from Atlanta and everything it has to offer. Third, Emory is a liberal arts school with so much more. Incredible graduate schools like business, law and medicine. Finally, Emory offers incredible opportunities — great internships, research positions, jobs, etc. What our student-athletes are able to accomplish during their four years on campus — both in and out of the pool– is really amazing.

3. What do recruits need to know about you?

I am searching for student-athletes who are great fits for both Emory and our program. We get a lot of interest, so we do have to be selective. To be a fit for Emory, you have to fit both academic standards and our competitive standards in the pool. The other important part of fitting with our profile is a connection with the team environment here. We have a very close group and the team is very much a swimming and diving family. That has to connect with you as a recruit for this to be the right fit.

4. What do you look for in recruits?

As I mentioned above, we are looking for the right fit. There are a number of factors that need to line up for Emory to be the right place for recruits. When they do line up, though, it is incredible. There is nothing quite like Emory out there.

5. What is the one thing every recruit needs to do with the recruiting process?

Communicate. Honest communication is key. I try to be honest with recruits as we move through the process and we appreciate the same in return.

6. What sort of questions do you really like to hear from recruits?

I like to hear questions that suggest they have thought about the process and carefully thought about the factors that will be important to them when choosing a school. It is hard to take a recruit seriously when they have not given any thought to the college process and what they are looking for in a school and a swimming program.

7. What turns you off when you are recruiting a student athlete?

When I only hear from parents. I don’t want to recruit parents, I want to recruits student-athletes and find potential impact members for our team. If you are too busy to communicate with me and my staff during the recruiting process, you are also going to struggle with balancing the demands that will be placed on you as a student-athlete at Emory.

8. What do you think your program is the most successful at?

Supporting our student-athletes. We do a great job at developing swimmers and divers — our success as a program reflects how much our athletes improve at Emory. But more important, we support our students to get what they want out of Emory both in and out of the pool.

9. Why should a recruit consider your program?

An opportunity to pursue both swimming and academics at the highest level, an invitation to be part of a team that will always be a part of your life and the chance to compete for a national championship. Swimming at Emory is a lot of fun and you will certainly get a return on the investment of time and energy you put into it.

10. If a recruit is interested in your program, how should they reach out to you?

Email is the easiest way to reach me initially. jphowel@emory.edu

About the author
Aaron Sorenson