Tramel changing culture of Marshall’s swimming and diving program


Richard Crank | The Parthenon

Marshall University head coach Bill Tramel speaks with members of the media after a match last season.

Marshall University swim coach Bill Tramel is in his fourth year at Marshall after coming from Minnesota University, where he coached for eight seasons.

Since becoming head coach of the Herd, Tramel has taken the program to new heights. Marshall’s swimming program has improved in each of his three previous seasons, including a program-best fourth place finish in the Conference USA in 2015.

Tramel said it has been a long road getting the team to where it is now.

“When I first took over, we were in need of a culture change,” Tramel said. “Now, everyone is on the same page. And now, we are working together as a unit with a common goal.”

Tramel said the success he has brought to the program is dependent on understanding each individual member of the team and finding the most effective ways to motivate them.

“There’s not a one size fits all, especially in women’s swimming,” Tramel said “You have a number of different personalities and the challenge is to find out what works for each individual.”

Freshman Maddie Schaffer said Tramel has displayed a genuine care for each members of the team, and his impact has extended beyond coaching.

“He is very supportive, and he is always there,” Schaffer said. “If I have a problem, I feel comfortable going to Bill with it.”

Tramel said despite the relationship he has formed with his players during his tenure at Marshall, recruiting has still been a difficult component of his job.

“Recruiting is always a challenge,” Tramel said. “It doesn’t matter what school you are recruiting for, it will always be a challenge. But I think we have a lot of great things to offer.”

Tramel said continued success in recruiting will be necessary if the program is to take the next step and win a conference championship.

Tramel said he thinks this season’s team is still a year away from competing for a conference championship, but he is determined to bring one to the university.

“We will win the conference championship, hopefully, next year,” Tramel said. “And once we win it, we are not going to lose it.”

The C-USA Championships begin 6 p.m. Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia.

Aside from Marshall, the three-day tournament will feature  Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, the University of North Texas, Old Dominion University and Rice University.

Christian Hisman can be contacted at [email protected]