Brad Jones named coach of the year for swim and dive


PHOTO Ella Koch

Ella Drake, Writer

In September, swim and dive coach Brad Jones was named Division 2 girls swimming Coach of the Year. Jones has coached for 33 years and has led his girls to state finals every year since 1999. 

The title didn’t come as a shock to Principal and Former Athletic Director Michael Bakker who has worked closely with Jones since 2004. 

“I’m not surprised at all,” Bakker said, “based on his involvement and the number of coaches and student-athletes he has helped mentor.”

Jones and his team have won every Metro League title since 2006, leaving them undefeated. His rigorous training method includes a mix of swimming and weight lifting seven days a week to push each individual to their full potential.

Sophomore Tess Heavner has been swimming with Jones for two years.

“He’s a very reliable coach,” Heavner said. “He’s always there— on time and ready to go. He runs great workouts for us both before and after school. I’ve had some of my fastest times while swimming for him.” 

While Jones did not expect to earn this title, he attributes his success to hard work. 

“Every day is a challenge— that’s the design,” Jones said. “Challenge ourselves every day and be better than we were the day before.”

With a team of 27 girls, it takes dedication and grit to lead his athletes to victory year after year. He also says their triumph at the 2021 state finals contributed to his nomination. 

“With the team, we had going [to state finals] we focused on those athletes’ individual events in an effort to score well,” Jones said. “The girls put in hard work— I think they outwork everybody.” 

Jones has opened doors for those who swim with him and provided several Fenton High alumni the opportunity to continue the sport in college. Under Jones’s direction, Heavner plans on pursuing collegiate swimming, akin to a considerable number of the athletes he has coached previously.