The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


James Koval named head swimming and diving coach at Chatham University

James Koval is Chatham Universitys new swimming and diving coach.
James Koval is Chatham University’s new swimming and diving coach.

James Koval, the former swimming and diving assistant coach at Carnegie Mellon University, was recently hired as Chatham University’s new swimming and diving head coach.

Starting from a place of mutual respect, Koval intends to pinpoint some aspects of old-school and new-school coaching strategies.

With a focus on grace and refinement, Koval aspires to give his athletes the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. Contrary to his own experience swimming NCAA Division 1, Koval wants to build a strong culture for his team.

James Koval coaches Chatham University’s swimming and diving team.

Although competitive, Koval hopes to build the confidence of his athletes rather than treat this sport like a job.

“I want to create an environment where swimming isn’t a source of stress in their lives. It’s a source of strength,” Koval said.

Koval puts an emphasis on his commitment not only to his team’s academic and athletic success but also to their mental strength and health, hoping that his athletes take advantage of his open-door policy.

“I’m very excited about the change of coaches,” Karl Gangloff ‘23 said. “It’s not just a one-person job. With [Koval’s] mentality for our team – with the support of the swimmers that we have now–I think that he can really help build our program into something great.”

Koval is the third coach to hold the head coaching title in the past year. He hopes to inspire his new team by expressing his loyalty and devotion to his athletes and the community.

“I’m trying to make the program competitive and increase the quality of the team while also increasing the enjoyment of the team,” Koval said.

After gaining the trust of the swimmers, Koval plans to improve the team’s attitude toward the sport. With support and respect working hand in hand, Koval’s outlook is purely positive.

“Swimming is a team sport but it’s also very individual if you have the work ethic,” Koval said. “If there’s a will there’s a way.”

Planning on doubling his roster next year, Koval strategizes his work with his athletes to eventually place them as one of the first teams in the conference.

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About the Contributor
Josie Barton
Josie Barton, Sports Editor
Josie Barton ‘25 is a journalism major minoring in business at Chatham University. Josie is from the northern Pittsburgh area, transferring from Thiel College and ultimately deciding on Chatham for its city environment and inclusive and advanced communications program. She is the sports editor for the  Communiqué and she also writes news, lifestyle and opinion pieces. In addition to her work on the paper, she also enjoys playing lacrosse for Chatham, spending time with her animals, trying out new recipes to cook, writing creatively and reading anything and everything. Josie can be reached best at [email protected] or via her instagram @josiejosie.b.

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