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Matt Siniard
October 20, 2020

Swim Coach Follows Example of Berry Mentors

Matt Siniard ’16 took to Berry like a fish takes to water after transferring from a state school to compete on Berry’s Swimming and Diving Team. Now he’s the head coach for the Bluefins, a year-round competitive traveling swim team in Carrollton, Georgia, where he coaches competitors in two age groups (11–14 and 14–18), putting into practice the lessons learned from Berry mentors.

As a student-athlete, Matt learned to take initiative from his swim coaches. “My mentors helped me become my best self by never settling for less and always challenging me,” he says. “They never gave me the opportunity to become complacent. I carry that into coaching today and push my swimmers to always be up for a challenge!”

Matt reached for excellence beyond the pool, mentoring peers as a history tutor in the Academic Success Center. “My biggest accomplishment is checking up on those students and hearing how much those sessions helped bring their grades up,” he says.

Matt’s former coach and Assistant Director of Admission Trevor Ehrenheim notes that Matt was a loyal individual who consistently pushed himself in practice, mentally as well as physically. “An athlete’s trust in a coach can ebb and flow over the course of a competitive season, but finding individuals like Matt who are willing to invest themselves completely in a program are a special gift,” he says. “I think this is just another reflection of Matt’s loyal nature and his desire to bond people together towards a common goal.”   

Head Swimming and Diving Coach Paul Flinchbaugh agrees: “Matt always demonstrated integrity and personal concern for everyone around him. He was outgoing and carried a true compassion for the well-being of others.”

Matt stays connected with the people who helped him get to where he is today. “I keep up with my Berry coaches and teammates,” Matt says. “I try to pick their brains when it comes to practice so I can ask them what works and get new perspectives on the sport.”

In the course of his coaching career, Matt has taken over 40 swimmers to state at the USA level, with three making the podium [top three].

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