Ian Townsend knows how important a good coach can be.
It’s one of the reasons he became one.
As a swimmer at Lansing Eastern, he learned from one of the best.
“Being coached by Rick Edwards in high school was a really big motivating factor for me to get into coaching,” Townsend said.
Edwards would almost certainly be proud of the job Townsend did at Grand Ledge this year. He led the girls’ swimming and diving team to a share of the title in the highly competitive CAAC Blue.
All of his past influences helped him guide the Comets to their strong finish this season.
“I’ve taken small things from every coach I’ve been around,” Townsend said. “If I think I like something, I’ll try to implement that in to what I do.”
This year, Townsend recognized he was working with some of the best talent he’s ever had. Playing to the team’s strengths, he included more sprinting in the team’s workouts, which helped in the shorter events at the end of the season.
“I take my coaching style pretty seriously, and I always want to be fluid and adjust to the talent that I have around me,” Townsend said.
And when it comes to his relationship with his team, Townsend views himself as a big brother.
“I can joke with the girls, and we can have some fun, but there’s also a time where we need to get down to business,” Townsend said.
It also doesn’t hurt that Townsend has some experience to fall back on. At several of the venues, his name is on the wall for the pool record.
“It is nice for some of the younger kids to see that I could get it done just like they do,” he said.
– David Cassilo