Written by Lexi Baysinger. Media by Kelsey Neier.
Campus Profile: Chris Swift
“This was the smallest town, but by far the biggest community that we have lived in.” That’s what men’s soccer coach, Chris Swift said about Greenville. It was his first year as coach of the men’s team and he was glad to come here. His wife, Marissa Swift, who helps out with the women’s team, joins him.
I first met Chris over the summer when he and I both started working in the Athletic Office on campus, he as a coach, and me as a student secretary. Right away I could tell that Chris was a hard worker and someone who would make the summer pass quickly. He came in every day and stayed longer than I did usually, as he continues to say, he had a lot of work to catch up on. Over the summer he had to build up his recruiting pool and begin to figure out how he wanted to run the summer soccer camp and the direction that he would take the program. I helped him put in some of the names for his recruiting pool, so I can say that Chris has definitely done a lot of work since he’s been here.
Chris, originally from Southern California, worked at Lamar University in Texas and then Eastern Kentucky before coming to Greenville. He came to Greenville after a school that he applied to passed his resume on to the college after our last men’s coach left. When he arrived here, he hit the ground running, and his work has definitely paid off with a 5-3-1 conference record. The team has grown under Chris’s coaching, especially spiritually. He holds Bible studies throughout the season and one in the spring as well. Faith is something that’s very important to Chris. He spoke a lot about how God has been helping him grow throughout the moves and even here in Greenville. Something that he has really appreciated while being here is the community of faith that he has found in the Athletic Department. He mentioned that any time he feels himself looking down about something, he can go down the hall and speak with other coaches and they will pray together.
I asked him what his favorite part about working here was after his first year, he said, hands down, that it was the people. He has found a faith family here, whether it’s in the church, the team, or the athletic office. He spoke about Sasha Viatrov specifically; he said that it was partly due to Sasha’s hard work that Chris has been able to do so much this year. Sasha does a lot of the background work, calling recruits and running practices when Chris has to go on recruiting trips. The recruiting is something that the both of them take very seriously. Any time a recruit is on campus, you can see Chris or Sasha, and probably a player, walking around with their recruit giving them a campus tour.
Since this was only Chris’s first year, he didn’t get to be involved in a lot of the different campus activities. I asked him about this and he replied that he was definitely willing to look at getting as involved as he is able. If you ever get the chance, and want to get to know him, I would definitely recommend it. He’ll really like it if you bring him some gummy bears (they’re his favorite candy).