This is a whirlwind time for Georgia Southern University alumna Hollie Bonewit-Cron (’02) who is attending the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England as the head coach of the Grenadian Swim Team. She is also the head coach for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and one of her swimmers, Esau Simpson, is competing for his home country of Grenada at the Summer Olympics.
“Esau came to me to ask me that if he were to make the team, if I wanted to be his coach,” she says. “I told him I would love the opportunity to coach him and I applied to the Grenadian Olympic Committee to allow me to be his coach. The committee accepted my proposal and through a series of checks and balances to make sure I would get accredited, I became the head swim coach for Grenada.”
Georgia Southern has played a big part in this momentous occasion for the veteran swimming coach. She started her collegiate coaching career at the University in 2000 as the assistant swim coach for the women’s team. Two years later Bonewit-Cron graduated from Georgia Southern with a master’s in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport psychology, and says she remains connected to the University through her connections with her graduate school classmates. “I still keep in touch with many of them, including two who were in my wedding five years ago,” she adds.
Bonewit-Cron says the experience as a head coach at the Olympics is one of the highest levels a coach could achieve. ”It takes a lot of hard work to get to this point, but it is an experience and opportunity like nothing else. It is hard to top the opportunity to be a head coach at the Olympics. The only other Olympic achievement that could be higher as a U.S. coach is to be on a U.S. Olympic Team.”
The swimming and diving coach has this advice for all True Blue fans: “When you have opportunities, do not hesitate to take them even if they appear to be quick decisions. Had I not made some quick decisions and well as some long thought over decisions in my career as an athlete and a coach, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would also recommend staying true to yourself and never be misguided by naysayers or discouraged by disappointments.”
(Simpson won the second heat in the men’s 100-meter freestyle time trials, but did not advance to further rounds.)