France named as Grizzlies' swimming coach
Former NCAA Division II All-American takes reins at Adams State
ALAMOSA, Colo. – Adams State College Director of Athletics Larry Mortensen has announced that Dan France has been hired as the Grizzlies’ new swimming head coach.
France, who has been serving as an assistant coach and aquatics manager at Mesa State College since 2008 will take the reins of both the ASC men’s and women’s squads which were in action simultaneously for the first time in school history this past season.
“Dan will bring a lot of passion, commitment and experience to the Adams State swimming programs,” said Mortensen. “His prior experience at Mesa State will enable him to recruit a robust roster necessary for a successful program. He is committed in growing the sport at Adams State and in the San Luis Valley, and I look forward to growing the program with him.”
Before coaching at Mesa State, where he worked primarily with the backstrokers, flyers and individual medley swimmers, France occupied head coaching positions at Eastmoor Swim & Tennis in Denver from 2007-09 and at Grandview High School in Aurora, Colo. for the 2007-08 season.
France gained previous college coaching experience as an assistant at Metro State College from 2005-07 and as an assistant at Colorado College from 2004-05.
“I’m excited for the challenge,” France said of taking the helm for the Grizzlies. “I can see a lot of potential for growth and I’m eager to build the program into what I think it can become. There’s a great environment and a great athletics staff, and by looking at all the improvements that have been made on campus you can see that Adams State is serious about athletics.”
During his time with the Mavericks, France has recruited more than 100 athletes to Mesa State and has helped swimmers to numerous school and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) achievements. More than 500 school records have fallen while France has been on staff, a time during which Mesa State has also produced six RMAC champions, two all-time RMAC records, 30 NCAA Division provisional qualifying marks and 126 RMAC finalists.
“I’ve learned what it takes to be successful in the RMAC and to build up a program,” said France of his time at Mesa State. “I’ve been through it before, and I won’t be surprised by the challenges to come up and I won’t be outworked.”
During his time at Eastmoor Swim & Tennis, he coached athletes to 73 club records and produced two state champions and 98 state qualifiers.
France attended St. Cloud State (Minn.) University for one year (1999-2000) before transferring to Metro State following a shoulder injury. In two and a half years with the Roadrunners, France became a NCAA Division II national qualifier and finalist.
France also set school records in the 50 and 100 backstroke while at Metro State, and was a member of record setting 200 and 400 medley relay teams. His 100 backstroke record still stands. Unfortunately, France ended his collegiate career in 2003 due to persistent shoulder problems.
France, who attended Air Academy High School and swam for Colorado Springs Swim Team, was an accomplished prep swimmer. France was a Colorado age group State Champion, four-time Junior Nationals qualifier, High School All-American and three-time Colorado High School state runner-up, and helped lead Air Aacdemy to the 1999 Colorado 4A State Championship during his senior year.
Born in Beaufort, S.C. France’s father’s military career took him around the globe and gave France the opportunity to train and compete overseas in Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Okinawa.
France intends to complete his degrees in history and sports management at Mesa State this summer.