The Lord works in mysterious ways.
This is something Emmanuel College alumnus, Adrian Aleksandrowicz learned during his time at Emmanuel College.
A native of Poland, Adrian started swimming at a young age and set a goal for himself to attend college in the United States where he could continue his swimming career.
That goal became a reality when he signed to swim for the Emmanuel College Lions and moved to Franklin Springs in January of 2015. While at EC, Adrian had great success in the pool, where he competed in the backstroke, freestyle, and fly events and served as a captain for his final two years. In his last semester, Adrian served as an assistant coach under Coach Allen Gilchrest, and he saw his post-graduation plans take shape.
Graduating with a degree in Business Administration, Adrian continued to follow his passion for swimming at Fresno Pacific University, this time as a graduate assistant coach, where he started his career in 2019. Quickly, his role shifted, and he was named the Head Coach of the Sunbirds.
“When I moved to California, I was eager to learn more about coaching and thought it would be a great way to take my skills and knowledge of the sport and teach others,” he said. “When I was promoted to Head Coach, I wasn’t expecting it but the Lord works in mysterious ways. He puts us in places where we have to be present at the time and that was my calling, in a sense.”
Since then, Adrian has obtained his MBA from Fresno Pacific and has focused on being the best coach he can be by not only coaching his athletes to the best of his ability but continuing to educate himself, something he learned from Coach Gilchrest.
“Coach Allen has been a huge mentor for me,” Adrian said. “He has made a great impact on my coaching journey, teaching me some of his tips and tricks. To this day, we talk. He is the person I go to with questions and is someone I can always call and talk to – and not just about swimming.”
Adrian’s proudest moment as a coach came early on in his career.
“In my first year of coaching we won 18-24 events at our conference tournament,” he remembered. “We brought seven swimmers to NCAA DII Nationals. Being a graduate assistant and starting out as a head coach, having a fairly good first year is something to be proud of.”
Next season, the Sunbird swim team will return most of their roster, which Adrian believes will help them in reaching their goal.
“We’re returning national qualifiers which is a huge deal,” he said. “But we’re also bringing in a good recruiting class as well. Our goal is to finish in the top 2 of our conference and to bring as many swimmers to nationals as we can.”
Outside of the pool, Adrian hopes to teach his swimmers the importance of giving back by getting involved in service projects both on campus and in the local community.
What advice would he give other students interested in coaching?
“Put your heart into whatever you do,” he said. “Don’t take anything for granted because you never know what will happen. Work hard, do well in school, and do whatever you can to reach your goal.”
At Emmanuel, Adrian found his passion for coaching but also found professors and staff members who were invested in helping him reach his goal.
“Dr. John Henzel was someone who not only took the time to teach us but made sure we were growing spiritually and becoming better people,” he said. “It helped that he had a swimming background, that’s what clicked between us but his knowledge and experience helped me become who I am right now.”
The Lord works in mysterious ways. This is a lesson Adrian Aleksandrowicz learned during his time at Emmanuel and is something he reminds himself of as he leads the Fresno Pacific University Swimming and Diving team. And they’re just starting to make a splash.