Maurice Stewart: Making a Splash

ERIC ROBINSON | STAFF REPORTERButler University women's swim team practice October 3, 2013

Maurice Stewart’s resume speaks for itself, which boasts three swimming national championships. Success has followed him as he made the move north to Butler.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Stewart saw his first snapshot of success as an assistant swimming coach at Auburn University from 2003-05. There, he was part of three national swimming championships. He led the men’s and women’s team to a title in 2004 and the men’s team to another title in 2005.

 When the opportunity to become the Butler women’s swimming coach presented itself in 2005 presented itself, he jumped at the opportunity.

 “It seemed like a great fit,” Stewart said. “I really fell in love with the city of Indianapolis.”

 Not only did he like the city, but he liked the school as well.

 “I love the school,” Stewart said, “All the different functions and clubs and everything that is really offered here at Butler, you would typically see at a large university, but you see it here at Butler.”

 He also saw a lot of potential at Butler. The construction of the Health and Recreation Center and the availability of an on-campus pool, along with the position of a head coaching job, he said he felt it was a great opportunity.

 Despite the benefits, making the jump from assistant to head coach presented challenges as well.

 “Everything falls on you. You are the accountability,” Stewart said. “You are responsible for everything, good or bad.”

 Even with the challenges, he still feels good about where his team is and where it can go while still promoting a normal college experience through his coaching philosophies.

 “My philosophy as a coach,” Stewart said, “is to create an atmosphere and environment where the girls can achieve academic success, and to provide the resources that we have here on campus to help facilitate that.”

 He also pushes his swimmers to achieve in the pool while still making sure that his athletes are enjoying the sport.

“The second philosophy,” Stewart said, “is to create an atmosphere where these girls can elevate training, elevate their level of competitiveness, reach their competitive potential and to create an atmosphere of team unity and an atmosphere of fun.”

Swim captain junior Emma Green said she has learned the importance of a team atmosphere.

 “I have learned the importance of how close this team can be and how you can rely on everyone on this team, including coaches, for anything,” Green said. “It is nice to have that close community.”

 Stewart said he enjoys when his team comes together and finds the success it is looking for.

 “My favorite part of coaching swimming is seeing our student athletes have a smile on their faces when they do something well,” he said. “Seeing them really come together and be cohesive as a team and knowing that they can rely on one another if they need something. That is really the biggest thing.”

 Both past and present swimmers at Butler agree on how well Stewart promotes coming together as a team and making the team into a family.

 Former swimmer Kaitie Ring emphasized how close she was and still is with Coach “Mo”.

 “He made sure that he had a relationship with each of his swimmers,” Ring said. “I feel like that is what makes Mo different. He always had an open door for anyone if they needed to come and talk. You need to be in a sport where you can have a relationship and trust your coach, and that was what I had with Mo.”

 Green also weighed in on how well Stewart keeps up with his swimmers.

 “He asks me if there are any problems,” Green said. “I can talk to him about the team or school-related things, so I consider myself pretty close with Mo.”

 There are many things that keep him going as a coach, but one thing stands out to him above all others.

“Trying to provide as best I can to create a positive experience for our student athletes,” Stewart said, “and to help accommodate for their needs to be successful academically and in the pool.”

 Butler swimming opens up the season with one of two home meets on Sept. 28. The other home meet will be on Jan. 25.