Denison’s Parini guides youth through swimming

Head swim coach Gregg Parini chats with swimmers from Denison University during a Big Red swim practice on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at Trumbull Aquatics Center.  In addition to coaching the men's and women's swim and diving program, Parini is a professor in the Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Studies where he teaches exercise physiology.

GRANVILLE – He’s a great swim trainer – and has been for years. But the way to get to where it is, well, maybe not what you’d expect.

“I dropped out of school,” explained Gregg Parini, “and went to work as a mental health worker in a locked-down chronic schizophrenic unit at a private mental hospital in Grand Rapids. I did this for 15 months and then re-enrolled in the state of Michigan, working part-time at a local residential center for emotionally troubled teens. “

“At that time,” he continued, “I was also doing quite a bit of discernment with my pastor to decide if I was called to the priesthood. My plan, if all came together, was to continue the priesthood after graduation. “

“I was pretty serious about exploring the priesthood back then,” he noted, “and I was in a pretty heavy discernment process with my pastor. He and I had long conversations about what a call to the priesthood and pastoral counseling meant to me. And, as I went along, I discovered that I was called to something else, namely to work with young people through sports, especially swimming. Training and swimming were simply the vehicles to channel the appeal. “

Head swim coach Gregg Parini chats with swimmers from Denison University during a Big Red swim practice on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at Trumbull Aquatics Center.  In addition to coaching the men's and women's swim and diving program, Parini is a professor in the Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Studies where he teaches exercise physiology.

Today Parini is a professor and head coach of swimming at Denison University.

“I was fortunate enough,” he said, “to play and train with a number of outstanding role models -“ Hall of Fame humans ”who were outstanding role models working with youth. I also played with a few coaches who were not allowed to coach. They were abusive and terrible role models. My experiences with both groups have helped me move towards a career in education and coaching. “

Add a Comment