CEDARVILLE — As Paul Swanson stood in front of his team’s bench, the last thing he wanted to think about was his career win total.
The record crowd in attendance wasn’t about to let him forget.
The Mount Vernon Nazarene University volleyball team defeated Cedarville University in five sets on Thursday, locking up win No. 1,000 for Swanson — and a place in college sports immortality.
“It makes you reflective,” Swanson told the News. “My first thought was my gratitude to God being involved in our program.”
Swanson is the first coach in NAIA history to notch 1,000 wins. The fans in attendance — over 1,000 of them and many from Mount Vernon — let him know it before, during and after the match. Some brought signs to commemorate the occasion.
“It’s a little hard to not know,” said Swanson. “Once you’re in a match, you’re trying to figure out what to do to win a point. It was amazing to see our players persevere.”
A thousand wins was something Swanson said wasn’t a goal of his when he started 30 years ago.
“I think it’s almost like a dumb goal,” said Swanson. “I want players to come and grow in the Lord here. I’m fortunate that so many have chosen to come here.”
Swanson spent 29 of his 30 years as a head coach at MVNU. In that time, he’s had just three losing seasons, posting an average win-loss record of 34-12.
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