In June, the Brenau University swim team welcomed Mandi Bell as the new head coach. With 41 years of experience in swimming, including 34 as a coach, Bell plans to take Brenau’s team to the next level.
Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor said he is excited to welcome Bell to Brenau.
“Mandi brings a wealth of experience and energy and has some great ideas that will serve our swim program and the university well,” he said. “I look forward to celebrating the program’s accomplishments with her.”
Bell began her competitive swim career at age 6 and continued competing throughout high school, lettering all four years. She set numerous records and qualified for Junior and Senior Nationals and Olympic Trials. In college at Western Kentucky University, she trained and competed unofficially with the men’s swim team.
While she has taken a sabbatical from swimming competitively, Bell continues to show her passion for the sport through teaching and coaching. She is a certified CPR, first aid, basic life support, and lifeguard instructor with the Red Cross as well as with StarGuard Elite. Additionally, she is an accredited lifeguard instructor trainer with the Red Cross.
Bell won Atlanta Swim Association’s Swim Coach of the Year in 2014 and served as a swim coach with the Special Olympics in 2021. She has also run a swim school in the Atlanta area since the early 2000s and started a nonprofit to help fund swim lessons for students from economically challenged families.
“I believe that sports are fundamental to growing and learning as a person,” Bell said. “The wonderful thing about swimming is that it is both an individual and team sport.”
Before coming to Brenau, Bell taught swim classes at Agnes Scott College for two years.
“I enjoyed working with my students so much that I realized I wanted to focus on working with university students,” she said. “While I enjoy teaching beginners, I really love coaching and decided that my future was in coaching a college team. When I saw that Brenau was searching for a new swim coach, I knew this was where I was meant to be.”
Bell’s goals for the team include best times at conference for this year’s roster of swimmers and helping her athletes achieve qualifying times for the NAIA Championship meet.
“My ultimate goals are to win conference and championship meets and have the top GPA average,” Bell said.