This story originally appeared in Onward: John Carroll Alumni Magazine, which was mailed in early November. Check your mailbox over the next few weeks to get your copy.
The Jesuit mission matters to Mark Fino. It mattered long before he rebuilt John Carroll swimming & diving. It mattered before the six OAC titles, the 175 All-OAC performers, the 85 conference event titles, the 71 program records, and the four NCAA Championship invitations.
In many ways, the mission is the thing that matters most to Fino. “I’ve always coached with the idea of men and women for and with others,” says Fino, a graduate of University of Detroit Jesuit High School. “It changed me when I was in high school, and I love how it applies to team sports and group dynamics.”When the JCU job came open in 2013, it was easy to apply. “I had just returned from my honeymoon, and I immediately jumped in,” he remembers. “The Jesuit mission has always been a part of my coaching philosophy. I left behind a great team at Oberlin, but this was the right opportunity at the right time.”
Fino inherited a program that was in need of a fresh start. The men’s and women’s teams had not topped the OAC since 2004 and 2008, respectively.