ISU boxing club transitions into spring

Emily Hejlik

The ISU Boxing club is in

transition. Not only is the team transitioning to a new facility

but to a new coach as well.

“State Gym was the original location

for the ring before being temporarily moved to Beyer Hall while

renovations took place in the new State Gym,” said Landon Wolfe,

adviser to the club.

Stephen Janicek, president of the

club, is excited about the program’s future.

“[ClubFest] gives us a chance to

build awareness for the Boxing club while also recruiting new

members by giving hand-outs and giveaways,” Janicek


The first practice is Monday, Jan.

23, for both the team and club.

“We usually start with about 70

kids, and by the end of the year, that number dwindles to around

15,” Janicek said. “The workouts are hard, and a lot of time

commitment is involved in boxing.”

The duration of practice is

dependent on the student’s schedules.

“We try to always get in core work,

push ups, footwork, drills and a short run,” Janicek said. “Shadow

boxing and rotations with coach along with sparring in the ring are

valuable as well.”

The longevity of the club can be

credited to retired coach Terry Dowd, who guided the squad for over

25 years. Last January, he gave the reigns to assistant coach Jon


Swanson is a locomotive engineer for

Union Pacific Railroad and was the assistant coach starting in

2006. He educates the young boxers on his own time — with no


“My favorite thing about coaching is

working with the kids and the community,” Swanson said. “It takes a

lot of commitment and sacrifice, not just in the ring but in the

classroom as well.”

Although safety is “paramount” to

Swanson, he expresses some of his goals for the team.

“Focuses of mine are to build

relationships with local Iowa amateur boxing federations, get the

kids ready for tournaments and eventually have athletes competing

at nationals,” Swanson said. “The national tournament is in April

at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I expect at least

three of my boxers to be contenders.”

Footwork, muscle memory and

technicalities are all stressed by coach Swanson, but some turn to

boxing for alternative motives.

“Hitting the bag is a major stress

reliever, but I also enjoy the camaraderie,” said Tamara Bartlett,

senior in computer engineering.

The future of the ISU Boxing club

seems to be in good hands with Swanson looking to push kids to

their full potential.

“The main thing is to not be

intimidated,” Swanson said. “We have a safe and friendly

environment here at the ring in State Gym. No matter what skill

level, everyone can have fun.”