University of Alaska – Fairbanks has promoted Becca Weiland to be the new head coach of its women’s swimming team, and hired Kelsey Leeson as the program’s new assistant coach. Weiland replaces Scott Lemley, who retired at the end of the 2018-2019 season (which was announced in April of 2018).
Weiland was previously the program’s associate head coach, having joined the program last season after 1 year as an assistant at Wisconsin, 1 year as a full-time assistant at St. Cloud State, and 2 years as a graduate assistant at St. Cloud State.
Weiland was a 4-year letter winner and 13-time All-American at Minnesota.
As for her new assistant, Kelsey Leeson, the connection to Weiland is their time at St. Cloud State (the program that announced the news). Leeson swam at St. Cloud State from 2012 through 2016, where she and Weiland overlapped for a time. Since graduating, Leeson has been coaching part time while working as a laboratory analyst for different health care companies in her native Slat Lake City. Her coaching roles include as an assistant coach at Holdingford Public Schools in Minnesota, and as an assistant at Juan Diego Catholic School in the 2018-2019 season.
Leeson was a 5-time relay All-American at St. Cloud State.
Alaska-Fairbanks finished 29th at the 2019 NCAA Championships, thanks to 4 points in one swim from sophomore Oda Bygdnes, who finished 13th in the 100 fly (54.81). That was their first NCAA Championship appearance in 2 seasons. Alaska-Fairbanks was a perennial NCAA-scoring team through the 2014-2015 season, but served a post-season ban in the 2015-2016 season for “lack of institutional control.” The ban was originally to be served in the 2014-2015 season, but an appeal ran into the next year, with the ban being upheld by the NCAA.