A coach from Arizona State University will be returning home to her alma mater. But it won’t be the one who many expected a few weeks ago.
Demerae Christianson, a 2004 graduate of Auburn, will be returning home to become the newest assistant of the Auburn Tigers under head coach Brett Hawke.
As a swimmer, she was a 15-time NCAA All-American, a 2003 World University Games Champion in the 100 fly, and part of three-straight National Championship Teams as a swimmer from 2002 through 2004. She narrowly missed an Olympic bid in 2004 when she placed 3rd in the 100 fly in 59.09.
This is not her first stop as a coach at Auburn either. She spent one season there as an assistant in 2005 after completing her eligibility. That was the year before Hawke returned to Auburn himself as an assistant. Despite both spending a lot of time on the Plains, they never overlapped as either swimmers or coaches.
“Adding Demerea to the Auburn program brings a level of experience and expertise that we are excited about. She is a known recruiter and has a passion for the Auburn swim team that will transcend through men and women,” Hawke said of the hire. “The future of Auburn swimming looks bright with the addition of Demerea to the staff.”
As a coach, Christianson has had several stints at major programs working under some of the best coaches in the business. She spent two years as an assistant at Maryland under Dave Durden (who’s now the head coach of the two-time champion Cal men); she then made a stop at Louisville at the beginning of what has been one of the most impressive performance turnarounds that we’ve ever seen in college swimming (we’re just now finding out that Arthur Albiero himself might be one of he best in the country).
And then most recently, working for Dorsey Tierney-Walker, who thanks to a big turnaround of her own with the Arizona State women. in the last few months has become one of the hottest names in college coaching.
Simply put, everywhere that she’s gone, Christianson has had success everywhere she’s been; she has no choice but to have a winning mentality, because everyone she works with has big improvements. She will now bring that mentality back to Auburn, which is widely viewed as one of the best assistant jobs in the country, both in that they are well-paid and that they are a coaching powerhouse that turns out some of the biggest names in the sport. Among those include two of the afore-mentioned – Tierney-Walker and Durden
Her focus will be working on the 200-yard stroke races (an area where Auburn’s biggest challenge has been scoring-wise), but will work with all groups in the program.
She will take the spot of Carrie Karkoska, who is stepping down after 5 seasons as an Auburn assistant (two as a strength and conditioning coach, three specifically with the swimming program). Karkoska was a former All-American diver at Purdue.