Chris Hamstra Returns To Alma College To Lead Swimming & Diving Program

Courtesy: Alma Athletics

Alma, MI – Alma College Athletics has hired Chris Hamstra as its next Head Swimming and Diving Coach, as announced by Vice President/Director of Athletics Sarah Dehring on October 31st.

SwimSwam Note: Alma College fired former head coach Alex Lee in late September less than three months after he was hired.

“It is exciting to welcome Chris back to the Scots family”, said Dehring.

“Chris is a very talented coach, who knows the landscape of Michigan swimming, as well as the MIAA, from his previous experience at Alma. We can’t wait to see all the different ways that he will grow this program in his time here.”

Hamstra makes his return to Alma after a 4-year run at Division II University of Sioux Falls.

“I would like to thank everybody who was with me throughout the hiring process: Dr. Abernathy, Sarah Dehring, and the entire hiring committee. Their support exemplified Alma College’s incredible values.”, said Hamstra.

The Alma College community has always been special to me with its rich history and tradition, my family and I are thrilled to be able to return home. With Alma athletics’ long tradition of success and the enthusiasm and passion of the swim and dive program I am excited to lead the program to the top level of competition. I am excited and proud to come home and work hard, the Alma way.”

In his time at Sioux Falls, Hamstra helped to push the young program to new heights, with his 2022-23 team finishing ranked 26th in DII.

Prior to USF, Hamstra was on the coaching staff at Saginaw Valley State University. During his time there, the women’s team finished as high as 42nd at the NCAA Division II Championships.

Before joining the SVSU staff, Hamstra served as Alma College’s Head Swimming and Diving Coach. During his time at Alma, he coached a pair of DIII All-Americans, five All-MIAA swimmers, and one MIAA Diver of the Year. Alma broke 40 school records, and had over 125 All-Time top 10 performances.

Hamstra graduated from Hope College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and went on to earn his masters in sports administration from Central Michigan University.

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3 months ago

University of Sioux Falls swim team in its short seven years of existence is severely underrated for its resilience to keep moving forward. From the first coach bowing out a month or so into year two, not to mention how many girls left after the first year. Fast forward to the pandemic, now this and whatever has not been made public.

Coaches come and go but to see two leave midseason and to see a program continue to be successful and growing says a lot about the culture that must be deep in those swimmers hearts.

All the best, Chris.

Jason Lintjer
4 months ago

What a legend. The big dog is comin home.

Jim Richardson
4 months ago

Welcome back to Michigan Chris!