ECU Announces Coaching Staff Additions & Promotions

Jesse Lyman and John Newell have been added to the ECU Swimming and Diving coaching staff and current coaches Kate Moore and Kevin Woodhull-Smith have received promotions head coach Matthew Jabs announced Monday.

Lyman will serve as ECU’s new diving coach, while Newell joins as an assistant swimming coach.

“I am very excited to welcome these two young coaches to my staff,” Jabs said. “They will fit in great, and I look forward to seeing the hard work and energy they bring to the pool each day.”

Lyman joins the ECU coaching staff after spending the previous three seasons as diving coach at Rowan University, where he was named Metropolitan Championships Coach-of-the-Year each year. He coached a two-time NCAA Division III All-America diver John Morris, who also earned All-American honorable mention accolades three times at the NCAA Championships.

Lyman spent more than a decade of club coaching experience and was overseeing the Top Spin Diving Club program based at Rowan prior to his appointment at ECU.
As a student-athlete, Lyman was a four-year NCAA Division I diver at LSU, where he was a two-time NCAA Regional qualifier. He graduated from LSU with a degree in history education and a minor in political science.
A native of Charlotte and four-year letterman at NC State, Newell spent the past two years coaching with the YOTA Swim Team in Raleigh.

As a senior at NC State, Newell earned All-American honors as a member of the 400-medley relay team and led the Wolfpack to its first ACC title in 23 years. He graduated ranked among the school’s all-time top-10 in the 50 Freestyle as well as the 100 and 200 Butterfly. He also competed in the 200 Butterfly in the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha before completing his bachelor degree requirements in sport management in 2015.

Moore has been named associate head coach after serving as head assistant coach, a position now occupied by Woodhull-Smith.

Moore is in her 10th season as a member of the ECU coaching staff. She was a four-year letterman for the Pirates from 2003 to 2007 and earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. As a member of the staff, Moore has helped the Pirates win three conference titles.

“Kate has been instrumental in recruiting, and her work both on deck and behind the scenes is second to none,” Jabs said. “She has played such an important role with this program both as a student-athlete and coach. I am really excited to work with her in this new role.”

The 2017-18 campaign will be Woodhull-Smith’s fifth season as a full-time member of the ECU coaching staff. He has coached a trio of NCAA Championship participants, while helping the Pirates win three consecutive American Athletic Conference championships.

“Kevin is one of the best on-deck coaches I have had the chance to work with. His attention to detail, and his ability to get the best out of his athletes is second to none. I am looking forward to his growth in his new role as head assistant coach.”

The ECU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams stage their annual Purple-Gold intrasquad exhibition Sept. 29. The meet begins at 3:30 p.m. inside Minges Natatorium. Parking and admission are free.


“John has a great swim mind for a young coach. He had an outstanding career as an athlete at NCST and worked hard for his accomplishments. As an athlete & team captain he helped lead the Wolfpack from the bottom of the ACC to a championship level & national Top 5 program. He has experienced firsthand the work and commitment it takes to be great, and I expect to see that in the athletes he will be working with. His time coaching club in the Raleigh area, and the relationships he has built throughout North Carolina Swimming will have an immediate impact in recruiting.” – ECU Head Coach Matthew Jabs

“John was a tremendous leader for our men during his time. Not only did he lead through his work ethic in and out of the pool, he was as passionate as you could get for the team.” – NC State Head Coach Braden Holloway

“John Newell was a great leader for the NC State Men’s Swimming and Diving program. He brought endless passion and energy that was essential for the team to continue to rise at both the ACC and NCAA level. His leadership in and out of the pool will carry over to his coaching career and I look forward to following his success.” – NC State Assistant Coach Mallory Houchin

“John is an amazing young coach. He has an awesome ability to see the intricacies of each athletes’ stroke and make subtle adjustments that allow them to go MUCH faster. He has been trained under some great coaches in Jamie Thomas (New South Swimming) and Braden Holloway (NC State University) and will definitely make ECU a better program through his hard work, loyalty, and on deck presence.” – YOTA Swim Team Head Coach/Senior Director of Competitive Swimming Chad Onken

“I’m really excited to bring in Jesse as our new diving coach. His track record for recruiting & developing athletes speaks for itself. His energy was apparent from the moment he set foot on campus, and I believe his enthusiasm for the sport will be great for our divers. As an athlete, he has competed in one of the top conferences in the country, and I anticipate that experience will be a great asset to our program.” – ECU Head Coach Matthew Jabs

“Jesse is an excellent hire and I’m sure will do a great job with the Pirate divers. He is passionate about the sport and creative in his approach. It’s been great to see Jesse grow from the student-athlete I knew here at LSU into a college coach and I look forward to seeing the success of the Pirate divers in the future.” – LSU Head Diving Coach Doug Shaffer

“I’ve known Jesse as a diver, a person, as well as a colleague. He is an extremely hard-working, charismatic individual whom loves to learn and grow as an athlete and professional. I think he will be a great addition to the ECU staff and team. I am excited to see where he takes the program.” – Villanova Head Diving Coach Todd Michael

Press Release courtesy of ECU Athletics.

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Anyone else think it’s weird that the words “East Carolina University” are never mentioned above–that it’s just ECU on all references? It’s like writing a piece on Texas swimming and saying UT without ever saying Texas. Maybe it’s just me.


Agree… but also note that it is a press release from the school. So it likely had the school logo and full name somewhere on the letterhead. Understanding that “letterhead” is probably archaic.


Ecu just rebranded their entire school. Changing all logos from saying East Carolina University to just saying ECU. The school slogan has also changed.

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