Florida State has continued to expand it’s coaching staff with the addition of two young, but fast-rising assistants: Kirk Hampleman and Lauren O’Donnell.
Hampleman has been a part of successful programs at every stop on the college circuit. As a swimmer, he was a 9-time All-American and a member of the 1999 NCAA Championship Team. He is returning to a Florida State program where he was a graduate assistant for two seasons, including in 2006 where their women took their first ever ACC Championship.
His most recent stop was at Iowa, as that program soared to new heights: including two Big Ten relay titles in 2012. The Hawkeyes had their best performance in decades last year, and as their fortunes rose so did those of Hampleman.
Much like we saw last week when head coach Neil Harper brought in Auburn Olympian Gideon Louw and US National Teamer Matt Patton as grad assistants, the message is clear: Florida State plans to continue building their freestyle groups. Hampleman also comes from the Auburn sprinting tradition, and helped develop the phenomenal freestyle group at Iowa. At Florida State, he will lead the IM and distance groups, this is still more invaluable freestyle knowledge that will be on deck in Tallahassee.
This plays right into the wheelhouse of the Seminoles, who from Mark Weber and Tiffany Oliver on the sprints to Mateo de Angulo in the mile have thrived on their freestyle groups.
“”Kirk was a solid swimmer at Auburn and he was a great grad assistant here,” Harper said of the hire. “He had an impact on our athletes when they won ACC’s. He’s done a great job at a Big Ten school in recruiting and coaching and in result Iowa had great level of success.”
O’Donnell will bring a female dynamic to this coaching staff. She doesn’t come from a big-name program, but brings something different to the table. Her previous three years were spent as the head coach of Juanita College, a small private Division III school in Pennsylvania.
That program is a volleyball powerhouse (both in men’s and women’s), but don’t have much of a history in swimming. In just a few seasons, though, O’Donnell really built the program up, including tripling the size of the roster (which is an impressive feat for a Division III school with a student body just over 1,600 people).
Of O’Donnell, Harper said “She comes in as a head coach of a program. She’s had to make programs for every type of swimmers and recruiting. She’s very organized and she’ll bring a high energy to the staff.”
O’Donnell will work with stroke and IM groups and head up the recruiting on the women’s side.