Gardner-Webb Hires Kristina Henkel and Travis Kiser as Swimming Assistants

Gardner-Webb head swimming coach Mike Blum has added 2 assistants to his new-look staff for the 2019-2020 season. Kristina Henkel and Travis Kiser will join Blum on deck as first-year coaches for the Bulldogs.

Henkel comes to the team from nearby Converse College (NCAA Division II) in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In her 2 seasons as head women’s swimming coach there, the team finished 2nd in the Conference Carolinas: which tied for the highest finish in program history. The team set 4 school records and 4 conference records in that time period.

Prior to that, she spent a season as a volunteer assistant at Converse College and part of a year as an assistant coach with the Performance Aquatics Swim Team in Boca Raton, Florida.

Henkel is a Gardner-Webb alumnus, where she was a four-year letter winner and All-Academic honoree in each season from 2012 through 2016.

Kiser comes to the program after working for 3 years as a volunteer assistant with the men’s team at Texas A&M. Part of a rebuilding stretch for the Aggies, he helped lead the team to a 17th-place finish at last year’s NCAA Championship meet. While volunteering with the NCAA program, he also worked as a paid assistant (and head dryland coach) for the College Station-based Aggie Swim Club.

Blum replaces Scott Teeters, who left one season after replacing longtime coach Mike Simpson. Gardner-Webb competes in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, where last season the men placed 4th out of 7 teams, and the women’s team placed 8th out of 9 teams.

Gardner-Webb has historically only listed 1 full-time assistant coach for the program, so having 2 assistants is a step up for the program.

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1 year ago

Big hires for Blum. Good luck DAWGS!

GWU Alum
1 year ago

Fantastic hires! Excellent coaches! Really excited about the future of the program!

1 year ago

Kiser is also a former Marine serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m pretty sure he’s the only combat veteran coaching at the D1 level!


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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