Harvard Head Swim Coach Stephanie Morawski Steps Down; Kulik Promoted to Lead Program

The Harvard women’s swimming & diving team will have a new head coach next season for the first time in almost three decades. Stephanie Wriede Morawski announced on Monday the decision to leave the program; she will be succeeded by Amanda Kulik, who has been an assistant with the program for a decade.

Morawski, a 1992 graduate of Harvard, won’t go far, though – she has accepted a role within Harvard’s admissions office.

“Coaching Harvard student-athletes has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” Morawski said. “Their passion and motivation to excel at the highest level in both the classroom and the pool is awe-inspiring. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on pool deck which makes the decision to leave coaching extremely difficult. However, I have accepted a position within the Harvard Admissions Office and am excited to spend more time with my family and cheer on the Crimson from the sideline!’

Kulik was a swimmer and rower at Division III Trinity College in Connecticut.

The Harvard women have won three of the last five Ivy League Championships and finished 2nd in the two they didn’t win in that stretch. The Harvard women haven’t placed lower than 2nd at the meet since 2002.

Kulik Bio

Courtesy: Harvard Athletics

A former two-sport athlete at Trinity College, Kulik joined the Crimson as an assistant coach in Nov. 2013, before being promoted to associate head coach in Aug. 2017. In 10 seasons, Harvard has arguably enjoyed its most successful period with Kulik on the coaching staff.

During her tenure in Cambridge, Kulik has helped the Crimson finish in first or second place at the Ivy League Championships in each of the nine seasons in which the conference meet was held (2021 – Did not compete due to pandemic), with Harvard claiming trophies in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2022. In addition to winning team titles, Kulik coached 13 athletes who qualified for the NCAA Championships, including a pair that finished in the top 20 nationally in their respective events (Miki Dahlke ’20 – 17th in 200 free in 2019; Felicia Pasadyn ’22 – 15th in 400 IM in 2022), six NCAA All-Americans and an NCAA Elite 90 recipient (Pasadyn ’22), all while watching 18 program records be established.

Kulik’s impact, however, was not limited to the pool. In addition to handling recruiting, travel logistics and operations, Kulik was instrumental in the development of the program’s student-athletes. She served as an advisor and mentor, while fostering growth through the program’s Leadership Council, the team’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and its work in the community. Harvard also excelled in the classroom during Kulik’s tenure, earning College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Team honors every semester in which the CSCAA released GPAs. In the Spring of 2021, the Crimson posted the top term GPA in NCAA Division I at 3.90.

Before joining Morawski at Blodgett Pool, Kulik was an assistant coach at Smith College in Northampton for two full seasons (Sept. 2011-Nov. 2013). She was involved with all aspects of the program, including program creation, outreach, recruiting, travel, and fundraising.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in Hispanic studies with a minor in performing arts from Trinity in 2008, Kulik joined the Eaglebrook School swimming staff in Deerfield, assisting with the varsity and junior varsity teams from Sept. 2008-June 2011, while also teaching Spanish. During the summer of 2009 and 2010, Kulik served as an assistant athletic director, overseeing the daily operations on campus.

During her time at Smith and Harvard, Kulik has helped grow the sport of swimming in their respective communities. While at Smith, she was a masters coach, helping swimmers reach their various personal goals. Then when she arrived in the Greater Boston Area, Kulik was a summer coordinator for Swimming Saves Lives and a masters coach with Charles River Aquatics before serving as its director of competitive swimming. She also worked at the Harvard Technique Swim Academy in the summertime, spanning her tenure at Smith and with the Crimson.

Recently recognized as a Harvard Hero (April 2023) by the University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Kulik was a co-captain of Trinity’s women’s swimming and diving and women’s rowing teams, while landing on the Trinity College Dean’s List.

In the pool, she was a NESCAC All-Academic Team selection, voted the team’s Most Improved Woman Swimmer and finished her career in the Bantams’ all-time top 10 in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard backstroke. Meanwhile in the boat, she was a CRCA Div. II-III National Scholar-Athlete and helped the Bantams to a pair of second- and third-place performances at the NCAA Div. III National Regatta.

In addition to obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Trinity, Kulik earned her master’s degree from Smith College in exercise & sports studies in May 2013.

Kulik will officially begin her head-coaching duties on Aug. 1.

Morawski Bio

Stephanie Morawski. Courtesy: Harvard Athletics

Courtesy: Harvard Athletics

One of the most decorated swimmers in Harvard history, Morawski continued the Crimson’s winning tradition when she took the reins of the program ahead of the 1997-98 campaign. Since then, Harvard has captured eight conference crowns, all of which have occurred in the last 18 years in which the Ivy meet was held. In fact, the Crimson has finished first or second at the conference championship in 21 straight seasons.

Under the four-time Ivy League Coach of the Year’s (2018-20, 2022) watch, Harvard has collected 112 All-Ivy League First-Team accolades and 11 Academic All-Ivy honors, with six athletes earning All-America recognition and one being crowned a national champion. At the conference level, Morawski tutored five Ivy High Point Swimmers of the Meet, four Career High Point Swimmers and six Career High Point Divers. At the dual-meet level, Morawski posted an overall mark of 165-40-1 (.803) and a 141-32-1 record (.813) against Ivy League foes, with both of her win totals ranking first in program history.

Perhaps more impressive than its achievements in the pool is Harvard’s overall performance in the classroom as Morawski’s teams have earned College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Team plaudits for 28 consecutive semesters in which the organization has released team GPAs, including in the Spring of 2021 when the Crimson posted the top GPA in the country (3.90). The following season, Felicia Pasadyn ’22 earned the NCAA Elite 90 Award, given annually to the athlete with the top GPA among competitors at the NCAA finals site, and was named a CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-American, one of only two Ivy League student-athletes to be recognized (1988 – Sheila Findley ’90).

Morawski compiled a long list of accolades as a student-athlete before entering the coaching ranks. The 1991-92 team co-captain was a two-time All-America selection, a three-time NCAA Championships qualifier and two-time Olympic Trials participant. Morawski was the 1992 Eastern Women’s Swimming League Swimmer of the Year after she accounted for 57 points in Harvard’s championship effort. She later shared the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association Award as Harvard’s top female student-athlete to cap her illustrious collegiate career and was inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2007.

Morawski earned her undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard in 1992 and added a master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in 1999.

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2 months ago

Amazing work building the program over 26 years, Steph! Enjoy your work in admissions. Thankful for your contribution to our sport.

2 months ago

Any news on northwestern? Been really quiet.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

With an understatement like that, you’ve just become an honorary Brit!

Kim Kredich
2 months ago

Congrats on an awesome swimming and coaching career, Steph!

James Beam
2 months ago

Who is the student-athlete who got a B in a class that lowered the team GPA to 3.90 in the Spring of 2021? Slacker! 🙂

Air Quality at YMCA Pools
2 months ago

That appears to be famed swimmer Geordie Enoch in the cover photo with her!

2 months ago

Congrats to Amanda! Congrats to Steph on a successful career at Blodgett Pool.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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