Indiana State Swimming and Diving head coach Matt Leach has announced the hiring of Bex Freebairn as assistant coach and Fengting Chen as diving coach.
“I am really excited to bring on Fengting and utilize Bex in a greater capacity this upcoming season. Bex has shown a tireless work ethic and passion for the program and will be a key player in our upcoming success. Fengting comes to us from Southern Illinois which is a very successful program. She will make an immediate impact on staff as this is our first year implementing diving and will be the driving force behind the program moving forward,” said Leach.
Freebairn joined the Sycamore program from New Zealand. She brought prior coaching experience from the international system along with substantial camp experience from Indiana State swim camps, NC State and Butler. Freebairn served the program as a volunteer assistant coach during the 2016-2017 season where she helped run practices as well as assisting in student-athlete development and recruiting.
“I am extremely grateful to coach Leach and the Indiana State Athletic Department for giving me the opportunity to take on the role of assistant coach. Having worked with the team this past year, it has been an incredible learning experience and is extremely fulfilling to take on a greater role within the program. The Sycamore Swim family is a special one to be a part of, and I cannot wait to see what this season brings. Obviously, it is very sad to see coach Westfall leave, she has not only had a huge impact on the program but also on my own development as a coach,” said Freebairn.
Chen comes to Indiana State from a stint as volunteer diving coach with Southern Illinois, a traditionally successful program within the Missouri Valley Conference.
She also swam two years for the Salukis from 2012-2014 where she was a two time first team all-conference selection, an MVC Scholar-Athlete and earned a second place finish at the 2014 MVC Championship meet in the three meter dive along with a third place finish in the one meter.
“I’d like to thank coach Leach for this opportunity. I feel so lucky to be involved with the ISU swimming and diving team. I couldn’t be more excited to get started with the new program as this is not only a great opportunity for my career, but also great for developing this program at the collegiate level. I’m looking forward to seeing how big of a success the Sycamore’s can be this coming year,” said Chen.
During the first year of the Sycamore swimming and diving program ISU won three dual meets along with having two student-athletes earn MVC Honorable Mention honors under the direction of Leach and now former assistant coach, Rebecca Westfall.
“I would like to thank Rebecca for her work in helping me get this program started and the impact she had over the past year. I wish her the best of luck at Pitt and am very proud of this step she is taking in her coaching career,” said Leach.
Indiana State swimming and diving will be competing at the Vigo County Aquatic Center again this season. However the diving pool has been updated and now consists of three one meter spring boards along with one three meter spring board for competition.
For the latest information on the Sycamore Swimming and Diving team, make sure to check out GoSycamores.com. You can also find the team on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Press Release courtesy of Indiana State Athletics.