Courtesy: Westmont Athletics
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Westmont athletic director Dave Odell has announced the hiring of Jill Jones Lin as the first head coach of Westmont Women’s Swimming.
“Jill has a strong pedigree in both swimming and Christian leadership,” said Odell. “Her energy and enthusiasm is palpable. She also has a strong understand of athletics as part of the full liberal arts experience; placing emphasis on the priority of being a student.”
Jones Lin brings 19 years of experience as a year-round competitive swimmer at the high school, club and collegiate level. An alumna of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Jones Lin competed as a NCAA Division I swimmer and served two years as team captain.
For the past two years, Jones Lin has coached as a senior assistant swim coach at both Orinda Aquatics in Moraga and Springbrook Swim Club in Lafayette.
“The strong recommendation Jill received from UC Santa Barbara hall of fame coach Gregg Wilson was very influential,” said Odell. “Our program’s respect for Coach Wilson is remarkable. We also know that he understands Westmont, our culture and our faith commitment. After meeting Jill, it became immediately apparent why Coach was recommending her.
“We had several former college athletes on our committee and one them made a poignant comment. She said, ‘the other candidates are great, but I’d want to be coached by Jill.’ That set her apart.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Westmont team and work alongside the other incredible coaches and faculty,” said Jones Lin. “The Santa Barbara community is incredibly welcoming and Westmont is no different. I love that I get to combine two of my passions, swimming and mentoring student-athletes as they prepare for life after college. The Westmont athletic community is very competitive in the NAIA and the Westmont student-athletes that I have encountered are motivated and driven to be the best in their conference.”
Westmont announced earlier this year that it is adding an intercollegiate women’s swimming program beginning with the 2019-20 season. Jones Lin will begin immediately, recruiting athletes for next year’s team.
“I would love to see Westmont swimming have a strong presence at the NAIA championships and be competitive in the Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference (PCSC) with athletes scoring in the top 16. Ultimately, I want to provide a competitive opportunity for prospective students who desire to swim in college and also attend a Christian school with a competitive option.
“My goal for my athletes is for them to have a positive college swimming experience, that over the course of their collegiate swimming career they will grow and develop not only as swimmers, but as strong and faithful leaders who are passionate about making a difference.”
“Having gotten to know Jill over the last several months, I’ve been impressed with her ability to relate to a diverse group of people,” said Odell. “I think this will make her an incredible ambassador for our department and the mission of the college. We have an amazing group of coaches in our athletic program and Jill will embrace our team approach of collaboration and also bring a fresh perspective based on her own experiences.”
“I would characterize my coaching style as innovative,” said Jones Lin. “I take the lessons I’ve learned from my own swimming and coaching experiences and find new ways to improve stroke efficiency, race strategy and times, without overtraining.”
Prospective student-athletes are encouraged to visit athletics.westmont.edu/recruits.