Courtesy: Kohawk Athletics
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Coe College Director of Athletics and Recreation Steve Cook announced Wednesday the hire of Joe Tristan as the new head coach of the Kohawk men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. Tristan brings over 20 years of collegiate coaching and teaching experience with him to Coe, having served most recently as the head men’s and women’s water polo coach and assistant men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania.
“I want to thank Athletic Director Steve Cook and the entire search committee for the opportunity to be the next Head Swimming and Diving Coach, and I am eager to get started developing and building great student-athletes,” Tristan said. “The Kohawk swimmers, past and present, have developed a strong foundation for the men’s and women’s swimming programs, and I knew I wanted to continue building on that foundation for future Kohawk swimmers to bring an American Rivers Conference Championship to Coe College. My family and I are excited to join the Kohawk family and my daughters have already stated that they want to meet all the squirrels and try to meet the ghost named Helen.”
Joe is a native of Southern California and played water polo and swam at Earl Warren High School. He later competed and finished 22nd in the United States Olympic swimming trials in the 200-meter freestyle. Tristan began his coaching tenure as a graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. His coaching and teaching experience continued at Penn State Behrend in 2003, taking over as the head men’s and women’s water polo coach while serving as an assistant for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. Coach Tristan also spent time in the classroom at Behrend, serving as a Kinesiology lecturer where he was a two-time nominee for the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows Excellence in Teaching Award.
“I am excited to have Joe joining our athletic staff and leading our men’s & women’s swimming & diving programs,” said Steve Cook. “His vast experience at the collegiate level is impressive, successfully teaching and building student-athletes in the pool and in the classroom. I am confident that Joe will continue to direct our programs to a championship level.”
Tristan’s swimming and diving experience also includes his impressive feats in the pool which include top 100 World Rankings in the 200 Meter Freestyle, a second-place finish in the 800 Free Relay at the US National Championships as well as being a six-time United States Masters Swimming American Record Holder. As a coach, Tristan helped the Behrend swimming and diving programs to a combined 24 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) titles while mentoring over 150 individual champions, 16 school and conference record holders and multiple NCAA qualifiers, one of which was a four-time All-American. As the coach of the water polo teams, Tristan piled up 142 total wins while coaching 37 all-Americans, 54 all-conference and all-tournament players and three rookies of the year. In addition, nearly 400 student-athletes were named to the all-academic team during his 20 years.
Thank you for making me a better man Coach!