Longtime Salisbury Head Coach Jill Stephenson To Retire At Season’s End

by SwimSwam 1

February 22nd, 2021 College, News

Courtesy: Salisbury Athletics

SALISBURY, Md. – Longtime Salisbury University head men’s and women’s swimming coach and Assistant Athletic Director Jill Stephenson announced on Saturday her retirement, effective May 31.

“Working at Salisbury University has truly been a ‘dream come true,'” stated Stephenson. “I appreciate the support and guidance from Dr. (Gerry) DiBartolo, Dr. (Michael) Vienna, my colleagues and the swimmers that have come and gone throughout my 26 years here at SU. I’ve enjoyed my career at SU and look forward to spending more time with family and friends and pursue other interests that have been put on hold throughout my career.”

The longest-tenured and winningest coach in Salisbury Swimming history, Stephenson totaled 211 meet wins in her career. She collected her 100th women’s win on Jan. 28, 2017. She hit the 100-win mark on the men’s side on Jan. 5, 2020.

In the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC, now Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference), Stephenson was a two-time CAC Coach of the Year, coached three CAC Swimmers of the Year and 219 All-CAC honorees.

Nationally, SU finished 30th in the NCAA Championship on the men’s side in 1997-98 with Chris Bembenek earning All-American Honorable Mention accolades in the 100-meter backstroke and the 200-meter backstroke at the 1998 NCAA Championships.

A four-year letter winner during her undergraduate career at Northern Michigan University, Stephenson was honored in the NMU Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2020 as part of the 1981-82 Northern Michigan women’s swimming and diving team that was runners up at the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division II Championships. The team won five events at the championship meet, set four AIAW Division II records with 11 student-athletes named AIAW DII All-Americans. Four student-athletes went on to finish as AIAW Division I All-Americans.

“Jill is such a valuable member of the Sea Gull family and she has had a long-lasting and positive impact on the campus that goes beyond her contributions to the men’s and women’s swim program,” said Salisbury’s Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation Dr. Gerry DiBartolo. “It will be tough to see her step away from her post but I’m excited for her to embark on a new journey in life. Jill’s has been an outstanding resource for her responsibilities in the pool as well as to our athletic department and Salisbury University. Her legacy to the swimming team and her contributions will never be forgotten. ”

“Being a part of such an amazing campus has been a pleasure,” said Stephenson. “I will forever be a Sea Gull.”

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CAC Coach
11 days ago

I was fortunate enough to get to swim in the same conference as Jill’s team, and then to later on coach in that conference. Jill has always been a class act, a humble competitor, and always has the best interest of her swimmers in mind. She has been the face of Salisbury swimming for a 1/4 of a century, and any coach would be lucky to have her longevity and career accomplishments. All the athletes that came through her pool have been lucky to call her coach. She will be missed. Especially by her peers. But I’m so excited for her to get to enjoy her retirement!