Jeremy Kipp has announced his first hire since taking over the newly-combined men’s and women’s swimming & diving program at Northwestern. He will bring in former two-time NCAA All-American swimmer Meghan Hawthorne as his first-announced assistant coach. Hawthorne was Kipp’s assistant at the pair’s prior stop at Boise State, and also swam for him while Kipp was an assistant at USC.
The two had a successful run at Boise State: after finishing 2nd at the Mountain West Conference Championships in 2016, their first season, the team won two straight conference titles. They won 13 individual and 13 relay titles in those 3 seasons and sent 9 swimmers and 1 diver to the NCAA Women’s National Championship meet.
After graduating USC and before her hiring at Boise State, Hawthorne was a coach with the Rattler Swim Club in San Fernando, California from 2009 through 2015, and swam with the club from 2001 through 2014. She also served as an assistant with the Viewpoint School.
As an athlete, Hawthorne spent 2 years as a member of the USA Swimming National Team in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons, inicluding finishing 6th in the 400 IM at the 2012 Olympic Trials. She earned a silver medal in that event at the 2013 World University Games.
Hawthorne graduated from USC in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in human biology and a minor in occupational science and earned her Masters in educational leadership from Boise State in May 2018.
SwimSwam’s Swimulator tool shows that last year, Boise State would have been projected to win an all-events, swimming-only dual meet against Northwestern by a slim margin based on season-best times. Northwestern finished 22nd at last year’s NCAA Women’s Championships, with all 40 points coming from diver Olivia Rosendahl, who won her second-straight NCAA title on platform. She and Northwestern’s other NCAA qualifier, Calypso Sheridan, were both underclassment last season. The women finished 7th out of 13 teams at the Big Ten Championships, while the men were 9th out of 10 teams, beating out Michigan State by 12.5 points.
“Meghan played an integral role in the success we had at Boise State,” Kipp said. “She is an outstanding recruiter and remarkably well organized, but what makes her so special is her ability to connect with the student-athletes. She was a tremendous swimmer as an All-American and U.S. National team member, but not all great swimmers can make the jump to great mentor and coach like she has in her career. The student-athletes she has worked with know she cares deeply about their goals and I have seen them achieve great things because of the relationship and energy Meghan brings to every training session.”
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be joining the Northwestern family,” Hawthorne said. “From the moment I walked on campus I felt right at home. Northwestern has a rich history in both academics and athletics that I’m very excited to be a part of. I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue to work alongside Jeremy and am looking forward to this new journey as a Wildcat. Go ‘Cats!”
Alik Sarkisian has been retained as the school’s diving coach, meaning that the on-deck staff has now grown to 3 for the swimming & diving programs.