Northwestern is promoting associate head coach Katie Robinson to head coach of its combined men’s and women’s program following Jeremy Kipp‘s departure to USC, the school announced on Thursday. Her official title is “Director of Swimming and Diving.”
The move makes Robinson the second of only two female coaches of a men’s team among schools in the Power 5 conferences, the other being Georgia Tech’s Courtney Hart. Including Robinson and Hart, there are only six female head coaches of any gender team in the Power 5 (the others are Cal’s Teri McKeever, UCLA’s Jordan Wolfrum, Texas’ Carol Capitani, and Illinois’ Sue Novitsky.).
Robinson was named associate head coach of the Northwestern swimming and diving program in July 2018. Prior to joining the Wildcats, she was the head women’s swimming and diving coach at Tulane University from 2012-17 after stints as an assistant coach at Virginia (2008-11) and Rutgers (2011-13).
She began her collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at University of the Pacific during the 2008-09 season.
Robinson swam collegiately at the University of Texas from 2003-07, and was an 11-time All-American. she also was a three-time Big 12 conference champion in the 200 fly and served as team captain and recruiting coordinator in 2006-07.
In May, USC announced it hired away Kipp – its former assistant coach of eight years – after he spent two years leading the Northwestern program. Last week, the Trojans announced that former Wildcats assistant (and USC alum) Meghan Hawthorne would follow Kipp back to Southern California – the two have worked together each of Kipp’s five seasons as a collegiate head coach.
After filling USC’s role, Kipp left Northwestern with the biggest gap in staff so far this offseason. The program has some upward momentum, with a good incoming recruiting class built off the success of the last few seasons under Kipp. Those classes include names like Annika Wagner and Lola Mull. At a minimum, Kipp rebuilt belief that Northwestern could once again have a top-tier swimming program.
After Kipp’s departure, SwimSwam speculated that Robinson would be the best choice for the job.