Two-time Olympic gold medalist Beth Botsford has left the staff at the University of Wisconsin to take a new job, head coach Whitney Hite confirmed on Monday evening.
“Although I am sorry to lose her, she will do a fantastic job at Waunakee and she will be missed,” Hite said via email.
Botsford, who at 15 years old won gold in Atlanta in both the 100 back and the 400 medley relay, was with Wisconsin for two seasons. It was her first major coaching job after spending a significant period of her post-competitive career on the clinics circuit and founding a swim school.
Before the long string of athletes like Liz Pelton and Michael Phelps coming out of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club program, Botsford was the impressive young phenom. Though somewhat overshadowed by the even-younger Amanda Beard at the ’96 games, Botsford put on an impressive display to take home the two medals. After that time, she would never medal again at an Olympics, but she did go on to have a very successful NCAA career at the University of Arizona.
Her official start date at Waunakee will be Tuesday. Sandy Kuecker, who until today had been listed as the head coach of the Waunakee Wave, is now listed as an assistant with the program as the staff has now grown by one, with six total coaches.
The Waunakee program is an expanding one located in the Northern Madison suburb of the same name. They train out of the eight-lane, 25-yard Waunakee Aquatic Center at Waunakee High School.
The program has produced at least one Division I recruit – Elena Patz. She committed to Ohio University in the fall of 2013, and is a versatile swimmer who has been 24.9 in the 50 yard freestyle and 2:05.0 in the 200 yard fly.