Penn State Hires SVSU Coach Austin Pillado As Assistant Coach

Penn State has hired former Saginaw Valley State University assistant coach Austin Pillado for the 2021-2022 season. Following 1 season of coaching at SVSU, Pillado will join head coach Tim Murphy at Penn State.

Pillado will fill the role that former Penn State coach Priscilla Barletta left earlier this year when she made the move to the University of Michigan. Pillado will work alongside associate head coach at Penn State Steve Barnes and assistant coach Matt Hurst.

With the move, and barring any other unannounced hirings, the only female on staff at the combined-gender program next season will be volunteer assistant Emily Lundstron.

In his single season at SVSU as an assistant coach, women’s and men’s teams finished 4th and 5th, respectively, at the 2021 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title. Pillado shared a brief summary of the team’s accomplishments during the 2020-2021 season in an Instagram post:

SVSU followed up their conference meet performances with a 22nd place finish for the women and a 24th place finish for the men at the 2021 NCAA Division II Championships.

The move from SVSU to Penn State for Pillado means a switch from DII coaching to DI coaching. The Penn State men finished 7th and 31st, respectively at the 2021 Big 10 and Division I Championships, while the women were 10th at Big 10s and did not score at NCAAs. The women’s team had one representative at NCAA Championships in 2021 in the form of Marie Schobel who finished 22nd in the 100 backstroke and 39th in the 200 backstroke.

Pillado is no stranger, however, to the Division I coaching scene, having worked as a volunteer assistant coach for the Women’s Texas A&M swim team for 3 seasons prior to his time at SVSU.

During his time coaching the Aggies, the team collected 2 straight SEC Championships in 2018 and 2019, along with a 3rd place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division I Championships. Before his career as a collegiate swim coach, Pillado swam for Davis & Elkins College from 2013 – 2017.

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exswimcoach
1 month ago

Way to go Austin! see you in October.

PA Swim Dad
1 month ago

Welcome Coach Austin! And yes, there is a new female assistant on deck.

PowerTower
1 month ago

Everyone still upset in Happy Valley about letting Coach Jake get away!! #GoFlames

Crash
Reply to  PowerTower
1 month ago

Why?

Power Rack
1 month ago

Did y’all ask A&M about him before hiring??

Wetness
Reply to  Power Rack
1 month ago

Are you not supposed to party with the student-athletes?

Title 9.5
Reply to  Wetness
1 month ago

true story?

Title 9.5
Reply to  Power Rack
1 month ago

care to elaborate?

Swim Fan
1 month ago

Really unfortunate that they one have 1 female on staff and its a volunteer position. For a combined program this is so unacceptable

Power Rack
Reply to  Swim Fan
1 month ago

That volunteer is also his girl friend

Saw Guerra
Reply to  Swim Fan
1 month ago

Interesting that they hire someone over their 3 year volunteer assistant. Anyone looking at his Instagram can see he is dating Emily. What is Murphy thinking??

Title 9.5
Reply to  Saw Guerra
1 month ago

perhaps the PhD candidate has her hands a little full and didn’t want to do it….

Saw Guerra
Reply to  Title 9.5
1 month ago

Hands full with Austin

Title 9.5
Reply to  Saw Guerra
1 month ago

Lazy comment

WorkingSwimMom
Reply to  Swim Fan
1 month ago

They actually brought in a female assistant coach. Not sure why it’s not announced. She’s been on deck.

Swammer
Reply to  Swim Fan
1 month ago

There is also a new female coach on staff.

Title 9.5
Reply to  Swim Fan
1 month ago

Understand your point, but also countless men have been passed over for jobs they’re more qualified for bc someone has to hit a diversity requirement. I understand the value having (at least) a female for a coed program brings, but not “picking the best candidate regardless of gender” is discriminatory to men. Also overall applicant pools have shrunk in the sport, especially this year btw

swimapologist
Reply to  Title 9.5
1 month ago

Believing that the Penn State AD has an idea of “how to pick the best candidate regardless of gender” is not evidenced in the results.

Y’all “best candidate regardless of gender” types forget that one of the criteria for best candidate has, historically, been the candidate’s gender. And, that quite frequently, those candidates have been utter failures. So why do we now pretend like somehow ADs are savants who are great at “picking the best candidates”?

Swimfan92
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

Y’all really think ADs are involved in hiring assistant swim coaches? Clearly haven’t coached college swimming before. Those people are too busy with football and basketball to have any idea who the candidates are for assistant jobs.

Title 9.5
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

This is in response to hiring’s across the country, not specifically penn st’s case, but as another said, AD’s have nothing to do with this. Not sure what your specific beef with penn st is tho. And your comment is clearly from someone looking in from the outside, or inside with a lack of knowledge or thought. And to the “majority of men have been unsuccessful”, Eddie, Jack, Jon, and about a thousand other good coaches and good men would probably have something to say about that

Swammer
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

1- The AD at PSU is a woman
2- No shot the AD is involved in the hiring process of an assistant swim coach at most Power 5 Universities

2swim2kick
1 month ago

Austin is a great guy, PSU is lucky to have him.