TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State Women’s Swimming and Diving head coach Matt Leach has announced the hiring of eight-time All-American Rebecca Westfall as assistant coach for the first-year program on Monday. Westfall arrives in Terre Haute after a two-year stint at UNC Asheville and is set to begin her duties on June 1.
“First, I’d like to thank (head coach) Matt Leach for the opportunity to come to Terre Haute,” Westfall said. “I’ve enjoyed my time at UNC Asheville very much, but I’m also thrilled to take the next step forward and help establish a brand new team. After talking with Matt, it’s exciting to see his vision and where he wants to take the program. They are loft goal to be sure, but with tremendous support of Indiana State University, those goals are within reach.”
Westfall spent the previous two seasons with UNC Asheville, where she helped the Bulldogs more than triple their best Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Conference Championship point total with 422 points in 2014-15 and 506 points in 2015-16 to go along with back-to-back program-high finishes. The Bulldogs also broke 10 varsity and five freshmen records in her first season.
A biomechanics and technique specialist, Westfall has published a series of articles on kinetic energy and movement through the water on SwimSwam.com.
“I couldn’t be happier to welcome Rebecca to our staff and Sycamore Family,” Leach said. “She is highly regarded in the swimming community and we are very fortunate to have her as we begin our inaugural season. She was an outstanding student-athlete and also brings a versatile coaching background to our program. I know she will help our program as we bring in young, academically oriented swimmers and divers.”
Previously, Westfall served as an assistant coach at Warren Wilson College in Swannona, N.C. for two seasons (2012-14). In addition, she served as the Interim Head Coach and Aquatics Director at Emory & Henry College in Emroy, Va. during the 2011-12 campaign.
She got her start at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., where she was the Director of Swimming and Aquatics for two years. During her tenure, Westfall created the first-ever women’s team and resurrected the men’s program for the first time since the 1970’s.
Westfall, whose maiden name is Sturdy, enjoyed an illustrated collegiate career at Texas A&M University, where she was an eight-time all-American, nine-time Big XII champion and 2004 Big XII Newcomer of the Year. As a freshman, she won the 100 and 200 backstroke events and anchored the 400 and 800 free relays, winning the Aggies’ first-ever conference relay titles. She suffered shoulder injuries as a sophomore and junior, but rallied to make a senior comeback. In 2007, Westfall won the 100 butterfly and took second in the 50 free, which helped the Aggie squad to the school’s first-ever team Big XII title and an eighth-place finish nationally.
During her fifth year, Westfall served as a student assistant coach for one semester at Texas A&M and worked with Olympians, Julia Wilkinson (Canada), Triin Aliiand (Estonia) Alia Atkinson (Jamaica), and Christine Marshall (USA) as well as U.S. National Team member Kristen Heiss.
Westfall is married to her husband, James, and the couple has a yellow lab, Hoss.
Swimming news courtesy of Indiana State Swimming & Diving.