Courtesy: Arizona State Athletics
TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University head swimming coach Bob Bowman today announced the elevation of senior assistant coach Rachel Stratton-Mills to Associate Head Coach of Sun Devil Swimming. The move comes as Stratton-Mills enters her third season working with Sun Devil Swimming this fall.
“Rachel Stratton-Mills is a world-class coach whose skill set includes not only strong technical proficiency, but also exceptional organization and management expertise,” Bowman said. “She is a dynamic leader, a wonderful parent and a powerful role model for our student athletes. We couldn’t be more pleased that she has made a long-term commitment to the Sun Devil Swimming program.”
“I am honored to be named Associate Head Coach and work alongside the legendary Bob Bowman in this expanded role,” Stratton-Mills said. “When Bob brought me to Tempe two years ago, I knew I was joining an environment of excellence. What I did not know at the time is that this drive for greatness was not only within our program, but the athletic department and University as a whole. The support our program receives on a daily basis from Bob, Ray Anderson and the entire athletic department makes me beyond thankful to have found a home at ASU.”
Sun Devil Swimming has experienced major growth under Stratton-Mills’ tutelage in the past two seasons, excelling in the classroom, pool and on the recruiting plane as well. Aside from the addition of Olympic gold medalist Cierra Runge on the women’s side, the 2018-19 incoming men’s class garnered by Stratton-Mills was ranked No. 5 in the nation by Swim Swam magazine.
“Rachel has been training and working with Olympic-level student-athletes all throughout her career, so it is a natural she takes on an even bigger role as our swimming program continues to elevate,” Senior Associate Athletic Director & Senior Woman Administrator Deana Garner said. “She is focused on not only improving our team in the pool, but also helping them develop academically and professionally.”
Men’s swimming had also not registered an All-American since CJ Nuess in 2008, but since Stratton-Mills’ arrival garnered 27 All-America honors while cementing themselves as one of the elite programs in the country. The men have also turned heads in one of the most competitive conferences in college swimming, bringing home three individual and one relay Pac-12 titles after not having done so since 2008.
Arguably even more impressive is the improvement experienced by the Sun Devil women. Beating the Arizona Wildcats in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever, the women also posted their first top-20 finish at the National Championships since 2011 with their 20th place finish in 2019. With their third-place finish in 2018 and fourth place finish in 2019 at the Pac-12 Championships, the Sun Devil women have also established themselves in one of the premiere swimming conferences, as the squad had not placed higher than 5th at the conference championships in the last 23 seasons.
Stratton-Mills joined the Sun Devil coaching staff in April of 2017 after building a wealth of knowledge in both the coaching and administrative side of swimming at all levels. Prior to arriving in Tempe, she served as head coach of Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics (2010-15), placing an athlete on the 2012 US Olympic Team, with two other athletes named to the National Junior Team during her tenure.
At the collegiate level, she served as an assistant coach at both Dartmouth College and the University of Maryland, College Park.
Stratton-Mills also understands the dedication and skill set needed to compete at the highest level, earning her Bachelors of Art in Sociology as a swimming student-athlete at UCLA.