Susan Teeter Retires From Coaching After 33-Years At Princeton

After coaching for 33-years with Princeton University, guiding the team to 17 Ivy League conference championship wins, and earning the 2011 “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the College Swim Coaches Association, Susan Teeter has announced that she will be retiring from coaching.

Her statement regarding her retirement is below:

“While I have known this day would eventually come, it’s quite hard to believe it’s here.  I have made the choice to retire from my head coaching position at the end of this season, even though at my age, retirement is not a word I plan to keep in my vocabulary.

I was blessed to start my career in coaching at a young age, coaching at my alma mater that I so dearly love, Tennessee. After a year at Auburn, I was even more blessed that the Princeton Director of Athletics Bob Myslik took a chance on a very young coach over 33 years ago.

Princeton is a place no one wants to leave.

When I started my career in coaching, I always promised myself I would leave/retire before I didn’t want to coach any more. I think the young women and men of the athletics’ world deserve that from all coaches; I know the swimmers and divers at Princeton do. I still love coaching and I surely love Princeton – I want the legacy I have started here at Princeton to continue on, for the traditions we have created together to be revered, and for new ones to be created and celebrated.

I have been coaching for 40 years (33 as head coach here at Princeton) and that is enough. More opportunities call my name and will allow me to continue to have a profound effect on the sport of swimming, the growth of women in coaching, college swimming in general and all of the college athletes and coaches with whom I will have the honor of working.

I want to thank Princeton University, the alumni and parents of Princeton, Auburn and Tennessee Swimming, my swimming and Summit colleagues, my mentors and my swimmers and divers for 33 amazing years here at Princeton (as well as those that came before them at Tennessee, Starlit Aquatic Club of Virginia, and Auburn). I am honored and humbled by my experience here – any young person admitted to Princeton should be so grateful for this opportunity.

I’d like to thank my first captains, Linda Kerr Bowers ’85 and Carolyn Brophy Wojciechowicz ’85, and their classmates for having faith in hiring me way back in 1984, as well as the early classes in my tenure who trusted me to build this program. To all my alumni, we have all grown so much since then and, for many of us, we have grown up together. I have been fortunate to have been in your lives for your four collegiate years, attended your weddings, grieved with you at funerals, changed diapers, and celebrated births, birthdays and numerous events.

I’d like to thank the coaches and alumni who came before me at Princeton and have helped me continue building this great program and supported me through the years. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the Class of 2000, who humbled me with their endowment of the Class of 2000 Susan S. Teeter Award. In so many ways, we all grew up together in a whole different way. I love you all.

I’m very grateful and thankful for a handful of recently graduated alumnae that have kept me in this game until now. You know who you are and I am forever grateful you walked through Princeton‘s gates not so many years ago and changed my life. I also need to thank my many fine assistants  through the years who have all made me look good, specifically Greg Meehan (now at Stanford), Brandy Nettles Hugo, Phil Spiniello, Jude Cooney, Danielle Frottier, Tracy Katt, Damion Dennis, Jim Conlon, and most of all Suzanne Yee who reignited my fire for the final years of my tenure.

I would like to thank Gary Walters and all the Princeton administrators for all their support of our program over these amazing 33 years. I would also like to thank my die-hard colleague C. Rob Orr.  There is no other college coach in this country who has had the fortune of having a colleague like Rob – somebody who is supportive, talented and loves Princeton as much as I do. I have been so fortunate to spend my career with you, Rob – thank you.

All of the Princeton coaches in every sport are all amazing at what they do and I have enjoyed sharing this university and our mission together. What a combination to have the No. 1 education in America AND the best coaches in America.  Thanks to all of you, present and past in every sport. Thanks to Greg Gunn for being a great diving coach! To our new head coach of diving, Drew Livingston, I wish you all the success in the world as you continue on a tradition of excellence at Princeton.

A BIG thanks to Ralph and Jean DeNunzio for making all these years we’ve been together possible by building this fantastic facility; it is truly one of the nation’s best. Princeton will always be in my blood and in my heart.

Thank you doesn’t seem enough to say to former Dean of the College Dick Williams, to former Deans of Admissions, the late Dean Fred Hargadon and Dean Spencer Reynolds, as well as the present dean, Janet Rapalye. Thanks to past Presidents Harold Shapiro and Shirley Tilghman, and now current President Chris Eisgruber, for your trust and respect in the athletic mission of this university.

And to our new Ford Family Director of Athletics, Mollie Marcoux ’91, I’m a Tiger for life and look forward to helping you continue to take Princeton to new heights. I’m so glad I had the chance to work and coach for you before my retirement.

Thanks will never be enough to my collective Teeter/Espenshade/Callaway family who have supported me throughout my life.  I am grateful to have been able to share Princeton with you and have all of you in my life.

To my present TEAM, it’s time to go. I’ve not made this decision lightly and you all are the reasons for that.  I believe with all of my heart that this is the BEST TEAM in the league and one of the finest in the country. Please carry the TRADITIONS on with the same pride and excellence of those who came before you.

To our recruits, Princeton Class of 2021, and the Tigers yet to be, I will be sorry not to have an opportunity to coach you, AND I will be cheering for you. You have no idea yet what an amazing TRADITION PUCSDT has. The Tiger family is amazing.

And last, but not least, to the parents who have entrusted their daughters to me for four years of such an important time in their lives, thank you for your trust.  Many of you have welcomed me into your families and I’m honored to still call many of you my friends.

For now, we still have 68 days until the start of Ivies, and we will work to be the best TEAM we can be. Let’s leave no stone unturned and continue having fun along the way. Go Tigers! I’m grateful for the memories and let’s go make some more before this season ends. Tiger, Tiger! More Cowbell!”

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5 years ago

How old is she??

Reply to  SUNY Cal
5 years ago

Probably in her 60s

Reply to  SUNY Cal
5 years ago

1981 University of Tennessee graduate.

Reply to  SUNY Cal
5 years ago

Susan is a class act…She will always be 29 years old to all of us.

Greg Meehan
5 years ago

Susan, you have been and always will be first class! It’s an honor to call you my friend.

For the last 33 years you have enriched the lives of your student-athletes, colleagues and friends. It’s amazing how many people you have positively influenced! No article, comment or quote can adquately summarize what you have meant to us.

18 years ago you took a chance on a 23 year old kid with almost no experience and my life forever changed.

Time to start some CA visits… Cheers to the next phase!

5 years ago

Cheers to Susan Teeter. Superb coach and person. No question, your decades of success are HUGE shoes to fill for the future of the Princeton women’s program.

5 years ago

Teeter has touched so many lives in swimming, she will be missed but surely the future holds great things! Princeton has a great head coach in waiting in Suzanne so here’s to hoping she is the next in line to carry on the Tiger tradition!

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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