Beyond deep ties to the Badger State and the Big Ten Conference, a winning pedigree set Becca Weiland apart as the Wisconsin swimming and diving program looked to complete its coaching staff.
Whitney Hite named Weiland, a Wisconsin Rapids native who went on to a decorated collegiate career, an assistant coach for the Badgers on Wednesday.
“Becca brings that energy and work ethic we really value here. She brings an excitement that everybody can benefit from and she knows what it takes to win,” said Hite, who embarks on his seventh season as the Badgers’ head coach in 2017-18 and is set to lead the U.S. men’s national team at the World University Games in August. “She’s a Wisconsinite; she is hard-working, but also well-rounded.
“Those are the people I want around our team and guiding our athletes.”
“The opportunity to be part of this coaching staff and this team at Wisconsin is something very exciting,” Weiland said. “I think UW has a lot of really great things in store in the future. It’s a growing program and I think a lot of phenomenal things are going to come out of it. I’m very honored to be part of the vision Whitney has for the program.”
A 13-time All-American while swimming at Minnesota, Weiland transitioned into coaching as an assistant at St. Cloud State, spending the past two seasons working with the Huskies’ men’s and women’s teams.
The St. Cloud State women won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship in 2017 and, over the course of Weiland’s tenure, the Huskies broke 14 school records and qualified eight swimmers to the NCAA Division II championships.
In March, Weiland was selected as a recipient of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA)’s Jean Freeman Scholarship, an award for “exceptional contributions” by assistant coaches who emphasize “leadership, integrity, honesty, competitive attitude and personal graciousness.”
“I am a very people-driven person and helping others reach their goals is what drives my ambition and drives me to come on deck every day as a coach,” Weiland said.
Competitively, Weiland was a state champion for Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, claiming the Division 1 title in the 100 freestyle as a senior in 2010. She also finished runner-up (to future Badgers All-American Ivy Martin) in the 50 free as both a junior and senior.
She went on to a standout career for the Golden Gophers, helping Minnesota win four consecutive Big Ten team titles from 2012 to ’15.
“She’s a winner,” Hite said. “Coaching against her, you knew what you were going to get. You were going against a driven competitor.”
Weiland’s best season came in 2013 when, as a sophomore, she set a Big Ten record of 51.61 seconds on her way to winning the conference title in the 100-yard butterfly. It was one of five Big Ten titles she claimed that season, along with four relay crowns as part of Minnesota’s entries in the 200 free, 400 free, 200 medley and 400 medley relays.
A four-year NCAA championships qualifier, Weiland also competed in the USA Olympic Trials in both 2012 and 2016. She left Minnesota as the holder of nine school records.
Scholastically, Weiland was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten and three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar selection at Minnesota. She also earned CSCAA Scholar All-American honors three times.
Weiland graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Minnesota in 2015 and earned her master’s in college counseling and student development from St. Cloud State in May.
Weiland joins assistants Chris Collier, Neil Caskey and Jake Tapp and diving coach Anton Slobounov on Hite’s staff for 2017-18.