FORT MYERS, Florida, August 31. SARA Hildebrand, an 11-time USA Diving National Champion and two-time Olympian from Indiana University, has been hired as the diving coach at Florida Gulf Coast University.
"'I am extremely happy to make Sara Hildebrand our programs first ever diving coach," head coach Neil Studd said. "To find someone of her experience and knowledge of the sport was a real plus for such a young program as ours. She has such a passion for the sport and was very excited to give back and help the next generation of divers. It's not everyday an 11-time USA National Champion and two-time USA Olympian wants to come and help you build a program. I think it shows coaches and recruits where we want to go with our new Division-I swimming and diving team here at Florida Gulf Coast University."
In 2004, Hildebrand placed seventh in the synchronized platform and also earned a 10th-place finish on the tower. In the 2000 Olympic Games, Hildebrand placed 13th on the platform. In 2003, Hildebrand was named U.S. Diving’s Athlete of the Year and during her career, she has medaled in 16 different international events. A 2005 graduate from Indiana University, Sara Hildebrand earned All-America honors on 10 occasions and was an All-American on all three levels. At the 2003 NCAA Championships, Hildebrand earned All-America honors for placing 15th on the one-meter and 14th on the three-meter. In 2000, she was an All-American, placing second on three-meter and third on platform. Also in 2000, Hildebrand placed 12th on one-meter to earn All-America status. During her freshman season, Hildebrand earned All-America honors by finishing 10th on platform. Hildebrand is an eight-time Big Ten Champion and a three-time Big Ten Diver of the Year.
Hildebrand and her husband, Butch, a U.S. Marine, reside in Lehigh Acres.