SEATTLE, Washington, September 11. WHITNEY Hite, previously the assistant coach for the University of California women’s swim team, has been named the head coach of the University of Washington. Hite replaces Mickey Wender, who vacated the position to take over at Army.
"We are thrilled to have Whitney on board," UW Athletics Director Todd Turner said. "This is a critical time for Husky swimming, and Whitney's leadership will be a major factor in setting the program in the right direction. He has an ability to see the challenges ahead, but also a firm resolve and commitment to putting everything in place to get the UW swim program to the top."
The Denver native will look to help a men’s team that finished 45th at NCAAs largely based on points earned by Bruno Barbic (who left for Northwestern). Meanwhile, the women placed 47th at NCAAs with a trio of swimmers in Brittany Epperson (now an Indiana Hoosier) Sharon Olson and Jessica Buchanan.
"Being the next head swimming coach at the University of Washington is a great opportunity and I'm honored to be a part of this athletic department," Hite said. "There is tremendous potential here and it's an exciting time to be a part of the Washington swimming program. I know the traditions of Husky Swimming and I look forward to getting this program back to those traditions and becoming a nationally competitive program again."
Hite comes to the Huskies with five years of assistant experience, two as part of Teri McKeever’s staff at Cal. During his watch, the Golden Bears recorded an 18-2 dual meet record, including a win against Stanford in 2004. That landmark victory was Cal’s first over the Cardinal since 1978. Additionally, Cal finished sixth and eighth at the NCAA Championships in 2004 and 2005.
Prior to joining McKeever, Hite worked as an assistant with the University of Georgia for five years. During his stay in Athens, the women’s team claimed three consecutive national championships from 1999-2001. In 2002 and 2003, the Georgia women finished second at the pinnacle meet. Hite also helped the men’s team to top 15 finishes at NCAAs during his time with UGA. Meanwhile, Hite coached Robert Margalis and Mary Descenza to Southeastern Conference Swimmer and Freshman of the Year honors, respectively. In 2003, Hite worked with one of the best swimmers in Georgia history with Martiza Correia.
As a student-athlete, Hite swam four years with the University of Texas as a sprinter and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management in 1997. He went on to garner a master’s degree in education from Georgia in 2001.