BALTIMORE, Maryland, September 14. THERE will be no collegiate career for Katie Hoff, the latest standout from the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. A 16-year-old who rates as one of the world’s elite female performers, Hoff has turned professional and signed with Octagon. That Hoff signed with Octagon is hardly surprising, especially since it’s the agency that handles Michael Phelps, formerly of NBAC.
Hoff will work with Peter Carlisle, the agent for Phelps, and her decision wasn’t stunning in the least. This summer, the youngster captured gold in the 200 and 400 individual medley events at the World Championships in Montreal. She also contributed a leg to the United States’ gold-medal winning 800 freestyle relay.
By turning professional, Hoff forfeits her college eligibility. But, she still plans on attending college at some point in the future. At North Baltimore, Hoff is under the direction of Paul Yetter and her marketability is at the highest point of her career, thanks to her efforts in Montreal. An Athens Olympian, Hoff could be the premier female at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"I've heard how amazing the camaraderie of college swimming is, but I also felt like I experience a lot of that on the USA relay teams," Hoff said in an article in the Baltimore Sun. "I felt like the opportunity to lay the groundwork for 2008 was just too great to pass up."
Under Carlisle’s watch, Phelps has taken advantage of numerous endorsement opportunities, particularly leading up to and following the Athens Olympics, where he won eight medals, including six gold. For Hoff, her talents could land major deals.
"Katie's story is a little different than Michael's. It's more of a long-term story," Carlisle told the Sun. "How many Olympics is she going to compete in? I think she wants to compete in five. Well, there is a very real possibility we could be looking at the most decorated Olympian of all time when she's done. It's presumptuous to say that, but watching that possibility unfold is a great story. And you'd be a fool not to look at Katie and see the really unique potential."
John Lohn compiled this report