NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, May 4. A new era of Tulane swimming and diving began on Thursday as 11-time collegiate All-American Katie Robinson was named head coach, Green Wave Director of Athletics Rick Dickson announced.
Robinson brings an impressive r?sum? to the Tulane program after serving as an assistant to the Rutgers women's team the last two years, as an assistant with both the men's and women's teams at Virginia from 2008-11, and as a graduate assistant for the men's and women's teams at Pacific in 2008. She replaces T.J. Natal, who served as interim head coach at Tulane this past season.
“I am very pleased to announce the addition of Katie Robinson as our new head coach of women's swimming and diving for Tulane,” Dickson said. “She brings a wealth of lifetime achievements from the pool to an impressive record of tutelage of elite-level swimmers from traditionally strong collegiate programs. Additionally, Katie represents the standard of what we strive for all of our student-athletes to be in representing Tulane and our community. She is a wonderful addition to our Tulane family.”
During her two seasons at Rutgers, Robinson was responsible for the development and training of female swimmers, recruiting top-ranked student-athletes, preparing NCAA recruiting paperwork and official visits, managing team travel, tracking the program's recruiting budget, as well as preparing and delivering the alumni newsletter. During her time in Piscataway, N.J., Robinson helped the Scarlet Knights post consecutive 9-2 dual-meet records while finishing eighth in the Big East Championship in 2012 and fifth in 2013.
Along the way, Robinson was instrumental in Rutgers setting school records in the 200 breast in both 2012 and 2013, as well as the 400 medley relay and 200 fly last season. In 2012, two Rutgers swimmers earned a spot in the A-finals and 11 in the B-finals during the Big East meet while 10 and 11 qualified for the A- and B-finals a last season, respectively. During the 2012-13 season, Rutgers swimmers combined to post 41 lifetime-best showings. For her work, Robinson was the recipient of the 2012 Inaugural CSCAA Jean Freeman Scholarship and the 2012-13 Big East SWA Professional Development Grant.
Her first full-time collegiate assistant post came at Virginia for the 2008-09 season. During Robinson's three years on the staff, the Cavalier men's and women's teams won the Atlantic Coast Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Championships each year. The UVA men posted a combined 30-3 dual meet record, finished ninth in the NCAAs in 2009, 10th in 2010 and eighth in 2011. The women's squad, meanwhile, tallied a cumulative 27-4 dual-meet mark while finishing 12th in the NCAAs in 2009, ninth in 2010 and 13th in 2011.
Robinson's initial foray into collegiate coaching came as a graduate assistant at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., where she was responsible for training the men's and women's swimmers, recruiting of future student-athletes and aiding the head coach. The Tigers went 3-3 in dual meets during the 2008-09 season and finished fourth in the Big West Conference Championship.
In addition to her responsibilities with the University, she also served as the school's Swim School Director, where she hired instructors, coordinated schedules for swimmers, handled payment and organized advertisements and promotions.
“I am very excited,” Robinson said of her new position. “I feel like this is a great fit for me both from the academic standpoint and from the potential of athletic advancement. Tulane is located in a great, fantastic city of New Orleans and I couldn't be happier to find a home here.
“This job is exciting to me because I love coaching women. I've been blessed to have had fantastic female coaches as role models and they inspired me beyond just swimming fast up and down the pool. I can really relate to being a female student-athlete, also. I value education and was looking for a place where educational integrity is upheld. To recruit well, I have to believe in the quality of education and this is definitely a strong suit for Tulane. I fully believe an education at Tulane will provide the necessary tools to be successful for the rest of their lives.”
Prior to her coaching career, Robinson was a star at the University of Texas from 2003-07 when she was an 11-time All-American, claimed the 200 yard fly title at the Big XII three times and served as team captain and recruiting coordinator in 2006-07. She earned a spot at the NCAA Championships every year as a Longhorn and helped Texas to four Top 10 finishes, including sixth-place showings in both 2005 and 2007.
As a senior, Robinson earned first-team All-America honors in the 400 medley relay (5th place) and the 200 medley relay (7th place) at the 2007 NCAA Championship. She added honorable-mention All-America distinction in the 200 fly (9th place), 100 fly (10th place), 800 free relay (10th place), 400 free relay (13th place) and 200 free relay (14th place). She set a Big XII meet record in the 200 fly and 200 medley relay that season with respective times of 1:57.26 and 1:38.36, and completed her career as a six-time All-Big XII selection and a 13-time all-conference honoree.
A standout away from the pool as well, Robinson claimed first-team Academic All-Big XII recognition in each of her final three seasons and was tabbed Texas Women's Swimming Team Academic MVP as a junior and senior. As a senior, she was named first-team ESPN The Magazine All-District VI and second-team Academic All-American, and was the Big XII nominee for NCAA Female Athlete of the Year.
Robinson claimed the Jody Conradt Endowed Scholarship in 2005, the Houston Texas Exes Endowed Scholarship in 2006 and the V.F. “Doc” Neuhaus Endowed Presidential Scholarship, the Texas women's athletic department's highest endowed honor, in 2007.
“It's hard for me to ask things of people that I can't ask of myself or I haven't asked of myself,” Robinson said of her ability to balance athletics and academics as a student-athlete. “I think that I bring experience in the fact that I worked very hard in the water and I worked very hard in the classroom as well. I know that it's possible to combine both and be successful.
“It takes a lot of discipline. It takes a lot of time-management skills. It takes a lot of sacrifices. It takes prioritization. These skills are what I look to instill in the student-athletes at Tulane. That's something I am passionate about: developing skills through the sport of swimming that they are going to benefit from and will prepare them for life after college.”
Following her collegiate career, Robinson was an aquatic coach for Weiss & Weiss in 2007 where she developed skill and training programs for children aged 5-16 and the master's program. In 2004, she reached the semifinals in the 100 fly at the Olympic Trials, and later competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials where she placed 22nd.
An active member of the community throughout her career as a student-athlete and coach, Robinson volunteered with the Pepsi 10K Run for Special Olympics from 2009-11, the Alzheimer's Memory Walk from 2008-10, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in 2007 and Marathon Kids from 2003-06.
A native of Dillsboro, Ind., Robinson completed her bachelor's degree in kinesiology in December 2007, graduating with a 3.86 grade point average. She is a member of the College Swimming Coaches Association of American and the American Swimming Coaches Association.
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