Illinois State Hires Riley Hilbrandt as Head Coach

Photo Courtesy: Illinois State Athletics

Illinois State Hires Riley Hilbrandt as Head Coach

Illinois State on Monday named Riley Hilbrandt as the school’s new swimming and diving head coach.

Hilbrandt has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at East Carolina.

“I would like to thank Dr. Jeri Beggs, Leanna Bordner, Paul Kabbes, Cindy Harris and the entire Redbird athletic community for this amazing opportunity,” Hilbrandt said in a university statement. “I am beyond grateful for all the members of the athletic department for putting their trust in me to lead Redbird swim and dive. This program has had decades of success and been one of the top teams in the Missouri Valley Conference. To be a part of that tradition and community is something I will not take lightly. I promise to bring enthusiasm, grit, and the utmost dedication to assist these student-athletes compete at an elite level both in the pool and classroom.

“I would also like to thank Matthew Jabs and East Carolina University. Coach Jabs allowed me to gain a vast amount of knowledge and provided excellent mentorship which I will always be grateful for. Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude for both Abby Steketee and Heidi Hendrick. Both have been great mentors and rocks throughout my entire swim and coaching career. I am incredibly excited to join the Redbird community and can’t wait to be on deck with these amazing student-athletes.”

Hilbrandt spent two seasons from 2019-21 as an assistant coach for Division II Clarion University in Pennsylvania. She was an assistant at the Division II level in 2018-19 with Wooster College.

Hilbrandt swam at the University of Nevada, graduating in 2017. She was an all-conference performer, leading the Wolf Pack to the program’s first Mountain West Conference title. The native of Saginaw, Michigan, spent a year as a volunteer assistant coach at her alma mater.

“We are thrilled to welcome Riley to Illinois State and look forward to her leadership of the Redbird swimming and diving program,” interim director of athletics Dr. Jeri Beggs said. “Riley brings passion and enthusiasm with her from East Carolina and a wealth of experience at various levels of swimming. She is an energetic leader, who brings out the best in her student-athletes and fellow coaches. Riley is a great fit for our program, and we look forward to having her on campus very soon.”

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