Jill Stephenson, Longtime Salisbury University Coach, Announces Retirement

Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis

Longtime Salisbury University men’s and women’s swimming coach Jill Stephenson announced her retirement on Saturday, effective May 31.

Stephenson, also an assistant athletic director at the school in Maryland, is the winningest coach in program history. She’s spent 26 seasons at the helm, winning 211 career meets, including more than 100 men’s and women’s meets each. She is the two-time Capital Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and coached three CAC swimmers of the year.

“Working at Salisbury University has truly been a ‘dream come true,'” Stephenson said in a university release. “I appreciate the support and guidance from Dr. (Gerry) DiBartolo, Dr. (Michael) Vienna, my colleagues and the swimmers that have come and gone throughout my 26 years here at SU. I’ve enjoyed my career at SU and look forward to spending more time with family and friends and pursue other interests that have been put on hold throughout my career.”

Her tenure at Salisbury, which began in 1995, including tutoring the program’s first All-American (Chris Bembenek, 1998).

Stephenson was a standout swimmer at Northern Michigan University, graduating in 1983. She was part of a team that finished as national runner-up in the 1981-82 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division II Championships. She is a member of the NMU Sports Hall of Fame.

Jill Stephenson received a master’s degree in sports management from Southern Illinois University. She was an assistant assistant coach at SIU along with stops at NMU and Olivet College. At Olivet, she spent six seasons as the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming teams and the school’s cross country teams. She was also an assistant professor in the Department of Heath, Physical Education and Human Performance, aquatics director and assistant AD at Olivet.

“Jill is such a valuable member of the Sea Gull family and she has had a long-lasting and positive impact on the campus that goes beyond her contributions to the men’s and women’s swim program,” Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation Dr. Gerry DiBartolo said. “It will be tough to see her step away from her post but I’m excited for her to embark on a new journey in life. Jill’s has been an outstanding resource for her responsibilities in the pool as well as to our athletic department and Salisbury University. Her legacy to the swimming team and her contributions will never be forgotten. “

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