Rutgers has added Katia Alyabyeva to the team’s swim coaching staff, the school announced Tuesday. Alyabyeva began in her position Monday, and the school will participate in the women’s Big Ten championships beginning tomorrow in Columbus, Ohio.
Rutgers has had a tumultuous season with its coaching staff. Head coach Petra Martin was fired in November after reportedly verbally abusing her athletes. In December, the school named Fred Woodruff, previously the diving coach, and Jon Maccoll, previously an assistant swim coach, co-head-coaches.
Read the full press release from Rutgers below:
Rutgers swimming and diving has added an 18-time NCAA All-American and three-time NCAA Division II National Champion to the coaching staff with the hire of Katia Alyabyeva, effective on Monday, Feb. 12.
“I am really excited to bring Katia on staff,” said co-head coach Jon Maccoll. “She will be a great mentor, role model, and coach for our female student-athletes. She is an international student-athlete who achieved at the highest levels of our sport, while balancing a high level of academic success.”
Alyabyeva was a member of three NCAA Division II national championship teams while at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. There she an 18-time NCAA All-American and three-time national record holder. She also qualified for both the United States and Russia Olympic Trials in 2012, and swam her way to the Russian Olympic Trials finals in 2008.
“I am excited about the opportunity with Rutgers,” Alyabyeva said. “The women look strong and ready for the Big Ten Championships. I am glad to support the team and be there for the girls.”
While swimming at a national championship-caliber level, Alyabyeva started gaining coaching experience in 2008 at summer camps and continued to run stroke clinics throughout her career as a student-athlete. She went on to earn coaching positions at Westside Aquatics, Vistamar, TriFit and Alpha Aquatics in California from 2015 through this year.
The Russian native also worked as a marketing and sales representative at Phenix Brands, LLC in Missouri before making the move to the West Coast. Combining her talents in the pool and communications, Alyabyeva took on a role as a leader on every club she has joined, punctuated by training strategies, personalized coaching techniques and making swimming fun for adults and children.
In addition to a long list of NCAA accolades, Alyabyeva went on to become a finalist in the Open Water 5K Russian National Championships.
Alyabyeva graduated from Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University in 2010 with a degree in general education and coaching before earning a B.A. in business administration from Drury in 2014.