Katie Hoff to Move to California, Join New USOC Post-Grad Center in Fullerton; Hoff Comments Included

Updated with Katie Hoff comment.

FULLERTON, California, August 17. KATIE Hoff is the first of the big names with no ties to KING Aquatics to surface in connection with the USOC Post-Grad Center, first reported by Swimming World, to be housed in Fullerton, Calif. After a difficult year, Hoff has chosen to move cross country from her longtime headquarters at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work with Katie," FAST's high performance coach Sean Hutchison told Swimming World. "Bob [Bowman] and I have talked about this and he is very supportive of the move and only wants Katie to be happy and successful."

The move will be Hoff's second coaching change since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Before the past long course season, Hoff moved from Paul Yetter to Bob Bowman at NBAC. Yetter has since left NBAC to become an assistant coach at Auburn University.

Hoff went into 2008 on fire with world titles in the 200 IM, 400 IM and 800 free relay on her resume. Some reports even speculated whether Hoff could out-produce Michael Phelps heading into Beijing. Hoff still did well in Beijing with a silver medal in the 400 free, and bronze medals in the 400 IM and 800 free relay. A gold medal, however, was at the top of her list of expected achievements.

With a new personal coach in Bowman, Hoff entered the 2009 season with new hopes. Those hopes were dashed this summer when she suffered an illness heading into the 2009 U.S. World Championships Trials, and did not make the team.

The move is a return to her roots as Hoff was born in Palo Alto, Calif. She will also have good friend Caroline Burckle to train with, as Burckle has been confirmed to be moving to the new training center.

"I am super excited, and was in need of a fresh start," Hoff told Swimming World. "I think that FAST, swimming with Sean, is the right place for me right now. This year has obviously been rough for me. After Nationals, I just took a step back and decided what I wanted to do. I heard about the opportunity at FAST right after Nationals. After talking to Caroline [Burckle] about the opportunity, I was looking forward to having girls to train with that were my same age. I also never got to go away to college either, so this is similar to that. So, I am looking forward to that change as well."