HILLSDALE, Michigan, September 12. HILLSDALE College is pleased to announce the hiring of Kurt Kirner as the school's new women's swimming and diving coach. Kirner comes to Hillsdale from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where he wrapped up a successful 17-year stint with the Vikings.
Kirner will officially start his coaching position with the Chargers on Monday, Sept. 24. He comes to Hillsdale from the same school which new men's basketball coach John Tharp came, back in March.
Kirner said he is excited to apply his passion for teaching and coaching to the Hillsdale program.
"It's really a family atmosphere here at Hillsdale, and that's what I've been used to at Lawrence, so it's a great fit," Kirner said. "I had a great meeting with the athletes when I was on campus. There is a closeness among them, and they are very eager to get going."
Former Charger women's swimming coach MaryAnne Gerzanick-Liebowitz resigned at the end of August to move to Oregon to be with her husband Larry. Gerzanick-Liebowitz had coached the Hillsdale program for six years, concluding in the 2006-07 season.
Kirner noted the smiliarities, both academically and athletically, between Lawrence and Hillsdale, and said that was a big factor why he was so excited for the chance to coach at Hillsdale.
"What I did at Lawrence, and will do at Hillsdale, is look for quality people. I will emphasize the work ethic of our swimmers and help to take them beyond where they've been before," Kirner said. "I am a team builder and I can't wait to get started on building the Hillsdale team."
Kirner was named the Midwest Conference Coach of the Year in 2006-07 while leading the Viking women's swimming team to a second-place finish in the conference. He led his men's swimming team to two conference titles during his tenure at Lawrence, and coached more than 175 individual conference champions during his 17-year run with the Vikings. His women's teams never finished lower than fourth place in the Midwest Conference during his career.
Kirker was a member of the swimming team at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before beginning his coaching career in 1975. He has coached for several club teams in Wisconsin, and helped lead the Schroeder Swim Team to two YMCA national championships. In addition to his coaching accolades, Kirner was a teacher of exercise science and physical dynamic wellness at Lawrence, and said he intends to continue teaching at Hillsdale.
Kirner and his wife Susan are the parents of two boys, Quinn and Clayton.
Special thanks to Hillsdale for contributing this report.