Rutgers Hires Natasha Chikina Away from Nebraska as New Diving Coach

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Photo Courtesy: Rutgers Athletics

Rutgers on Thursday announced the hiring of Natasha Chikina as its new women’s diving coach.

Chikina spent 16 years as the head diving coach at Nebraska. Under her watch, the Huskers have had divers at NCAAs each of the last eight years, All-Americans each of the last six and have qualified 41 for NCAA Zone qualifiers. One of Chikina’s pupils, Abigail Knapton, finished in the top seven in two events at the recent U.S. Olympic Trials. Knapton made the NCAA final in both the platform and three-meter events in 2021. Chikina also coached Anna Filipcic, who recorded four NCAAs appearances and seven top-25 finishes from 2014-17. Under her watch, the Huskers have become a nationally known diving program.

Chikina sent four years as an assistant head coach at the U.S. Diving Regional Training Center before being hired by Nebraska. She was an assistant diving coach at her alma mater, the University of Southern California, for one season in the late 1990s and three years as an assistant coach at Trojan Diving Club. There, she worked with Olympians Troy Dumais, Justin Dumais and Dorte Linder.

On the boards, Chikina was an outstanding diver, qualifying for the 1996 and 2000 Olympics for Kazakhstan. She finished 15th in the 10-meter platform in Atlanta and improved to ninth place four years later. She also competed at the 1994 Goodwill Games, the 1996 World Championships (where she won a bronze medal) and three editions of the World University Games.

The two-time All-American finished fourth at the 1998 NCAA Championships in the platform event and won a pair of Pac-10 platform titles.

Chikina has experience internationally as a coach, serving as a team leader for the U.S. diving delegation at the 2019 FINA Grand Prix in Canada and the 2019 University Games.

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