Washington State Adds Matt Leach To Lead Women’s Swimming and Diving

Photo Courtesy: WSU Athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University Director of Athletics Patrick Chun announced Thursday the hiring of Matt Leach as the head coach of the Cougars’ Women’s Swimming program.

“We are excited to welcome Matt and Katie to the Cougar Family,” said Chun. “Matt is an exact fit for the next chapter of our swimming program as his vision and values will elevate our program on a new trajectory. The work Matt did at his past institution was remarkable and we look forward to having him at WSU!”

Leach joins WSU after spending the previous three years at Indiana State where he started the swimming and diving programs in 2015 and began competing in the 2016-17 season. In the program’s second season, Leach was named the 2017-18 Missouri Valley Coach of the Year after guiding the Sycamores to a 13-win campaign that featured a 10-dual match win streak and a record-setting team performance at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships where ISU set school records in every event, highlighted by the program’s first individual conference champion. Nine Sycamores earned All-MVC honors including a trio of first-team selections.

“I would like to thank President Schulz and Athletic Director Patrick Chun for this outstanding opportunity to lead the swimming program at Washington State,” said Leach. “As soon as my wife and I stepped on campus we could see ourselves being a part of such an outstanding university and athletic department. Anne McCoy and the entire staff at Washington State were so wonderful and welcoming to Katie and I, and we felt a part of the Cougar family right away. I am truly humbled and excited to help grow this program and I look forward to the challenge of representing Cougar nation. Go Cougs!”

Out of the pool, Leach saw his team earn CSCAA Scholar All-American honors for the third straight semester, including the highest team GPA in the Missouri Valley Conference. Six student-athletes earned MVC All-Academic honors this past season after five earned the same honor in 2016-17.

Prior to Indiana State, Leach spent six seasons at the University of Wyoming (2009-15), including the final four seasons as associate head coach and worked extensively with sprint swimmers. Leach helped rewrite the Cowgirl record books, as every sprint event school record was broke during his time on staff. He has also coached sprint swimmers to NCAA and Olympic trials competitions including two-time All-America selection Kelsey Conci who earned trips to the NCAA Championships in the 100 backstroke and the 50 and 100 freestyle, placing 10th in the 100 backstroke at the 2011 NCAA Championships and ninth at the 2012 championships.

Leach arrived at Wyoming from Louisiana State University where he began as a graduate assistant in 2004, and then as a volunteer assistant coach for two seasons (2007-09). At LSU, Leach helped guide several athletes to the NCAA Championships, and a top-25 ranking for both the men’s and women’s teams. Leach also served as the head age group coach at Tiger Aquatics from 2006-09 where he was named the 2007 Louisiana State Age Group Coach of the Year for his efforts in his first season.

A native of Portland, Ore., Leach swam collegiately at Indiana University (2000-04), where he was a was a four-time All-American, helped the Hoosiers to a Big Ten Conference Championship in the 200 medley relay as a senior and still holds school records as a member of the 200 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay. Leach also performed on the national stage, as he took part in the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Leach graduated from Indiana in December 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental management. He received his master’s degree, also in environmental planning and management, from LSU in May 2007.

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