Lynch will enter his first collegiate coaching job with six years of club coaching experience
The Broncos set team records for single-semester and cumulative GPA
Ermels comes to Boise State after helping start program at UNC Asheville
Awards handed out for 2012-13, captains announced for 2013-14
Head coach Kristin Hill shares her thoughts on the Denver and Oregon State dual meets.
Kristin Hill enters her eighth season at the helm of the Boise State swimming and diving team. Hill became the program's inaugural head coach when the sport was added June 27, 2006. In its first six seasons the program won three conference championships and has been represented at the past three NCAA Championships.
Hill was named the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Swimming Coach of the Year following the Broncos' second-consecutive team title. After switching conferences for the 2011-12 season, Hill led Boise State to the 2012 Mountain West title and was named 2012 MW Swimming Coach of the Year.
Prior to starting the program at Boise State, Hill served as the assistant coach at nationally-ranked Texas A&M. While working with the Aggies, she worked closely with Olympic swimmers Christine Marshall (USA), Julia Wilkinson (Canada), and Triin Aljand (Estonia). Complementing her collegiate coaching experience, she has coached U.S. Olympic Trial qualifiers, summer national finalists and champions, Olympic competitors and Canadian national team members. Hill also gained international coaching experience in 2005 as she was a member of the Estonian National Team coaching staff at the European Championships in Italy.
"Our athletic department at Boise State is one of the most successful, progressive athletic departments in the country," said Hill. "I was given an amazing opportunity to build a program from scratch, and I would not want to do it anywhere else. Boise is a fantastic city, the campus is beautiful, and our family is so excited to be settled in the northwest. I was excited to get this program started off on the right foot, and based on feedback from coaches and swimmers in the Northwest and around the country, it is clear that we are headed in the right direction."
The 2010 title came on the heels of a sixth-place finish at the 2009 WAC Championships, then a program best. The leap from sixth to first is the second-greatest year-to-year improvement in WAC history. Only Hawaii, which finished eighth in 1998-99 and second in 1999-2000, rose more spots in the final standings from one year to the next. (That same season the WAC went from a 14-team conference to a six-team league in women's swimming and diving.) The Broncos also became just the sixth different WAC champion in the 20 years the conference has carried the sport, and the quickest to do so from the time of the program's inception.
Boise State repeated in impressive fashion at the 2011 WAC Championships. The Broncos finished 13-1 in dual-meet competition, with the only setback coming at No. 23 UCLA, and carried fast times into the conference meet. Hill guided the team to 10 event titles, including all five relay wins, and 20 NCAA 'B' times. The Broncos earned 57 all-conference spots as they racked up 835 points to outscore second-place Hawai'i by 258 points. It was the ninth-most points scored in meet history and the largest margin of victory since 2003.
The 2010-11 season ended with Amber Boucher and Stephanie North earning invitations to the NCAA Championships. Boucher became the first Boise State All-American in the sport of swimming and diving with a 12th-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly. Boucher's five points gave Boise State a 39th-place finish at its first national meet.
After getting a taste of the pinnacle of collegiate swimming and diving, Hill led the Broncos into a 2011-12 season full of new challenges. Boise State changed conference affiliations and the Mountain West presented a stiffer challenge for swimming and diving.
The Broncos rolled through the regular season with a 4-1 dual-meet record--again only suffering a loss at UCLA--and a first-place finish in their own invitational meet. The invite-heavy schedule also included runner-up showings at the Rice Invitational (behind Arkansas), the Missouri Invitational (behind Missouri) and the San Diego Relays (behind UCLA). Dual-meet victories against Oregon State and Colorado State closed out the regular season and set the Broncos up for their championship stretch.
Hill guided Boise State to 10 event titles, including four relays, and a thrilling upset of defending-champion San Diego State to claim the school's first championship in its new conference. The Broncos trailed by one point entering the final event, but the 400-yard freestyle relay capped off a second-straight undefeated season, winning by more than three seconds and setting an all-time conference record to wrestle the title away from the Aztecs in the closest team race in meet history, 747-742.
In addition to Hill's coach of the year nod, Boucher was named 2012 MW Swimmer of the Year after winning six gold medals, one silver and setting six all-time conference records. It was the third-consecutive conference swimmer of the year award for Boucher.
Hill and the Broncos also made a return trip to the NCAA Championships in 2012, this time qualifying four student-athletes. Boise State's 200-yard freestyle relay became the first relay in Mountain West history to be invited to the prestigious meet. Boucher, North, Stevie Hughey and Sydney Johansen swam to a 16th-place finish at nationals to earn honorable mention All-America recognition. The two points from the relay lifted Boise State to a 47th-place finish at the meet.
The 2012 season did not end with the NCAA Championships. Hill coached five Boise State swimmers at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. The Broncos were also represented at the 2012 Canadian Olympic Trials.
That experience carried over to a 2012-13 campaign that saw the Broncos post an 8-2 dual-meet record with the only losses coming at the hands of No. 1 USC and No. 13 Arizona. Boise State took the momentum of another strong season into the MW Championships where they finished second in the team standings. Rachel Heaney earned her second conference championship in the 200 butterfly and was invited to the NCAA Championships, giving the Broncos a representative for the third-straight year.
Even before the run of championships the team improved by leaps and bounds from the time of its inaugural 2006-07 season. The 2008-09 season was a landmark year as Hill guided the Broncos to their first victory over in-state rival, Idaho, in a dual meet as well as leapfrogging Idaho at the WAC Championships. Boise State also crowned its first individual conference champion that season (Stephanie North, 100 freestyle).
During the 2007-08 season, the Broncos had outstanding improvement from their inaugural season, setting team records in every event and featuring nine finalists at the WAC Championships. They finished seventh overall, beating San Diego and finishing just 64 points behind Idaho. The team won its first dual meets against Division I schools, beating Air Force during a road trip to Colorado Springs and San Jose State at home.
Hill has proven to be an excellent recruiter as freshmen have played key roles in the yearly improvement at Boise State. In 2008-09 Boucher and North landed on the medal podium at the WAC Championships in their first year of collegiate swimming, while North became the Broncos' first individual conference champion. At the 2010 conference meet, the freshman class contributed to 273 points in helping Boise State capture the team crown, including a pair of individual titles for Christine Raininger. The following year was as impressive with freshmen combining for nine top-eight finishes at the conference meet as Heaney earned a conference title. In 2012, Johansen continued the tradition of Bronco freshmen topping the podium when she claimed the 200-yard individual medley crown at the MW Championships and went on to compete at the NCAA Championships. Two members of the Broncos' 2012-13 freshmen class competed at their country's 2012 Olympic Trials meet (one American and one Canadian).
During the program's six seasons, Bronco swimmers and divers have been recognized with 72 all-conference academic honors. Academics are heavily emphasized in this program, and the Bronco swimming and diving team recorded a 3.312 GPA during the 2012 spring semester to earn Scholar All-America Team recognition from the College Swimming Coaches' Association of America for the sixth-consecutive semester. In the past three years Boise State swimming and diving student-athletes have collected 11 individual CSCAA Scholar All-America awards, including three by Boucher.
"Our goal is to graduate all student-athletes who start our program and be sure they leave as responsible, independent young women who are ready to go out and make a difference in our world," said Hill. "We emphasize teamwork, leadership, and personal development every day in our program. We laugh a lot, but we also teach a great deal and hold each team member accountable. These things, along with our intense desire as athletes to work hard, improve and make a mark nationally as a program, will continue to set our team apart."
Hill served as an assistant women's swimming coach at Texas A&M from 2000 through 2006. In her six seasons at College Station, she worked in all aspects of coaching with the Aggie program, including on-deck coaching in the water, dry-land training, recruiting, program budgeting, administration and coordination of team travel.
Hill helped the Aggies to their highest dual-meet ranking (eighth) and an 11th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships. While at Texas A&M she coached 17 All-Americans, nine Academic All-Americans and one USA Swimming National Champion. Over her six-year tenure at Texas A&M, the Aggie women posted a dual meet record of 53-18, which marked the best record over a six-year span in school history.
Before arriving in College Station, Hill was the head men's and women's swimming and diving coach at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., for three seasons (1997-2000). During the 1999-00 season, the teams set 22 school records and she coached one honorable mention All-American. In addition to her coaching role, she was also the assistant director of admissions for the university from 1998 through 2000.
Hill swam for the University of Puget Sound from 1990 through 1994 where she qualified for the NAIA National Championships all four seasons and was a 25-time NAIA All-American. She was a conference champion in the 50-yard freestyle in 1992, and she placed in the top five at the national championships in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events all four of her collegiate career. Hill also advanced to nationals as a member of all five relay teams her sophomore, junior and senior years at Puget Sound. In addition, she was an NAIA Academic All-American in 1993 and 1994, and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honorary Scholastic Fraternity. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education from Puget Sound in 1994.
Immediately after graduating, Hill pursued a master's degree at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. While attending graduate school, she worked as a graduate research fellow for the International Center for Aquatic Research at the Olympic Training Center. Hill had the opportunity to work with many elite athletes, including the 1996 U.S. Olympic swimming team. From 1994 to 1997, Hill was an age group coach for the Colorado Springs Swim Team. She also coached the Manitou Springs High School swim team in 1996. In 1997 she received her Master's degree in basic science with an emphasis in exercise physiology.
Hill grew up swimming in the northwest, training and competing with the Bellevue Club (Bellevue, Wash.) and Chinook Aquatic Club (Mercer Island, Wash.). Her swimming career began in Southern California in 1982, where she swam for the Mission Viejo Nadadores.
Hill is married to Jason Hill who graduated from the University of Colorado-Denver with a bachelor of arts in political science. He received his nursing degree in Bryan, Texas from Blinn College. Jason is a registered nurse at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise. Jason and Kristin have a son, Luke Watson Hill, who was born in December 2004 and a daughter, Julia Louise Hill, who was born in May 2007.