EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern graduate and 2015 Mountain West Coach of the Year Abby Steketee has been named head coach of the Wildcats women's swimming and diving program, Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips announced today.
"I am truly honored to return home to Northwestern and am completely committed to Jim Phillips' vision of providing student-athletes a world-class experience as we pursue the highest level of academics and athletics," Steketee said. "It is thrilling to join the legacy of excellence at Northwestern, a place that shaped who I am today. I'd like to thank everyone involved in the hiring process, particularly the search committee, for giving me this opportunity, as well as the student-athletes and staff at the University of Nevada who will always be close to our hearts."
Steketee comes to Northwestern after serving as head coach at Nevada where she rebuilt that program from the bottom of the WAC to third place in the Mountain West in just three years. Honored by her conference peers as Coach of the Year in 2015, her team broke 12 program records, set four Mountain West conference records and earned a pair of All-America honors in 2014-15 alone.
In addition to Steketee's Coach of the Year award, Nevada earned Mountain West Swimmer of the Year, Diving Coach of the Year and Diver of the Year accolades last season. Her student-athletes also have excelled in the classroom, with 32 earning Mountain West Academic All-Conference awards and the team winning Scholar All-America honors for the past five semesters.
"We are incredibly excited to welcome Abby Steketee and her husband, Steve, back home to Evanston," Phillips said. "It is special to be able to hire a graduate of Northwestern to a critical leadership position at her alma mater. Abby has shown the ability to build a program the right way, focusing on the success of her student-athletes not only in the pool, but in the classroom and the community as well. She will be an outstanding leader for this program and a perfect fit for Northwestern University."
Steketee is a 2003 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Northwestern with a degree in human development and psychological services. She was a four-year member of the Northwestern Crew team, earning MVP honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. While rowing competitively as an undergraduate, Steketee also served as the Head Developmental Coach for the Northwestern Aquatic Swim Association (NASA) club program, a role she held until 2004.
Steketee earned a master's of public health at West Virginia in 2007, graduating Summa Cum Laude while serving as a graduate assistant with the Mountaineers from 2004-07. West Virginia produced 18 NCAA qualifiers and 23 All-Americans during that time. The men's team also won the 2007 Big East Championship and the women's team improved from 11th place to third in the Big East.
Steketee then spent four years at South Carolina as an assistant coach with both the men's and women's programs, working with the individual medley and stroke groups and also serving as the team liaison with academic services. Steketee helped coach an SEC individual champion, a pair of NCAA All-Americans and four NCAA qualifiers. She also mentored six qualifiers for the 2012 Olympic Trials as well as 10 U.S. National qualifiers.
Steketee is married to Steve Steketee, a 2001 Northwestern graduate and the 1998 Big Ten Champion in the 200 freestyle.