The Wittenberg Swimming and Diving Team has a new assistant coach this year. Alum Allison Reed was hired to fill the vacancy left by Joni Williamson, who decided to take on full time administrative responsibilities after the 2012-2013 season. After working as the team’s assistant coach for just two seasons, Williamson was offered a promotion and now serves as Wittenberg’s assistant athletic director.
Reed was herself a member of the university’s swim team until she graduated from Wittenberg in 2009 with a major in psychology and a minor in creative writing. During her four years on the team, she swam the 200 yard butterfly and the 1650 yard freestyle.
Reed accepted the position to be assistant coach shortly after meeting Natalie Koukis, head coach for swimming and diving, at a Wittenberg alum’s wedding. “I ran into Natalie and half-jokingly asked to discuss my desire to develop my career path as a collegiate swim coach,” she said. “Shortly after our visit, I discovered Wittenberg was looking to fill the assistant swim coach position and I was given the opportunity to apply. Exciting coincidence!”
Although it’s been nearly four years since Reed graduated in 2009, she claims that life on campus seems to have changed very little. “Campus life has always been upbeat and exciting. Nothing new there!” she said. Reed has also been encouraged by the improved enrollment statistics that Wittenberg has seen this academic year. “Enrollment appears to be up, which is awesome,” she said.
As a student, Reed was very involved on campus. During her time on the women’s Swimming and Diving Team, she served as a representative to the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Furthermore, she served as the social chair for the Gamma Phi Beta sorority during her sophomore year and was also involved as a tour guide, orientation assistant and community service group leader. “I was also a member of various honors societies on campus,” she said.
After graduating from Wittenberg, Reed was involved in a number of occupations both around and away from the swimming pool. Reed went on to pursue her Masters of Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and subsequently ended up working on the Catastrophe Response Team for the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill Project in Hammond, Louisiana. After the completion of the oil spill project, Reed returned to her hometown of Atlanta and was hired as a USA swimming coach for Life Time Fitness. She has twelve years experience as a swim lesson instructor and seven as a summer league assistant coach for the Old Savannah Square Thunderbolts Swim Team. “I hope to become a collegiate head coach one day!” she said.
In the mean time, Reed hopes to further her experience and education in training athletes at the collegiate level through a host of different approaches involving work both inside and outside of the pool. “It is my hope to educate swimmers and divers on the importance of stretching, nutrition and conditioning so that we may continue to train our team for success at both the conference and national level,” she said. “My involvement as both a student and athlete at Wittenberg truly inspired me to excel in various aspects of my academic and professional career and I wanted the opportunity to provide the same experience for current student-athletes here at Wittenberg.”