HANNAH NEWMAN swam with Champaign Central prior to graduating in 2012, then went on to compete at Bowling Green. Now she’s the new Uni High boys’ swim and dive coach:
How did you wind up in this role?
Coaching with Dave (Young, with the Uni High girls), he kind of brought it up to me talking to the AD. They were trying to find somebody to coach the boys. So Dave asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said, “Sure.” As of right now we have three boys (Collin Jung, Jake Regenwetter and Andrew Lin). They all swim Heat (club), so I’ve known them through that and I help coach Heat the rest of the year outside high school swimming. It’s going well (at Uni High). I’m excited for championship season next month. It kind of fell in my lap this year, and I was very happy to take on that head coaching role.
Is this your first head coaching position?
It is. I’ve coached club since 2016, so this will be my fourth year, but it is my first year being a head coach for any sort of team.
Why is it important for you to give back to the C-U community in this way?
I always knew I kind of wanted to come back here. I love the town; Champaign is great. I loved swimming and obviously competed for almost 17 years by the time I had graduated from college. It’s a way to keep in the sport but kind of not have to do the swimming part myself. All these kids work hard, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with the community.
What’s it like to work with the boys versus the much larger Uni High girls’ team?
It’s definitely good because you kind of get to know them a little more. With 20 people, Dave and I typically split the team up into two groups, and we each took our own group. With three kids, there’s no splitting up into groups. I really kind of get to know them as a person, not just as a swimmer. That’s a positive thing having three swimmers.
What potential do your three guys have come postseason time?
They definitely don’t have the same meet schedule (as bigger teams). Right now it’s just training. They’ll swim the club meet here the following weekend in town. I think they’re going to do great. I’ve been able to watch them as a club coach over the last year, and they’ve all definitely improved. I think they might shock some people at the sectional meet.