Kansas' Betz Among Assistant Coach of the Year Finalists
Voting Link: Cast Your Vote Here
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Friend. Mentor. Recruiting coordinator. Director of operations. Alumna. Jen Betz is many things to Kansas swimming and diving, the sum of which has landed her among the finalists for CollegeSwimming’s Assistant Coach of the Year Award. Betz, a former Kansas swimmer and 13-year assistant coach with the Jayhawks, is one of four finalists in the Established Assistant category, which the general public can help select via Twitter.
Betz helped Kansas to its highest point total in Big 12 Championship history and a second runner-up finish in three years during the 2015-16 season, literally building the team through her recruiting efforts and getting it around as the team’s operations coordinator. On the deck, Betz helped mentor recent Kansas graduate Chelsie Miller to NCAA All-America First Team honors at the 2016 NCAA Championship, her third-straight national meet as a Jayhawk.
Miller, who is training for the USA Swimming’s Olympic Trials at the end of the month, thinks Betz is perfect for the award, designed to recognize the unsung heroes of college swimming.
“Some of her contributions go unrecognized as far as the recruiting and getting all of the backstage stuff done,” Miller said. “She’s the one that plans all of the trips or gets the food and where we’re staying – the stuff that no one thinks about or sees. She makes sure we stay taken care of. Mentally too, she plays a huge role. On a personal level she can tell when someone is having a bad day or is kind of off, she’ll pull you aside and make sure everything is okay. What she does is so important to the team.”
A total of 32 assistant coaches were identified in the first round of the 2016 Assistant Coach of the Year program, including eight in the Established category before Marc Christian of the University of Pittsburgh, Denver University’s Alicia Hinken Franklin and Georgia’s Harvey Humphries were named as finalists along with Betz. Chris Carter (William & Mary), Ignacio Gayo (Florida International), Colleen Murphy (Air Force) and Vanessa Williamson (Bates College) are the finalists for Rising Assistant. Candidates will be evaluated on their contribution to team’s success, commitment to development of successful students and athletes, service to the swimming community both locally and nationally, and commitment to the coaching profession and professional development.
“Coach Betz does so much for our student-athletes in and out of the water,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell told CollegeSwimming.com. “In training, she coaches our team up and maximizes their talent daily. Off deck, she can lend an empathetic ear when situations arise, helping our team grow and learn with each experience. Coach Betz has the gift of helping our team believe in themselves and each other.”
Public voting will take place via Twitter poll through Thursday and account for a third of the total tally. The winners in each category will be announced next Monday.
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