Aug. 7, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –After the departure of two assistants in Gary Taylor and Tricia Harm, head coach Neil Harper announced the addition of two new coaches to the Seminole staff in Kirk Hampleman and Lauren O’Donnell last week.
“I’m excited about the additions of both Kirk and Lauren,” Harper said. “They both will have an immediate impact on both our staff and with the swimmers they’ll work with.”
Hampleman comes back to Tallahassee after a six year stint at the University of Iowa working primarily with the stroke and IM group. In 2012, he helped the Hawkeyes make history as he guided the men’s team to their best Big Ten finish of fifth since 1996.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity,” Hampleman said. “I have a special place in my heart for Florida State and I’m thankful that Neil, Andy and Patrick are giving me the chance to come back and work with a great group of student-athletes. I’m thankful for the opportunities and memories I’ve experienced at Iowa and at the same time, I’m excited to excel in ACC and NCAA levels here at FSU.”
As an athlete, Hampleman was a nine-time All-American at the University of Auburn from 1998-2000, including contributing to a team National Championship in 2002.
Hampleman was a graduate assistant at FSU from 2004-2006, where he helped the women’s team to their first-ever ACC Championship in 2006.
“Kirk was a solid swimmer at Auburn and he was a great grad assistant here,” Harper said. “He had an impact on our athletes when they won ACC’s. He’s done a great job at a Big Ten school in recruiting and coaching and in result Iowa had great level of success. We’re excited for him to be reunited with us. He’s going to be heading up distance and IM and recruiting.”
O’Donnell joins the Seminoles after being the head coach at Juanita College for three years. During her time at the helm, she significantly built the program finishing with an overall dual meet record of 19-26.
“Lauren is dynamic person and has over a decade of coaching experience,” Harper said. “She comes in as a head coach of a program. She’s had to make programs for every type of swimmers and recruiting. She’s very organized and she’ll bring a high energy to the staff. She’ll enhance our staff and make an impact on her swimmers. She’ll be working with the stroke and IM group and will head up women’s recruiting.”
In 2012, the Eagles finished fifth in the Landmark Conference, which was the school’s best finish. Throughout those three years, O’Donnell tripled the size of the Eagles roster.
“I’m really excited to work with the rest of the staff,” O’Donnell said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to learn a lot more. I’ve been a head coach and to have that opportunity from this staff is exciting. From the moment I set foot on campus I connected with the program. I am looking forward to working with the level of talent on a team of this magnitude.”
In the spring, the Seminoles named Amanda Miller as the assistant coach for diving. Miller served as a graduate assistant for Florida State for the 2011-12 season. Prior to her coaching days, Miller earned All-America honors for the Boilermakers on top of reaching the finals of several national and international competitions, including the Canada Cup, the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, USA Diving Selection Camp and Senior Nationals.
“I honestly believe that we’ve assembled one of the best coaching staffs in the country,” Harper said. “We are all excited to get started this fall.”