Alison Czmarko joins the staff after competing for the Illini the past four seasons. She currently is finishing up school and will assist coach Novitsky as a student coach.
The former Illini backstroker finished up her brilliant career as the school record holder for the 50 (26.19) and 100 (55.15) backstroke ... In 2003, she was honored as the Most Valuable Swimmer along with Sara O'Fallon ... She represented the Illini for two consecutive years by qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the 100 backstroke ... The 2002-03 Illini team captain was a member of four of the five record-setting relay teams at Big Ten Championships, including the 200 medley, 400 medley, 200 free and 400 free relays ... Czmarko also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors and honorable-mention Academic All-American in 2003
She was born Dec. 27, 1980 ... Parents are Joe and Debbie Czmarko ... Majoring in Spanish ... Began swimming as therapy for rheumatoid arthritis Was a Top 16 qualifier since the age of 10 ... Goes by the nickname of Big Z ... Lists her coach Paul Young as the person who most influenced her athletic career.