Illinois avenges last year's loss with a 206-94 trouncing
Sue Novitsky enters her 15th season as the head coach of the University of Illinois swimming and diving team. Novitsky, who joined the University of Illinois swimming and diving staff as a volunteer assistant coach in 1994, begins her 20th season as a part of the Illini program. After three seasons of working as the volunteer coach, Novitsky was promoted to assistant coach in the fall of 1997. In August 2000, she was hired by former Director of Athletics, Ron Guenther, as the fifth head coach in the program's history.
Novitsky's first year as head coach was filled with success as three Illini qualified for the NCAA Championships, and Jessica Aveyard repeated as an All-American in the 200 backstroke. Novitsky's swimmers continued their success at the national and international levels, as Aveyard and Ilkay Dikmen qualified to represent their native countries at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. Aveyard, swimming for the United States, reached the semifinals in the 200 backstroke, while Dikmen, a 2000 Olympian, competed for Turkey in the 200 breaststroke. Dikmen also swam in the 2004 Olympics in the 100 and 200 breaststroke.
As an assistant coach, Novitsky trained several athletes, including Aveyard, who was an NCAA qualifier, All-American and World Championship semifinalist, and Anna Christiansen, who was a three-time NCAA qualifier.
In addition, Novitsky trained six former Fighting Illini athletes at the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials.
As a swimmer, Novitsky was a two-time Division II All-American at Oakland University, earning a bachelor's degree in biochemistry in 1991. She was a student assistant coach for the 1991 Division II national champion Oakland Pioneers. Novitsky also earned a master's degree in kinesiology from Michigan.
A native of Huntington Woods, Mich., Novitsky previously worked as an assistant coach for the Oakland Live Y'ers age-group team.