NOTRE DAME, Indiana — University of Notre Dame head swim and dive coach Mike Litzinger announced the addition of three coaches to the Irish staff this week.
Longtime collegiate coach and former Olympian Mark Bradshaw has been tabbed as Notre Dame head diving coach, while former collegiate head coach Becca Weiland will assume a new role as assistant swim coach. Additionally, Rebecca Wilkerson joins the staff as a volunteer assistant swim coach.
Mark Bradshaw – Head Diving Coach
“I am thrilled to welcome Coach Bradshaw to the University of Notre Dame. Without question, he brings an immediate presence of experience, excellence and proven success to our program,” Litzinger expressed. “As one of the premier college diving coaches in the NCAA, Coach Bradshaw’s philosophy and expectations align perfectly with our values at Notre Dame, and, of course, our continued pursuit of excellence on the NCAA level.”
Bradshaw comes to Notre Dame after 23 seasons at the helm of the diving program at Arizona State University, where he mentored athletes including four-time NCAA Champion Joona Puhakka and six-time All-Americans Micky Benedetti and Trisha Tumlinson. Under Bradshaw’s guidance, ASU has had nine divers earn four NCAA individual titles and 29 All-American honors. In addition, Bradshaw has been named NCAA Diving Coach of the Year twice, in 2003 and 2005.
“I’m looking forward to taking on this next-level challenge at Notre Dame. I have known [retired dive coach] Caiming Xie since our time together with the Olympic team, and I have much respect for the program he has built,” Bradshaw noted. “Talking to the staff at Notre Dame, our goals aligned with the idea of achieving at a high level not just in our sport, but for our university as well.”
Bradshaw earned eight Pac-10 Men’s Diving Coach of the Year and one Women’s Diving Coach of the Year plaques during his tenure, while his divers earned a total of nine Pac-10/12 Diver of the Year awards and five Pac-10/12 Newcomer of the Year honors.
Prior to his time with the Sun Devils, he served as the diving coach at Ohio University and at the United States Military Academy. Bradshaw also served as Finland’s head diving coach for the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. As a diver, he was a four-year All-American at Ohio State University and was the 1983 3-meter NCAA champion.
He also represented the United States in the 1988 Olympic Games, finishing fifth on the 3-meter. Bradshaw earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Ohio State in 1985 and his master’s in the same discipline in 1987.
Becca Weiland – Assistant Swim Coach
“It is with great excitement that I am looking forward to sharing our pool deck with Becca,” Litzinger noted. “As a former collegiate head coach, assistant at Wisconsin and as a B1G Ten Champion athlete, Becca will add an incredible amount of experience to our staff. She has the knowledge, presence and demeanor on the pool deck that our athletes at Notre Dame will enjoy and respond to.”
Weiland departs the head women’s coach position at the University of Alaska Fairbanks after one season in which she coached Oda Bygdnes to qualify for the NCAA DII Championships and earn Division II All-American honors, leading the Nanooks to a seventh-place finish at the PCSC Conference Championships.
“I am incredibly honored to be granted the opportunity to work with some of the best student-athletes and coaches in the nation,” Weiland expressed. “The University of Notre Dame has a rich history filled with exciting campus traditions, elite-level academics, campus pride and overall program success. I am looking forward to what the future will bring at Notre Dame and being a part of the Fighting Irish family”
Weiland’s first stint as a collegiate coach with the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an assistant coach. With the Badgers, Weiland assisted UW swimmers in breaking 13 school records and five B1G Ten Conference records, and oversaw three swimmers who earned NCAA DI All-America status with three others named Division I All-America Honorable Mentions.
Weiland was a four-year letter-winner at the University of Minnesota from 2011-2015. She won four consecutive B1G Ten Conference titles, broke B1G Ten Conference Records in the 100-yard Butterfly and 200-yard Freestyle Relay, earned four consecutive NCAA Championship appearances and garnered 13 NCAA Division I All-American Honors and multiple B1G Ten Conference First Team and Second Team honors. Additionally, Weiland competed in both the 2012 and 2016 United States Olympic Trials.
Out of the pool, Weiland was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar-Athlete, and graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development.
Weiland graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management with an emphasis in coaching, going on to earn her master’s degree in College Counseling and Student Development from St. Cloud State University in May 2017.
Rebecca Wilkerson – Volunteer Assistant Swim Coach
“Having great volunteers at this level is critical to our program’s success, and adding Rebecca to our staff is key,” Litzinger added. “Mentoring young coaches and giving them an opportunity to immerse themselves in our program is something that I value. Rebecca has started on this journey as a former athlete, graduate assistant and now here at Notre Dame. I am excited to work with her.”
Wilkerson departs an intern assistant coach position at Washington & Jefferson College to join the Irish coaching staff. Prior to that role, she was a three-year swimmer for Division II California University of Pennsylvania. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sport management in December of 2018 and pursued a master’s degree at Cal U.
“I’m excited to be joining the Notre Dame Swimming and Diving team,” Wilkerson shared. “I am looking forward to seeing what this season has in store for us, and I can’t wait to help continue to build upon the success they have created.”
She served as a graduate assistant at Cal U of PA during the spring 2019 semester. During this time, Wilkerson worked with the Success Center, monitoring and guiding students into creating short-term and long-term goals to become more successful in the classroom.
Wilkerson has compiled a variety of coaching experiences, which includes working as a camp counselor at Princeton University and the University of Texas. She also worked with the East Coast Aquatics Club and Coral Springs Swim Club in Florida.
Bradshaw, Weiland and Wilkerson join Litzinger, associate head swim coach Aaron Bell, assistant swim coaches Joe Brinkman and Mitch Dansky, volunteer swim assistant Caleb Lawrence and director of operations Maggie Maloney.
— ND —