CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- After seven years at the helm of the University of Miami swimming program, Head Coach Christie Shefchunas will step away from coaching on July 1 to devote more time to her family and to her ministry work.
“I feel so blessed to have been a part of the University of Miami for the last seven years,” said Shefchunas. “Everyone has been so supportive and loving through my time here. I will miss my team most of all, as they are some of the most special women I have ever known. I am so thankful to them for loving and supporting me. I will miss everyone dearly, but I am proud to say that I will forever be a Hurricane.”
Given the responsibility of leading the University of Miami swimming program back to national prominence in May 2006, Shefchunas reestablished the Hurricanes swimming program as a force, developing All-American talent who would establish school record performances in several events. Four of Coach Shefchunas' swimmers qualified for the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships in Indianapolis, with sophomore Lucy Worrall earning Honorable Mention All-America honors. Last season, All-American Kelsi Hall led the way at the NCAA Championships.
“We want to thank Coach Shefchunas for her tireless devotion to UM student-athletes,” said Blake James, Director of Athletics. “Her tenure has been defined by class and character and she is leaving the program in great standing. We will miss her and everyone in the department wishes her the best of luck in the next phase of her life.”
Shefchunas, a University of Tennessee graduate (1997), began her coaching career as an assistant coach with Michigan State University from 2000-02, where she was in charge of the men’s and women’s sprint teams. She arrived in Miami after a successful stint as assistant coach at Southern Methodist University (2003-2005), where the program finished in the top eight at the NCAA Championships on three occasions. While at SMU, she assisted in the coaching and development of 22 All-Americans, 33 conference champions and 26 NCAA qualifiers.
A national search for her replacement will begin immediately.