Wiltfong Named Assistant Coach

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Women’s Rowing announced the hiring of Hanna Wiltfong as assistant coach for the upcoming 2015-16 season. Taking over for assistant coach Grace Ure, who will be stepping down to take on a volunteer assistant role with the team, Wiltfong had previously spent the past three years with the Wildcats as a graduate assistant and the five years prior to that competing as a student-athlete for K-State rowing.

Wiltfong said she is honored to take on an assistant coaching role, joining a staff comprised of head coach Patrick Sweeney and assistant coach Stephanie VanMatre. She will be primarily responsible for handling recruiting and incoming first-year and novice rowers.

“I am at home here in Manhattan. Every athletic building houses an extension of my K-State Family and people essential to the success of my team,” Wiltfong said. “I always say I grew up on the K-State rowing team. Now I get the unique opportunity to build the team that built me.

“I look forward to working towards my professional goals with a coaching staff that I share a strong sense of teamwork with, as we continue to grow, learn and position this team for progress and continued success.”

Wiltfong continues a long-standing tradition of student-athletes moving onto coaching roles for K-State rowing – both current assistant VanMatre and former assistant Ure competed for the Wildcats as undergrads. Graduating in 2012, Wiltfong had a strong career with K-State, serving as a co-captain her junior and senior years and most notably being the first Wildcat rower to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team. She also excelled off the water, earning Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2011 and 2012 and was a two-time CRCA Scholar-Athlete.

In her three years as graduate assistant coach, Wiltfong has been a part of perhaps the best seasons in program history. Assisting the staff in recruiting, as well as teaching and coaching the novices in the sport, Wiltfong has played a role in the development of back-to-back top-three finishing Wildcat squads at Big 12s the past two seasons. She obtained her Master’s degree in College Student Development-Administration at the conclusion of this past academic year.

Sweeney said Wiltfong moving to assistant coach is well-deserved and thanked Ure for her invaluable contributions to the program – Ure had served as the team’s recruiting coordinator and assistant coach for the past eight seasons.

“Following on from the great job Grace did in setting up our recruiting system of local talent, I'm very happy that Hanna will be joining our coaching staff as a full-time assistant responsible for recruiting and teaching the new athletes in their first year,” Sweeney said. “Grace and Hanna have worked closely the past three years and this has allowed for a smooth transition for our program and I want to thank them for their professionalism in this regard.”

Continued Sweeney, “Hanna has great passion for the sport of rowing and K-State, which is infectious to those young women we are reaching out to – to try something different, a new sport like she did at K-State. It is a natural progression for her, coming from within the program as a student-athlete with no previous experience in rowing to graduate assistant coach to now assistant coach that has a wealth of knowledge and experience for the particular way our program works.”

With the offseason well underway, the Wildcats will look towards to the 2016 season and continuing their streak of back-to-back top-three finishes at the conference championship.