George Fox University has named a former NCAA Division III All-American, Natalie Turner, as its first head coach of the newly created men's and women's swimming programs, announced Director of Athletics Adam Puckett on Aug. 3, 2017.
"This is a historic time at George Fox University as we start our men's and women's swim program," said Puckett. "George Fox University's intention is to compete immediately within the Northwest Conference and to run a championship caliber collegiate swim program. I am thrilled to name Natalie Turner as our first-ever swim coach as she brings immense knowledge of the northwest swim club environment, an intense competitive spirt and a love for Jesus."
Turner will build the culture and the team from scratch in the 2017-18 academic year, with plans to compete in the 2018-19 season as a member of the Northwest Conference.
The addition of swimming brings the number of sports offered at the university to 19. The Bruins will be the only Christian college in Oregon to offer the sport and are the final member of the NWC to field a swim team.
"I am very excited to come to George Fox and become a part of the community," Turner said. "They have a commitment to excellence in their athletic programs, and I can't wait to add to its success with a swim team. My hope is that the athletes we recruit to George Fox will add to the faithful and competitive culture that is already in place."
Turner comes to George Fox after serving as the head coach of the Spokane Waves Aquatic team since 2012. The Spokane Waves are associated with USA Swimming and Inland Empire Swimming, with a year-round competitive team. Before her time with the Waves, Turner was the assistant coach for the Coeur d'Alene area swim team in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Turner graduated from Whitworth University with a bachelor's degree in sociology and criminal justice. A four-year swimmer, Woodward was a four-time NWC Swimmer of the Meet and a 12-time individual NWC champion. She still holds the individual NWC record in the 200 free, 500 free and 1,650 free. She was a 10-time NCAA Div. III All-American and a two-time NCAA Div. III Relay All-American. In 2010, she was named Whitworth University Female Athlete of the Year.
"I turned to competitive coaching after my long career as a swimmer came to an end," she said. "My desire to work with athletes who have a passion for swimming and helping them to be successful both in the water and out of the water has fueled my love of coaching.
"I was very fortunate as an athlete to have had amazing and inspiring coaches who have guided the way I coach swimmers now. Making the jump to college coaching, I am really looking forward to working with dedicated student-athletes who are ready to jump in the water and represent the Bruins!"
To learn more information about our new swim program, please contact head coach Natalie Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.