Jill Stephenson enters her 20th year as the head coach of the men's and women's swimming programs at Salisbury University in 2014-15. During her tenure, both teams have experienced record-setting individual performances and numerous team successes.
In 2013-14, the Salisbury men's team concluded the CAC Championships with a fourth-place finish, while the women placed fifth. During the three-day event, the Sea Gulls shattered 11 school records, as Okan Eyigor (3), Victoria Radcliffe (2), Will Gough (2), and James Gough (1) broke eight records in individual events, and the men's team broke three in relay events. Eyigor grabbed gold in the 200 backstroke in the final day, being the first Sea Gull to take first place since 2009.
In 2012-13, the Salisbury men's team finished the season 3-7 overall and 2-3 in the Capital Athletic Conference. The Sea Gulls placed fourth at the CAC Championships. SU swimmers earned 13 All-CAC honors, including three each from Chris Franklin and Will Gough. The women's team was 2-7 and 1-4 in the league, coming in fifth in the CAC championships.
In 2011-12, the Salisbury men's team went 4-6 overall and 3-3 in the CAC, placing 4th in the CAC championships. The women's team was 3-7 and 2-4 in the conference and finished fifth at championships. SU had 17 swimmers honored on the All-CAC teams.
In 2010-11, the Sea Gull men went 5-5 and placed fourth at the CAC championships while the women posted a 4-6 overall record and finished third at the event. SU had 11 swimmers honored on the All-CAC teams for the season.
In 2009-10, the Sea Gulls posted a pair of top-five performances at the Capital Athletic Conference championships. The Sea Gull men, who posted a 6-4 record overall, came in fourth place at the event. The Sea Gull women went 5-5 on the season and posted a fifth place performance at the CAC championships. Stephenson had seven student-athletes garner All-CAC accolades.
In the 2008-09 campagin, each program finished fourth at the CAC Championships. The women finished 7-4, 3-3 in the CAC while the men closed out the year 6-5, 4-2 in the CAC. Mike Ferrari won a pair of events at the CAC Championships and earned All-CAC honors in three events, while two Sea Gulls broke school records during the weekend event. Drew Robichaud broke the school record for 1,000-yard freestyle, and Katy Turner broke the SU record in the 200-yard butterfly.
In 2007-08, under the guidance of Stephenson, the men's team finished in third place, which tied the previous year's performance. SU finished the season with an overall record of 7-4, 4-2 in conference. The women claimed fourth place honors. Salisbury had six All-CAC performers on the year. Under the tutelage of Stephenson, SU broke 10 men's school records and two women's records in three days at the CAC championships. Sophomore Mike Ferrari became the first male swimmer in seven years to win an event at the CAC championships. Drew Robichaud was named CAC men's swimmer of the week for the week of January 21. For the first time in the history of the program, the Sea Gulls swept Catholic University. Stephenson had 16 member of her squad named to the 2007-2008 CAC All-Academic Team.
The 2006-07 men's team finished in third place at the Capital Athletic Conference championships, the highest any SU men's team has finished at the CAC championships and broke seven school records in the process. The women's team came in fifth at the CAC championships. Both the men's and women's teams posted 4-4 records in CAC competition in 2006-07.
Salisbury has captured several individual awards in recent seasons, including three conference awards in 2001. Brendan Roddy was the CAC Male Swimmer of the Year; senior Rebecca Mitchell was the CAC Female Swimmer of the Year; and Stephenson was named by her peers as the CAC Women's Coach of the Year. The SU women set a new school record for victories in 2001 with a 7-2 overall mark and registered their best showing in the CAC Championship with a second place finish.
In addition, the Sea Gulls earned another milestone as Mitchell became the first female in team history to compete at the NCAA Championship Meet in 2001.
Under Stephenson's leadership, the men's team registered its best-ever CAC record in 2002 with a 5-2 league record.
The men's and women's teams have virtually rewritten the Sea Gull record book during Stephenson's tenure with over 100 new records since 1995. In addition, under her tutelage, Salisbury produced its first all-American swimmer in 1998 as Chris Bembenek earned honorable mention status in two events at the NCAA Championships. Eight Sea Gull swimmers have met provisional qualifying times for the national championship during the past six seasons.
In addition to her duties as the Salisbury men's and women's coach, Stephenson also works as SU's aquatics director, overseeing teaching and community programs, and as assistant athletics director.
Prior to coming to Salisbury, the Monroe, Mich., native spent six years as the head coach of the men's and women's swimming and cross country teams at Olivet (MI) College. In addition to her coaching duties, Stephenson served as an assistant professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Human Performance, served as aquatics director and was assistant athletics director overseeing the women's athletics program.
In 1992, Stephenson joined the American Red Cross as its emergency and health services director for the Calhoun County Chapter in Battle Creek, Mich. While working for the Red Cross, she remained active in swimming as an adjunct faculty member in aquatics at Kellogg Community College and also coached at several camps and clinics throughout the Midwest.
Stephenson earned her Bachelor of Science in physical education from Northern Michigan University in 1983, where she was a four-year swimming letterwinner and received her master's in sports management from Southern Illinois University in 1986. In addition to working as an assistant coach at her alma mater for one season, Stephenson served as an assistant coach at Southern Illinois for two years prior to joining the staff at Olivet College.