BUCKHANNON -- April Gitzen, head coach of the West Virginia Wesleyan swimming programs, has been named the Appalachian Swim Conference Women's Coach of the Year for 2017. She guided the Lady Bobcats to a sterling third place finish at the recent ASC Championships in Christiansburg, Va.
"It is a great honor to win this award and is very humbling," Gitzen said. "It feels good, because I feel like it is in some ways a validation of what we have been able to accomplish moving this program forward over the last six years."
Wesleyan made it to Christiansburg with 14 women and 12 men swimmers, and performed at a high level throughout the four-day event, collecting a multitude of personal and seasonal bests. The Bobcat swimmers definitely made their mark in the 13-team league.
"Our performances and the way we peaked is a testament to their work ethic, and to the team's overall chemistry...their was not a race that we did not have our entire unit screaming for whoever we had in the pool at that time," Gitzen said. "I also cannot say enough about out Athletic Trainer (John Zubal), not only from the services he provided from an AT standpoint, but from the support he gave in being fully invested in our team overall. We were blessed to have him."
With only a handful of seniors in the program as a whole, the future looks bright for the WVWC swim program in the ASC. Plus, several of the big point producers are underclassmen.
"I definitely think we have a lot to build on with where we are as a program," Gitzen said.
With a program that is in a good place and with a good foundation, this will likely not be the last time Gitzen is a Coach of the Year.