After making an immediate impact during her debut campaign, Katie Hazelton enters her second season as the Pitt diving head coach.
The 2017-18 campaign, Hazleton’s first with the Panthers, saw Pitt’s top divers excel at some of the most prestigious meets in the country.
Most notably, senior Meme Sharp won the USA Diving Winter Nationals 1-meter title and qualified for her third consecutive NCAA Championships on both springboards. Hazelton also helped Lydia Rosenthall qualify for an ACC championship final on 3-meter springboard and qualify for the NCAA Championships, giving Pitt two women’s divers at collegiate swimming & diving’s premier postseason meet.
Sharp, who earned a prestigious ACC Postgraduate Scholarship and accepted an ACC Futures Internship with the Orange Bowl in Miami following her graduation, bested her Pitt 1-meter school record during her standout senior campaign under Hazelton and scored in all three diving events at the 2018 ACC Championships.
Hazelton’s new training regime for the Pitt divers also aided in three other Panthers qualifying for the NCAA Zone Diving meet as Krista Jones, Cortnee Williams and Noah Marble competed in the postseason.
“We pride our program on our athlete-first approach,” Hazelton said. “Through a culture of hard work, determination and persistence, we challenge our student-athletes to reach their full potential. We are passionate about creating an ideal environment to succeed, balancing disciplined diving training with exceptional academic and professional support.”
A native of Harpenden, England, Hazelton joined the Panthers after four-and-a-half years as the head coach of the Duke Diving Club in Durham, N.C. During her time at the helm of the program, Hazelton guided the Duke Diving Club to unprecedented success.
Under her reign, Duke divers won more than 10 national titles at youth levels and eight individuals went on to earn scholarships at Texas, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Ohio State, California, Indiana, Purdue and Pitt. In 2014, USA Diving recognized Duke Diving as its most improved club throughout the country.
Pitt Director of Athletics Heather Lyke and swimming & diving head coach John Hargis announced Hazelton’s hiring in June 2017.
"We are thrilled to welcome Katie to the Panther coaching staff,” Lyke said. “Katie brings solid knowledge and experience as a product of elite level diving and coaching. Her demeanor and focus on building great relationships with her athletes was evident during the interview process. We are confident she is going to help continue our swimming and diving program on the right trajectory."
“Katie has all of the characteristics we were looking for in this position,” said Hargis. “She wants to help build Pitt swimming and diving as a whole with the aim of being at the forefront of the ACC in the very near future. Katie’s impressive coaching résumé, combined with a great passion for diving and key international connections that will help us in recruiting, made her the perfect fit.”
Prior to her coaching career in the United States, Hazelton spent time as the diving technical operations manager for the organizing committee for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. In this role, she spent a full year managing and organizing the diving events for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London, ensuring the event was conducted in accordance with international rules and regulations.
A 2005 sports science and physiology graduate of Leeds University, Hazelton is also a USA Diving certified coach. From 2010-11, she worked as an aquatics officer with the British swimming and diving governing body, the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), having previously served as a diving talent development officer with the organization from 2007-10.
Hazelton’s parents, Brian and Jackie, were both international diving coaches and judges, and they introduced her to the sport at the age of 5 at Luton Kingfishers outside of London. She won numerous diving national titles at the youth level in the United Kingdom before having to retire from the sport as a 17-year-old.
Hazelton married Alex Kasprzak in June 2018.