A former member and assistant coach of the University of the Incarnate Word’s nationally ranked synchronized swimming team is now heading the program.
On July 14, John Williams, director of athletics, named Elizabeth Gerdin, who has served as an assistant coach the past two years, as the team’s interim coach for the 2016-17 season.
While serving as an assistant to former head coach Megan Deatherage, Gerdin played a big role in the program, earning a pair of top four national finishes and two regional titles, Williams pointed out.
Deatherage had to leave the program due to family reasons, but Williams said the program is in good hands.
“I am happy and confident that Elizabeth can step into the role of interim head coach,” Williams said. “She has been with the program for a long time as a student-athlete and as assistant coach and knows what it takes to run the program and for it to be successful.”
Gerdin last swam for the team in 2011, graduating in 2012 with bachelor’s degrees in athletic training and rehabilitative sciences.
A native of St. Paul, Minn., Gerdin competed at the FINA World Trophy Cup in 2009. During her time competing as a Cardinal she helped the team to a national third-place finish and numerous regional championships. She was Rookie of the Year, earned the Dwyer Award for encompassing the team values, and was a two-time team captain for the squad.
After her collegiate swimming eligibility was used up, Gerdin stayed on at UIW for a year as a volunteer assistant coach under former head coach Kim Wurzel-LoPorto, who had competed in the Olympics. During that season under Wurzel-LoPorto and Gerdin, the Cardinals won the team and duet events and placed second overall at the U.S. Collegiate nationals and won the high point award at U.S. Nationals.
Before coming back as an assistant coach at UIW, Gerdin, a certified athletic trainer, worked from 2012-14 at a physical therapy clinic and at different high schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota. She also helped coach the University of Minnesota synchro team in 2012-13. Over the past two years, she has served as a choreographer and provided private lessons for clubs and high schools in Minnesota.
After moving back to Texas in May 2014, Gerdin started performing as a synchronized swimmer at the “Azul” show at SeaWorld.
In a statement to the Logos, Gerdin said, “I take it as an honor to be named interim head coach of the synchronized swimming team. This program has a rich history of excellence at UIW and I look forward to continuing that. As an alumni of UIW this program holds a special place in my heart and I appreciate the opportunity to carry on with this team.”