Head Swim Coach Roger Williams University
Matt Emmert is set to return for his fourth season as Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving programs.
This past season, Emmert continued to guide the Hawks to new heights under his tutelage. For the second straight season, both the Men's and Women's programs finished in second place at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships, tying the best finish in school history for both teams. In addition, both programs combined to break 28 school records during the 2014-15 season.
In Coach Emmert's first season at the helm, he also led the men’s program to a runner-up finish at the NEISDA Championships, a program best at the time. On the women’s side, he guided the team to a third-place finish at the NEISDA Championship, also a program-best.
Since his arrival, Emmert and his staff have coached 17 NEISDA individual champions, 30 ECAC individual qualifiers, and one NCAA Championship provisional qualifier. In addition, the team has broken a total of 89 varsity records in his first two seasons leading the program. He is widely known as one of New England’s top coaches when it comes to individual stroke refinement and efficiency.
Emmert came to Roger Williams by way of Division I University of Maryland, where he spent the 2011-12 season as an assistant coach, primarily training with the distance swimmers. While at Maryland, he helped guide the women’s team to a #19 national ranking during the year, while qualifying four swimmers for the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming Championships.
Prior to Maryland, Emmert spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Division I Texas Christian University. He was part of a coaching staff that led the Horned Frogs to their sole 2011 Mountain West Conference Champion in the Women’s 100 Yard Freestyle. In addition, he helped lead the men’s team to the 2010 Mountain West regular season championship via the program’s only undefeated season with a 7-0 dual meet record.
Emmert also has three years of experience as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island, where he planned and implemented training for the Butterfly and Backstroke events.
In addition, Emmert spent time coaching the North Kingstown High School girls program, where he coached 2008 USA Olympic Team Member, Elizabeth Beisel.
Over the course of his coaching career, Emmert has had 14 USA Olympic Team Trials Qualifiers and 32 USA Swimming Senior National Qualifiers, in addition to 23 all-conference swimmers.
Emmert is a 2004 graduate of URI, where he was a four-year letterwinner and served as team co-captain in his senior year. He earned the URI Coaches' Award in 2002 and was named Team MVP in 2004. He also set the Rams' school record in the 200 Yard Freestyle during his time at URI. In addition, Emmert holds a Master's Degree in Liberal Arts from TCU.
Matt and his wife Jillian reside in Middletown with their daughter Brynn, and two dogs, Gansett and Boston.
Head Swim Coach Limestone College
Eddie Gillie enters his first year at the helm of the Saints swim teams.
Prior to joining the Limestone staff, Gillie spent the past three seasons as an assistant swim coach at Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania. During his time with the Bearcats, Gillie assisted the head coach in all aspects of the swim program including recruiting, meet preparation, seasonal planning, and on deck coaching.
He was also in charge of designing and implementing a dryland training program into the seasonal plan. While working with all training groups during his stint at Saint Vincent, Gillie was primarily tasked with coaching the Distance Freestyle and individual medley groups. He oversaw 92 new school records and 20 conference championships while helping both the men's and women's teams to their highest conference finishes ever.
Before Saint Vincent, Gillie spent two seasons with Phoenix Swimming, one of the best small club teams in the country. He was tasked with teaching proper stroke technique, starts, and turns while also pushing the athletes to maintain a high work ethic. While he was with Phoenix, Gillie served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology swim teams.
Gillie got his start in the coaching ranks in 2008 with the Magnus Aquatic Group for a year overseeing their Novice level practices. After one season with Magnus, Gillie moved to the Bluefish Swim Club where he had the opportunity to work under the previous year's USA Swimming National Age Group Coach of the Year.
A four-year member of the Wheaton College swim team, Gillie broke three school records during his time with the Lyons. He was named to the Dean's List and the Scholastic All-American Team on three separate occasions. He received his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Wheaton College in 2011.
Gillie is a USA Swimming Certified Coach and maintains as Level I certification from the American Swim Coaches Association. He is also a certified Lifeguard as well as a Water Safety Instructor through the American Red Cross.
Assistant Swim Coach Roger Williams University
Connor Devers was a Breaststroke and Butterfly specialist. In high school, he trained with the Bluefish Swim Club, and while he was in college, he swam for the Division I varsity University of Maine Swimming team. Throughout his career, Connor trained with athletes that regularly competed at the National, Olympic, and World Championship levels. He himself swam full programs at the Speedo Southern Zone Sectionals, America East Championships, and ECAC Championships. Some of Connor's accolades include finaling in the 200 meter IM at Sectionals in 2011, meddling in the 200 Breaststroke in the 2013 America East Championships, and taking first place in the 200 Breaststroke at the 2013 Harold Anderson Invitational.
Connor began his career as a coach with the Adirondack Aquatic club as an Age Group coach, where his swimmers saw great success. Over sixty percent of his athletes qualified for championship meets ranging from Regionals through Age Groups, many of whom placed within the top ten finishers in their events. In one season, He helped his swimmers drop a cumulative 2500 seconds in their races, with an average of 100 seconds dropped per person.
Connor studied Creative Writing & Graphic Design in College, and graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors.
Head Swim Coach University of Rhode Island
The 2016-17 academic year marks Mick Westkott's 45th season at the University of Rhode Island and his 40th as head coach of the women's team.
In 2014-15, Weskott's team had the program's best-ever finish in the Atlantic 10 Championship with a fifth-place finish. The Rams broke 11 school records during the meet. Katie Mangano earned Academic All-Conference. For the 10th consecutive semester, the Rams received the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American Team Honor. Eve Cohen, Kasey Lefebvre, and Emily Thomesen posted perfect 4.0 GPA's during the spring semester.
In 2010-11, Westkott guided the Rams to a seventh-place finish at the Atlantic 10 championships. Following the championships, URI's Lillian Falconer was selected as the Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet.
Under the direction of Westkott, Falconer became the first Rhode Island swimmer to win two events in the same weekend at the Atlantic 10 Swimming and Diving Championships as she captured gold in the 200 and 400-yard individual medleys. She also became the first URI athlete to receive Atlantic 10 Performer of the Meet honors.
The Wyomissing, Pa. native stresses that his student-athletes develop an appreciation for the work necessary to fully realize their goals and to understand the process that leads to real growth as a person. The goal of Westkott's training program is to bring out the best in the student-athletes through hard work, commitment and confidence.
His teams are routinely honored for their work in the classroom. Both the men's and women's programs were each honored in the Spring of 2008 by the Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) with Academic All-American honors.
Westkott takes a very active role in promoting and developing collegiate swimming in the New England area. Among his many community service ventures, Westkott helped organize, coach, and run open water swim events such as the Narrow River Turnaround Swim in Narragansett, R.I.. He also coached a team who participated in the "Save the Bay Swim" on Narragansett Bay. Among his many other accomplishments, Westkott was president of both the men's and the women's New England Intercollegiate Swimming Association.
Westkott has been very involved in the many aspects of the swimming community by working at numerous summer swim camps at Brown, Providence and Tennessee. He has also sponsored and directed numerous coaching and swimming clinics that have included some of the top coaches in the world.
Westkott's peers have twice selected him New England Coach of the Year. Under his leadership, URI has hosted numerous New England Championships. He is a charter member of the board of directors of the R.I. Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 1990. He was also inducted into his alma mater Lycoming's Athletic Hall of Fame in '98 and the Berk's County Aquatics Hall of Fame in '04.
Westkott has served as a meet and event coordinator for both the Rhode Island Special Olympics and the 1999, 2001 World Scholar-Athlete Games.