Head Swim Coach Roger Williams University
Matt Emmert has served as Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving programs since 2012, and during his tenure, he has continued to guide the Hawks to new heights under his tutelage. Since his arrival, Emmert and his staff have coached 75 NEISDA champions, 44 ECAC qualifiers, and two NCAA Championship provisional qualifiers. He is widely known as one of New England’s top coaches when it comes to individual stroke refinement and efficiency.
Last season, the Men’s team enjoyed one of its best years in program history, accomplishing its first undefeated season in dual meet competition at 7-0. The team claimed their third straight NEISDA Championship while the Women’s team earned a runner-up finish at the championship. At the championship, both programs combined for 12 new school records with 18 men and 14 women receiving All-NEISDA honors including major award winners in the NEISDA Senior High Point Swimmer of the Meet and the NEISDA Senior High Point Diver of the Meet. In addition, Emmert was honored as NEISDA Men’s Swim Coach of the Year.
In 2017, the Women’s Swimming & Diving team took home its second consecutive NEISDA Championship. The Hawks also won Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship for the second straight year, with 14 swimmers earning All-NEISDA honors and eight New England Champions, including senior Andrea Almandoz setting a new NEISDA record in the 100 Yard IM. The Men’s Swimming & Diving team also won its second straight CCC Championship. Most notably, the Hawks won the NEISDA Championship for the first time in school history while Emmert was recognized as NEISDA Men’s Swim Coach of the Year. Fifteen swimmers earned All-NEISDA honors while six swimmers were New England champions in their races.
In 2016, the Men's program finished in second place at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships, tying the best finish in school history. The Women’s team completed arguably the best season in the history of the program. Over the course of the season, the team set 11 varsity records while qualifying five swimmers for the ECAC Championship as well as two provisional NCAA qualifiers. In addition, the team won the New England Swimming & Diving Association Championship for the first time in school history. Most notably at the NEISDA Championship, Mackenzie Webber qualified for the NCAA Championship, making her the first swimmer in Roger Williams history—male or female—to participate in the NCAA Championship. In addition to the Hawks’ strong performance in the pool, the team is also as strong in the classroom, having been honored on the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American Team for the eighth consecutive semester.
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 and is pursuing a Masters of Science in Leadership from RWU.
Matt and his wife Jillian reside in Portsmouth with their two daughters.
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.