CEDAR FALLS — Chelsea Szczyrbak is looking forward to an opportunity to make a difference within one of Cedar Falls’ tradition-rich athletics programs.
The former University of Northern Iowa swimmer has been named the head coach for the Cedar Falls girls swimming and diving program, along with the boys swimming program entering this upcoming school year.
Then competing under her maiden name Chelsea Hartman, Szczyrbak graduated as a UNI student-athlete in 2012 and worked for two-and-a-half seasons as a volunteer graduate assistant with the Panthers’ women’s swimming and diving program. She has spent the past six years working for a non-profit organization in the Cedar Valley.
“The Cedar Falls high school swimming and diving program for both boys and girls has been impressive and has had a long history of success,” Szczyrbak said. “That is very exciting to be a part of.”
The Cedar Falls girls’ team placed seventh at last year’s state meet and has won nine state titles with seven runner-up finishes in program history. On the boys’ side, the Cedar Falls program has won five state titles to go with one runner-up finish.
“Coach Szczyrbak brings the type of knowledge, energy, and enthusiasm to our program that we were hoping for,” Cedar Falls athletics director Troy Becker said. “She will do a great job of helping our athletes reach their team and individual goals.”
A former Iowa City West high school standout, Szczyrbak is looking forward to returning to the pool.
“Having been a high school swimmer before, I can understand the challenges and trials that come with it,” Szczyrbak said. “Now that I’m 10 years out from that, I have a little bit more wisdom. I think being able to have a different insight looking back on that, hopefully I can be able to be a good mentor for our athletes.
“I’ve heard so many awesome things about both groups (girls and boys teams) and I’m looking forward to being able to be one to support them in their dreams, their aspirations and their goals, both as a team and individually.”
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