Head coach Lindsie Micko Resigns from swimming and diving

Swimming and diving head coach Lindsie Micko is resigning after seven seasons at Augustana.

Micko created both of Augustana’s swimming and diving programs, launching the women’s program during the 2016-2017 school year and the men’s in 2021-2022. 

“I’m so proud of our teams,” Micko said. “Starting from nothing is hard, and they have handled it like champs.” 

Under Micko’s leadership, both programs have seen success. The women’s program recently won the NSIC Championship on Feb. 11. Micko has also coached 11 swimmers to All-American honors, and three swimmers have won NSIC Swimmer of the Year titles. 

Last year, the men’s program produced a GLIAC Champion in then freshman Pedro da Rocha Borin, who later qualified for the NCAA II Championship. This year, the team had four swimmers compete in the GLIAC finals.

“I don’t know if any of us truly understand what it takes to build something from scratch, and then to take it to the championship level in seven years is remarkable,” director of athletics Josh Morton said.

Adding to the teams’ successes, Micko was recognized as the 2022-2023 NSIC Coach of the Year. 

According to Morton, Micko’s last day will be March 31, and a new head coach will be selected with the help of a hiring committee. 

“I’m excited to find the next leader for our men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs, and because of the work Lindsie put in, we’re going to find a great coach,” Morton said. 

Swimmers said they were initially shocked by Micko’s announcement but were understanding of their coach’s decision. 

“She’s so used to always putting herself last and making sure that everybody else was getting what they needed that I’m glad she’s finally getting this to ensure she’s giving herself what she needs,” junior Molly Lienemann said.  

Sophomore Jackson Dircks said he hopes the new coach will be versatile and adaptable to each swimmer’s strengths and weaknesses.

“That’s the one thing we all really want to see, is someone who can coach every aspect of swimming,” Dircks said. 

Dircks also said he would like to see Micko’s tenacity for recruiting to be mirrored in the new coach. 

“One thing Lindsie is really underrated in is she was an amazing recruiter,” Dircks said. “I think probably everyone on our team could probably be at a DI school right now, but instead they went to a DII Augustana because Lindsie was so good at recruiting.” 

According to da Rocha Borin, Micko had already reached out to him before he began seriously considering Augustana. He said feeling wanted by Micko is the reason he chose to swim at Augustana. 

“We chose Augstana because of her,” da Rocha Borin said. “All of the team, the 63 athletes, are here because of her.”

According to many of the athletes, Micko’s confidence in her athletes gave them more confidence in their own abilities. Da Rocha Borin said he can recall a moment from last year’s GLIAC Conference Championships when he was doubting himself. 

“My whole life, I had coaches who put me down, and then she looked at me and said, ‘You can win the two fly,’” da Rocha Borin said. “That created confidence in me to go there and be the champion.”

Dircks also noted he cut three to four seconds off of his 100 backstroke due to Micko’s coaching. 

“I’ve swam the best under her that I ever have,” Dircks said. 

Other students said they will miss the investment Micko made towards her many student-athletes. 

“Meets are kind of chaotic, but she really does her best in trying to watch everybody’s races, giving you positive feedback and also constructive feedback,” Lienemann said. 

Many of Micko’s athletes have also expressed their gratitude for their coach. 

“She helped me fulfill a dream of swimming in college, and I’m going to be really grateful for that forever, but I’m glad she’s doing what she needs to do,” sophomore Colleen Lawrence said. 

According to Lienemann, Micko’s coaching has made athletes feel valued, appreciated and passionate about the sport they play.

Micko has also expressed her gratitude and pride for her athletes and said she was proud to have worked with great teams.

While Micko said her next career will not involve coaching, she’ll still be close to the sport. Micko’s last Augustana coaching appearance will be during the NCAA Division II Championships from March 8-11.

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