Christina Sather named Lehigh’s swimming and diving coach

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Christina Sather, two-time NCAA Division II champion and eight-time All-American athlete, replaces Brian Bolstad as Lehigh’s diving coach during the 2019-2020 season. Sather is also earning her Master’s Degree at Lehigh. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Christina Sather, a two-time NCAA Division II champion and eight-time All-American athlete, has replaced Brian Bolstad as Lehigh’s diving coach to kick off the 2019-2020 season. 

Sather, a 2019 graduate from Clarion University, was the 2019 College Swimming Coaches Association of America Division II Women’s Diver of the Year, and has over a decade of diving experience. She knew she wanted to continue diving in some capacity while earning her Master’s degree at Lehigh. 

“The opportunity was too good to pass up,” Sather said. 

Sather found Lehigh after an alumnus contacted her coach at Clarion and suggested that she reach out and apply for the head coaching job. She was soon offered the position.

“She really knows what she’s talking about,” junior diver Tyler Keller said. “She comes from great programs and has tons of experience.”

Keller said Sather knows newer drills and has a more vocal, expressive style of coaching. Keller said it’s refreshing to be led by a younger coach — someone he feels he can relate to. 

Keller stressed the importance of former diving coach Bolstad’s impact on the Lehigh diving program and the successes to which he has led the team.

“Brian (Bolstad) was always nice and laid back,” Keller said. “He was unique and had his own way of doing things. I know that both he and Christina (Sather) want us to do our best.”

Keller said Bolstad was driven by the idea that if you want something, you need to put in the hours of work to attain it. Nothing worth having will ever come easy.

Bolstad retired as a Patriot League Champion for the women’s program and as the highest scoring coach for the men’s program in 18 years. After six years at Lehigh, he moved back to New York and is now teaching Spanish at the high school level.

“It’s always difficult to leave,” Bolstad said. “I’ll miss the athletes that I left behind. They all have bright futures ahead of them. My advice to Christina (Sather) is that she should have trust in their abilities.”

Sather said she is cautious about switching up the training regimen for her athletes. She said she wants to increase repetitions each practice, but doesn’t want to tire them out. 

However, she said she is very excited for the season to start. She said she recognizes that she will have increased responsibility, but feels ready to get started. 

“I’m excited to be in a team environment again, like I was at school,” Sather said. 

Aside from producing a successful diving team, Sather said she is focused on gaining the trust of her athletes, acclimating to her new environment and making new friends. She hopes to instill confidence and consistency in her team.

“I’m making them better people, not just better athletes,” she said.

Sather will begin her season as a new coach at the Brown and White meet Sept. 19-20.

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