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Liz Hinkleman was one of the youngest head coaches in Division I swimming at the University of Toledo, leading the Rockets to the 2012 MAC Championship before being named MAC Coach of the Year. A proven leader at her alma mater, Hinkleman is now a Buckeye. Ohio State women's swimming head coach Bill Dorenkott announced Hinkleman's hiring in the summer of 2012.
"Simply put, Liz Hinkleman is a winner," Dorenkott said. "Liz has enjoyed success as a student-athlete, assistant coach and, most recently, as a Division I collegiate head coach."
"Liz is respected by her peers and widely considered one of the rising stars in our profession. The Ohio State University is fortunate to be able to call her a Buckeye."
A UT swimmer from 2004-08, Hinkleman was a three-time MAC champion in the 200-yard freestyle relay, setting school and conference records. Hinkleman also served as team captain of the Rockets twice, earning the "Captain's Award" in 2007. She returned to Toledo in 2009 as an assistant coach for two seasons and helped the Rockets to their first MAC swimming title in program history in 2010 before claiming the program's second title as head coach this past season.
"It's an honor to work with such an accomplished athletic department and I am excited about joining the Buckeye family," Hinkleman said. "I look forward to working with Bill and the team to help them continue to improve and compete for a Big Ten championship, NCAA and international honors."
In the water in 2012, Hinkleman coached two student-athletes to the NCAA Championships, including Laura Lindsay, a two-time All-American and first team All-MAC selection who was Toledo's nominee this year for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. Overall, five UT swimmers earned first team All-MAC accolades, while two others were named second team All-MAC.
"What most impressed me about Liz is her commitment to excellence. Her student-athlete's have embraced excellence in their academic, athletic and social endeavors."
But she didn't just produced champions in the water. In two seasons, Hinkleman produced 11 Academic All-MAC honorees, while 13 earned Academic All-MAC Honorable Mention laurels. During her first season at the helm of the program, the Rockets produced their highest term grade-point average in program history, recording a 3.455 GPA during the fall semester. The program's Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the four-year period from 2006-07 through 2009-10 represented the highest mark since NCAA began tracking classroom progress in 2004.
Prior to being named head coach at Toledo, Hinkleman was the assistant swim coach at Lewis University in Chicago in 2008 and served as the coach for a club team at Lewis, the Academy Bullets, before returning to Toledo in January 2009.
Hinkleman is a native of Munster, Ind., and graduated from the University of with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy administration.
"We are at a critical point in our program's evolution," Dorenkott said. "We are fortunate to have Liz Hinkleman on board to empower our young women as they pursue their dreams."