BYU names swimming-diving staff for 2012-13

PROVO, Utah — BYU swimming and diving head coach John Brooks has announced his coaching staff for the 2012-13 season. The staff includes several former BYU swimmers and assistant coaches.

Two new assistant coaches — Yolanda Bates and Deward Loose — join current coaches Keith Russell and Shari Skabeland to complete the swimming and diving staff. Bates will work with stroke swimmers, Loose will work with distance swimmers. Russell will continue to be the head diving coach on the swimming staff while Skabeland will continue to work with the sprint group.

“I am thrilled to have such an experienced coaching staff here at BYU,” Brooks said.  “All our the coaches have strong ties to BYU and it will be great to have them recruiting for our program.”

Bates, formerly Mendiola, swam breaststroke and individual medley while a swimmer at BYU. Originally from Mexico City, she was a member of Mexico’s national team from 1974 to 1980. Since graduating from BYU in public relations in 1982 and Spanish in 1984, Bates has coached youth swimmers in Logan, Utah. Many of Bates’ former high school students went on to swim for BYU, including four current BYU swimmers and Jake Taylor who competed at the NCAA Championships as a freshman for the Cougars and is currently serving a church mission to El Salvador.

Bates also received a master's degree in second language teaching in 2001 from Utah State.

Read more about Bates’ swimming career at BYU on her athlete profile page.

Loose worked as a graduate assistant for distance swimmers under recently retired coach Tim Powers from 2003-07. He graduated from BYU in 1987 with a degree in physical education and has coached the Lone Peak High School women’s swim team to three state championships, while teaching US history, American studies and AP US government and politics.

Loose has also coached HAST (Hilltop Aquatic Swim Team), a club team that had two swimmers who competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials — former BYU athletes Nicholas Tobler and Candice Smith—and two swimmers who have qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials—Smith and current Cougar Kimberly Welch Doroghian.

Read Loose's staff bio.

Skabelund has been an assistant coach for the BYU swimming team for 24 years. Prior to coming to BYU, Skabelund coached swimming at Springville High School and coached a club team. Skabelundswam at BYU under former coach Tim Powers before graduating in 1981 and holds the distinction of being the first female swimmer to complete four years of eligibility as a Cougar. As an athlete, Skabelund won region titles in the 100-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly. 

Read more about Skabelund’s swimming career at BYU on her athlete profile page.

BYU Hall of Famer Russell has collected 14 conference diving coach of the year awards and coached two divers who competed in the 2004 Olympic Games. Russell, a diving judge for the 2008 Olympics, also coached BYU’s Vanessa Thelin to an NCAA title. After graduating from BYU with a degree in business in 1973, Russell competed in the World Championships and coached a club team for 10 years. He returned to BYU in 1992 to coach diving.

Read more about Russell’s swimming career at BYU on his athlete profile page.