SANTA CLARITA, CA – February 21, 2017 – Gabe Woodward, bronze medalist in the 4x100 meter freestyle at the 2004 Olympics, All-American swimmer and 2001 graduate of USC, joins The Master’s University to launch their first ever swimming and diving program for the Fall 2018 season. The team is already coming together and plans to use the 2017-2018 season as a strategic building and training year.
Athletic Director at Master’s U, Steve Waldeck said, “Establishing this program with Woodward, as our Director of Aquatics, is a huge win for our university. Gabe fully understands our culture and will be recruiting students to that end. His swimming resume and accomplishments speak for themselves and he will be a great addition to our athletic programs.” Jason Lezak, 4-time Olympian and 8-time medalist, said of Woodward, "I've known Gabe for over 15 years and been able to see him achieve success in many aspects of his life…I'm excited to see him do the same at The Master’s University as he starts a team that can compete for national championships and hopefully put a kid, like Gabe, on the Olympic team!"
The addition of Men’s and Women’s Aquatics brings continued excitement to an already flourishing athletic program offered through the university. In its inaugural season, the team will train at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center with its 50 meter x 25-yard competition pool and 25x25 meter dive pool, along with other aquatic facilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Master’s will soon be making its official application to become a member of the Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference --- a swimming only conference comprised of NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA institutions in the southwestern United States.
Having been trained under Olympic coaches Dave Salo and Mark Schubert, Keith Moore (head coach of Bakersfield Swim Club), and alongside other Olympic athletes, Jason Lezak and Larsen Jensen (2 time Olympian and 2 time medalist), Woodward looks forward to bringing that expertise and training to Master’s U. He is already actively pursuing 2017 recruits that demonstrate a desire to pursue their love for Christ while competing at the highest level in the sport.