Kim Brackin recently completed her sixth season as the Texas head women's swimming and diving coach. She officially took over her UT position on May 5, 2006.
In the 2011-12 season, Brackin led Texas to a ninth place finish at the NCAA Championships with 20 All-American honors and six honorable mention All-American places. The team also broke three school records at the meet in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay. Senior Karlee Bispo was among the top individual scorers at the meet with the seventh-most points. The team earned second place at the Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo. after posting a 6-1 regular season record in dual meets. During the regular season Bispo matched the Big 12 record with four Swimmer of the Week honors. Leah Gingrich also claimed a Swimmer of the Week award.
Texas also tied for the most Academic All-Big 12 selections with 17 in 2011-12 and earned Scholar All-American status from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.
Brackin's 2010-11 Longhorns captured the Big 12 Championship and placed sixth at the NCAA Championships held at UT's Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Brackin was selected as the Big 12 Conference Women's Swimming Coach of the Year and was named the Women's Swimming Coach of the Meet at the Big 12 Championships.
Under Brackin's tutelage, Karlee Bispo was selected as the Big 12 Conference Women's Swimmer of the Year after recording three top-five individual finishes at the NCAA Championships. Bispo, the Big 12 Championships' Women's Swimmer of the Meet, claimed Big 12 titles in all three of her individual events - the 200 IM, 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle - and helped the Horns win all four relays in which she swam. Bispo also earned a place on the Capital One Academic All-America Team.
Laura Sogar shattered her school record in the 200 breaststroke multiple times during the 2010-11 season and later claimed the school mark in the 100 breaststroke, as she earned All-America honors in both events at the NCAA Championships. Additionally, UT set new school records in the 200 freestyle relay and the 200 and 400 medley relays.
Brackin's 2008-09 Longhorns produced the first Big 12 Championship during her Texas tenure and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Freshman Kathleen Hersey led an assault on the school record book that resulted in 14 new school marks. The 2009 Big 12 Conference Swimmer of the Year and Freshman of the Year, Hersey broke six individual school records and had a hand in breaking four relay records.
Freshman Karlee Bispo rewrote UT's long-standing school marks in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events, and senior Hee-Jin Chang set a new school mark in the 50 freestyle. The Longhorns also rewrote all five school relay records.
Brackin's second season at UT ended with a 14th place team finish at the 2008 NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Sophomore Susana Escobar garnered All-America honors with a seventh-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle before picking up an honorable mention All-America certificate by placing 10th in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Junior Hee-Jin Chang added honorable mention All-America honors by taking 14th in the 50 freestyle.
Two of Brackin's relays - the 200 and 800 freestyle relays - also chalked up honorable mention All-America honors. Texas added a second-place finish at the Big 12 Championships, and Escobar collected her first conference title when she captured the 1,650-yard freestyle.
Brackin completed her first season at Texas by leading the Longhorns to a sixth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships. Senior Elizabeth Tinnon and sophomore Alexi Spann secured individual All-America finishes by placing fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 200-yard breaststroke. Tinnon added a third-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. Tinnon became the first Longhorn to break the one-minute mark in the latter event when she clocked 59.96 at the 2006 Texas Invitational.
Each of Texas' five relays garnered All-America or honorable mention All-America accolades, with the 200- and 400-medley relays of seniors Connie Brown, Tinnon and Katie Robinson and sophomore Hee-Jin Chang leading the way with seventh- and fifth-place finishes. Texas picked up honorable mention All-America efforts from the 200-, 400- and 800-freestyle relays as well as honorable mention All-America individual recognition for Spann (100 breaststroke), senior Leah Avilla (100 breaststroke), Robinson (100- and 200-butterfly) and Brown (100 backstroke).
Lifted by new meet records in the 200 medley relay and the 200 butterfly, Texas nearly captured the Big 12 Conference Championship but fell one point shy of earning a share of the title. Brown, Tinnon, Robinson and Chang began the meet with a new meet-record time of 1:38.36 in the 200 medley relay, and Robinson closed the meet with a new Big 12 meet record in the 200 butterfly at 1:57.26.
Brackin coached at Auburn University from 1997-2005, working daily with both the men's and women's swimming programs. While at Auburn, she was part of seven NCAA Championships - three by the Tiger women and four by the Tiger men's swim squad (2000, 2003-05). In her last three years at Auburn, she served as women's co-head coach. Since Brackin's arrival as an assistant, the women's team progressively improved, moving from an 11th-place NCAA finish in 1999 to the Tigers' first-ever women's NCAA Championship in 2002.
With Brackin as women's co-head coach, the Tigers repeated as NCAA national champions in 2003 and 2004 and placed second nationally in 2005. Additionally, Auburn earned three straight SEC titles from 2003-05. Brackin was the 2002 NCAA Women's Swimming Co-Head Coach of the Year and the 2003 SEC Swimming Co-Head Coach of the Year.
Prior to serving as the Tigers' women's co-head coach, Kim was an Auburn assistant in both the men's and women's swim programs from 1997-2000 before being named assistant head women's coach (2000-03).
"We are delighted to have Kim join our staff," said UT Women's Athletics Director Christine Plonsky upon Brackin's hiring. She brings championship experience, a high level of energy and impressive credentials to this job. She built the women's program at Auburn and she did it with integrity and with quality people. She knows the environment we live in and the high goals set. Many, many individuals have validated the high qualities that Kim displayed during our search and interview process.
"Kim is a winner who has recruited and trained elite student-athletes who have maximized their performances in championship efforts, and she has done it with passion and connection to her athletes, important characteristics when coaching this age-group population," Plonsky continued. "There is a strong platform here for continued success in our women's swimming and diving team, and we feel very positive about the future of our program."
"I am thrilled that The University of Texas administration is confident that I can lead the women's swimming program to the highest levels possible, both athletically and academically," stated Brackin. "During the interview process, they presented me with high goals to meet, and I am excited for the opportunity. My hope is to follow in the footsteps of (baseball coach) Augie Garrido, (football coach) Mack Brown and (women's track and field coach) Bev Kearney - those who have led Texas to its most recent national championships."
Brackin came to Texas from USA Swimming, where she worked with the organization's DartSwim eCoach program, which is an innovative video technique analysis service. Provided exclusively by DartSwim, eCoach allows swimmers to have video of their technique analyzed by some of the top coaches in the United States.
Known for her extensive international coaching experience, Brackin has mentored seven Olympians (winners of seven medals), seven World Championship swimmers (winning nine medals, including four gold) and 12 World University Games swimmers (who earned 15 medals, including six gold and five silver).
Brackin was appointed once again to coach the Zimbabwe national team at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She served as the head swimming coach for Zimbabwe in the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2005 and 2007 World Championships. Heading a two-member team, Brackin helped bring the South African nation its first Olympic swimming medal as former Auburn great Kirsty Coventry, a native of Harare, Zimbabwe, captured three Olympic medals.
Under Brackin's tutelage, Coventry went on to win one gold and three silver medals and break two world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Coventry has gone on to set five world records in the 100 backstroke (long-course meters) 200 backstroke (short-course meters and long-course meters), the 200 IM (short-course meters) and the 400 IM (short-course meters).
Brackin also was the head coach for Panama at the 2003 World Championships. As a member of the USA Swimming coaching staff, she was an assistant coach for the 2003 World University Games in Dague, Korea, the head assistant women's coach for the 2002 US National Junior Team, and a National Select Camp coach (2002).
While at Auburn, Brackin coached some of the top swimmers in the world, including Coventry, the 2004 Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalist and two-time world champion; Maggie Bowen, former world champion and former American record holder in the 200 IM; and Margaret Hoelzer, 2003 and 2005 World Championship silver medalist. Her Auburn swimmers earned 13 individual and five relay titles at the NCAAs, earned four SEC Swimmer of the Year awards and 54 SEC swimming crowns. Academically, her athletes claimed one CoSIDA Academic All-America award, eight Swimming Coaches Association of America All-Academic honors and 76 SEC Academic Honor Roll awards.
Prior to Auburn, Brackin was assistant women's swim coach at Northwestern University for two years (1994-96) and also served as men's and women's assistant swim coach at Davidson College (1992-93) and Ithaca College (1991-92).
Brackin received her B.A. in psychology from The University of Albany in 1991 where she swam for four years under her maiden name (Kim McDonald). She then received her master's degree in physical education with concentration in sport psychology from Springfield (Mass.) College in June of 1993.
Brackin and her husband, Steven, have two children, Travis and Elly.