Doak Finch joins Penn State staff after 11 seasons at Virginia
Liz McMillan enters her sixth season as an assistant swimming and diving coach in Happy Valley. A freestyle specialist during her time at the University of Connecticut, McMillan has the reputation as one of the top recruiters in the nation. A four-time Big East finalist while on campus in Storrs, Conn., McMillian made stops at Virginia Tech and Florida State before landing on the University Park campus for the 2008-09 season.
In her fifth season on staff, McMillan helped 11 different swimmers earn All-American honors at the NCAA Championships and guided the men's and women's squads to top-40 finishes at the NCAA Championships for the third straight season. McMillan helped the men's squad finish 20th and the women's team grab a 29th place showing at the NCAA Championships.
A host of Nittany Lions etched their names into the record books with All-America efforts at the championships, as four men's swimmers earned 10 All-America honors and seven women's competitors brought home 10 All-America certificates. Nate Savoy claimed individual honorable mention All-American honors in the 100 and 200 backstroke, while also helping two relay team's earn first team All-America status. Merritt Krawczyk finished her career with honorable mention All-America accolades in the 200 IM and Megan Siverling claimed her first career honorable mention All-America honors in the 1,650 freestyle. A pair of relay teams also earned All-America status for the women's program.
During her first four seasons in Happy Valley, McMillan helped at least one Nittany Lion advance to the NCAA Championships each year and seen the women's team finish among the top-40 three times and the men's squad grab top-30 finishes each of the past two seasons at the national meet. On an individual level, 21 of her pupils garnered All-America honors on 54 occasions.
During her tenure at Florida State, McMillan coordinated all recruiting, administered the middle-distance training group, organized equipment orders through Nike and tracked the progress of incoming swimmers. She coached the women's swimming team to an Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 2005-06 and the men's squad to an ACC title in 2006-07. McMillan also oversaw four Seminole swimmers who were named NCAA All-Americans, including South African Romy Altmann, who placed seventh in the 200 backstroke at the 2007 NCAA Championships.
McMillan previously worked at Virginia Tech as an assistant swim coach from August 2002 through June 2004. She coordinated all recruiting, oversaw practice groups, organized all travel logistics and managed meet entries.
McMillan was a Big East finalist in the 200 and 500 freestyle events in 2000 and 2001 and ended her career as the University of Connecticut record holder in the 500 freestyle. She was a member of the 400 and 800 freestyle relays that set the school record during her time with the Huskies, as well.
McMillan earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education and math in 2001 and obtained her master's in elementary education from Connecticut in 2002. She graduated summa cum laude and earned numerous academic honors including Big East Academic All-Star (1998-01), New England Scholar (1998-00) and National Golden Key Honor Society (1999-01).
Liz and her husband, Colin, who is an assistant coach for the Nittany Lions men's volleyball program, reside in State College with their son, Kieran.