Bridgette Alexander Returns to Kentucky as Swimming & Diving Assistant Coach

Bridgette Alexander uk kentucky
Photo Courtesy: Kentucky Athletics

Former University of Kentucky swimmer and team captain Bridgette Alexander, who served as the Wildcats’ volunteer assistant in 2019-20, will return to Lexington during the 2021-22 season as an assistant coach.

“We are incredibly proud to welcome back such a distinguished alum of our program,” said UK head coach Lars Jorgensen. “Bridgette has a bright future in coaching, and we are thrilled to have her join our staff.”

Alexander spent the 2020-21 season as an assistant coach at the University at Buffalo, guiding the Bulls to their first Mid-American Conference Championship title in program history by edging out seven-time reigning champion Akron by just seven points.

Buffalo swimmers amassed 18 medals at the conference meet – including eight golds – and broke seven school records. A program-high 10 Bulls brought home All-MAC honors, with six student-athletes earning First Team All-MAC distinctions and four landing on the second team. The Bulls also collected four major conference awards.

bridgette-alexander-tyr-pro-indy-2018-3022-e1530288039408

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Alexander helped lead Bulls junior Toni Naccarella to her first NCAA Championship appearance in 2021, marking the program’s first swimmer to qualify for the national meet since 2017. Buffalo also had a perfect 5-0 record throughout the dual meet season.

Prior to her stint at Buffalo, Alexander served as the volunteer assistant coach at UK during the 2019-20 season. The women’s team finished third at the 2020 SEC Championships with 987.5 points and had 10 swimmers earn an invitation to the NCAA Championships in a combined 23 events, which were all school records at the time.

The Wildcat men also had an outstanding 2019-20 campaign with Alexander on staff, breaking seven school records at the conference championships en route to placing seventh with a former program-high 724 points. Five swimmers earned invitations to the NCAA Championships, the most the program had qualified since 2010.

“Joining UK as a part of the coaching staff has been nothing short of a dream come true for me in my professional career. I have bled blue for the last eight years as an athlete, and I can’t wait to continue giving my 110% to the program that shaped the person I am today, now at a greater capacity,” said Alexander. “I can’t thank Lars enough for giving me this opportunity to work with him and his incredible staff, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish as a team.”

A standout swimmer for the Wildcats from 2014-18 where she was a two-time team captain, Alexander was a four-time NCAA qualifier and earned All-America Honorable Mention honors four times. The backstroke specialist was an 11-time SEC Championship finalist, recording a pair of sixth-place finishes in the 100 and 200 back as a senior.

Alexander was named to the All-SEC First Team each of her four years in the blue and white and was on the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2015. She was UK’s NCAA Woman of the Year nominee in 2018 and still owns three top-10 times in program history.

bridgette-alexander-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

A member of the 2017-18 U.S. National Team, Alexander is no stranger to the big stage as she has competed at both the national and international levels. She earned bronze in the 200-meter back at the 2017 World University Games in Taipei City, Taiwan, and was a finalist in that event at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016.

The Milton, Wisc. native graduated from Kentucky in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. Alexander was named to the SEC Honor Roll from 2015-18 where she also earned NCAA Scholar All-American honors. In 2019, she earned her master’s in sport leadership from UK.

The 2020-21 season was one of the history books for the Kentucky women’s team, culminating with the Wildcats winning their first-ever SEC title with a program-record 1,124 points under Jorgensen. At the conference meet, the Wildcats collected 12 medals, including three gold, three silver, and six bronze, in addition to breaking five school records. The 800 freestyle relay team also combined to give UK their first-ever SEC relay title.

A school-record 14 UK women were invited to the 2021 NCAA Championships, besting the previous record of 10 and tying for the third-most swimmers invited that season behind Virginia and Florida. Those 14 Wildcats combined for 35 entries total, which was also a school record.

UK finished 11th with 152 points at NCAAs, marking their best team finish in school history as well as the most points scored, and also their fourth-straight year in the top-15. Kentucky collected 23 All-America honors – eight First Team and 15 Honorable Mention – yet another school record.

The UK men also saw success during the 2020-21 campaign. The Wildcat men finished seventh at the 2021 SEC Championships with 759 points, the highest score in program history. Two swimmers and three divers were invited to compete at the NCAA Championships for a combined 10 individual entries, including the first male freshman to earn a bid since 2013.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.