Christopher Woodard | Head Coach
Christopher `Woody' Woodard enters his ninth season as head coach of the Colorado State women's swimming & diving program in 2019-20. He does so with a new coaching staff, bringing Chris Bergere on board as the head diving coach and Lisa Ginder as his top assistant.
In 2018-19, the Rams came in seventh out of 10 teams at the Mountain West Championships, highlighted by Maddie Ward's conference title in the 200-yard breaststroke. On the season, she set three school records (100 and 200 breaststroke, 200 individual medley) and was part of the 200 and 400 medley relay teams which established updated school standards.
The Rams placed fifth in the 2018 Mountain West Championships -- matching the team's result from 2017, which was its best since 2009.
CSU finished the 2017-18 season with an 8-3 dual meet record, its best since the 2009-10 season. This included a 6-0 stretch in dual meets in the second half of the season, including a sweep at a quad-meet in San Diego over MW foes San Diego State, New Mexico and Fresno State.
Haley Rowley won MW Swimmer of the Meet and MW Swimmer of the Year honors in 2018 after taking wins in three events at the 2018 MW Championship. In total, five Rams earned all-conference honors in 2018: Rowley, Rowan Hauber, Tonicia Thomas, Marie Goodwyn and Maddie Ward.
Goodwyn and Rowley each earned CSCAA Scholar All-America recognition and the squad again earned All-America honors.
After the 2017-18 season, the swim & dive team received the prestigious Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for earning a multi-year APR in the top 10 percent of all NCAA programs in its sport. Swimming & diving's multi-year distinction reflects its perfect APR of 1,000 for the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years. CSU earned a perfect APR score in 2017-18.
The Rams set 10 individual and relay program records during the 2016-17 season, effectively putting together a season for the CSU record books. Six Rams earned All-MW honors in 2017, including Jenna Beaury, Marie Goodwyn, Rowan Hauber, Haley Rowley, Tonicia Thomas and Katie Kicklighter.
Under Woodard's watch, the Rams set nine school records and in 2013, and Woodard helped coach Breann Fuller, who was a Mountain West champion in the 200 Butterfly and finished in the top 25 in both the 100 and 200 Butterfly at the NCAA Championships.
Woodard, a former assistant coach for swimming and water polo at Colorado State from 2000-05, returned to CSU after six years at North Carolina State, where he was the associate head men's swimming coach and an assistant for the women's program.
In Woodard's 18 years of experience, he has assisted in coaching Olympic gold medalists Amy Van Dyken (2000) and Cullen Jones (2008), and was the primary coach for 14-time Paralympic gold medalist Erin Popovich. Van Dyken and Popovich are former Rams.
During his tenure with NC State, Woodard's swimmers compiled 58 school records, and the women's team placed 29th at the 2009 NCAA Championships. Both the men's and women's squads were named scholastic All-America teams in 2010. Jones, before winning the gold medal in 2008, was the 2006 NCAA champion in the 50 Freestyle.
While at CSU, Woodard helped coach the Rams to a 37-13 dual-meet record from 2000-05 and produced five Mountain West champions with 14 school records. CSU finished in the top three in the MW each year from 2001-04, including a 10-0 record and a regular-season championship in 2004, the same season the team was an NCAA qualifier. Woodard served as a volunteer assistant with the Rams from 1998-2000 while obtaining his master's degree.
Away from the pool, Woodard's teams have set the standard in the classroom. The team posted a perfect Academic Performance Rate for the fifth consecutive tine in the 2017-18 season, landing the Rams as one of the top 10 programs pecentagewise in the country. In the spring of 2019, his team once again garnered Team Scholar All-American honors with a cumulative 3.23 GPA. Eleven team members were recognized by the Mountain West as Scholar Athletes, all of them carrying a 3.61 GPA or higher.
Before his time at the university level, Woodard served as the head coach for the Shawmut Aquatic Club, from 1996-98. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he attended Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., graduating in 1995. He earned his first coaching job after graduation as an assistant swim coach with Hartwick (1995-96), where he recruited three future All-Americans.
Woodard is the fifth head coach in program history. He replaced long-time head coach John Mattos, who retired after the 2010-11 season, his 31st at CSU.
Woodard is married to wife Holly, and together they have a son, Gabriel, and daughter, Elliot.
Chris Bergere | Head Diving Coach
Chris Bergere joined the staff as the head diving coach in July 0f 2019, a mentor whose career spans four decades of success.
He has spent 34 years as a collegiate head coach with a national champion on the platform part his resume, as well as leading national teams.
"We are extremely fortunate to have Chris Bergere coming on board with the Rams," head coach Christopher Woodard said. "Chris is a proven developer of talent and a high-caliber recruiter. He impressed our staff with his professional demeanor, the breadth of his knowledge and his ability to relate to administrators, student-athletes and recruits alike. We have confidence that under Chris's guidance our program is going to reach new heights in the Mountain West and on the national stage."
Bergere comes to Fort Collins after spending the past nine years at Yale, where he had multiple competitors qualify for NCAA Zones and win Ivy League championships. He served in the same role at Michigan for eight seasons, guiding one diver to the NCAA title on the platform. He spent his first 17 years as a head diving coach at his alma mater, LaSalle, where as a competitor, he qualified for NCAA Zones all four seasons.
In international competition, he has coached the United States' team at the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia and at the 2003 games in Daegu, South Korea. In 2004, he served as a coach at the US Olympic Trials and judged the 2008 US Olympic Trials. In 2000, he was the Junior Olympic coach in Munich, Germany.
Lisa Ginder | Assistant Swim Coach
Coach Christopher Woodard added Lisa Ginder to the staff as the assistant swimming coach in July of 2019. She joins the program with seven years of collegiate coaching experience, the past three as an assistant at Fordham University. At Colorado State, she will work as the program's recruiting coordinator while coaching primarily the distance individual medley and freestyle swimmers.
Ginder helped Fordham finish in the top half of the Atlantic 10 Conference and take down more than 25 school records. Following the 2017 season, she was awarded the Jean Freeman Scholarship, given annually to six assistant coaches whose contributions have brought recognition to their program. The scholarship allowed her to attend the CSCAA Convention and Clinic and the CSCAA Coach Academy.
She spent two years with Bryant University, serving as a graduate assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator. In the 2015-16 season, the Bryant men's team had its best performance ever at the MAAC Championships, placing third as a team, collecting 11 medals and breaking all but five school records.
She is a 2014 graduate of the University of Denver, helping the Pioneers win consecutive Sunbelt Conference titles in 2011 and 2012, serving as team captain her senior year. A four year All-American in high school, she won the Sunbelt Conference title in the 500-yard freestyle in 2008-09, setting a conference mark which stood for three years. She held the DU record 500 free, hitting NCAA 'B' marks in that event, as well as the 400 individual medley and 200 butterfly.
Ginder has also served as a volunteer swim coach at the University of North Texas, helping to run the distance practices. In addition, she has worked as a coach at the club level with a handful of teams.