LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall swim coach Ben Delia announced the addition of Melissa Gates to the Diplomat coaching staff for the upcoming 2016-17 season. She replaces Tom Eickelberg, who became the head coach at the State University of New York at New Paltz in July after spending the 2015-16 season at F&M.
"I am excited to welcome Melissa Gates as the newest member of the F&M staff," said Delia. "As one of the area's fastest swimmers in recent history, Melissa has competed at some of the highest levels of our sport and trained under some of the biggest names in coaching. She will be able to use her elite level experience and knowledge to benefit our men and women right away. "
Gates, a native of nearby Leola, Pa., graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Studies. During her time as a member of the Vulcan's swim team, Gates was a three-time Division II national champion, 10-time Division II All-American, and at the time of her graduation, held the NCAA Division II record in the 50-yard freestyle.
Since graduation, Gates has continued her swimming career, appearing at the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and training with elite groups at SwimMac Carolina and Trojan Swim Club.
She has also held numerous positions in her young coaching career, including stints as the head coach of the Midtown Athletic Club near Chicago and the Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She has also served as an assistant with the Rock Hill YMCA Rays in South Carolina.