Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

June 22, 2017

New Head Coaches Join Gymnastics, Diving Teams

Director of Athletics Heather Lyke announced the hires of two new head coaches last week: Samantha Snider has been selected to lead Pitt gymnastics, and Katie Hazelton takes over the diving team.

Samantha Snider

Samantha Snider

Snider becomes the third head coach in the history of the gymnastics program at Pitt, stepping into her first head coaching role after spending the previous nine seasons at the University of Arkansas.

“We are thrilled to welcome Samantha Snider as the next head women’s gymnastics coach of the University of Pittsburgh,” said Lyke. “Samantha is a dynamic leader who is full of passion and committed to building our gymnastics program the right way. As a former gymnast at Arkansas and current associate head coach, she will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program. She has been instrumental in building Arkansas into a nationally prominent program and is excited to bring her experiences to our program here at Pitt. We look forward to the positive impact she is going to have on our student-athletes’ lives here at Pitt.”

A former student-athlete and 2008 graduate of the University of Arkansas, Snider was promoted to associate head coach at Arkansas in August of 2016 after spending three seasons as an assistant coach and two seasons as the assistant head coach. Additionally, she served as the director of operations for the Razorbacks from 2009-11.

“I want to thank Heather and the entire athletic department for this opportunity,” said Snider. “I am honored to be the new head coach for the University of Pittsburgh gymnastics program. I am excited to build on the success of the program and I am eager to get started. I look forward to being on campus with the team and preparing for the upcoming season. Hail to Pitt!”

Snider takes over a gymnastics program that has seen significant growth, capturing an East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) title in 2016, its first-ever conference crown. In 2017, the Panthers claimed a victory over nationally-ranked West Virginia and saw a pair of gymnasts qualify to the regional meet.

Katie Hazelton

Katie Hazelton

Hazelton, a native of Harpenden, England, joins the Panthers diving team after four-and-a-half years as the head coach of the Duke Diving Club in Durham, N.C. During her time at the helm of the program, Hazelton guided the Duke Diving Club to unprecedented success.

During her reign, Duke divers won more than 10 national titles at youth levels and eight individuals went on to earn scholarships at NCAA top-ranked schools. In 2014, USA Diving recognized Duke Diving as its most improved club throughout the country.

“We are thrilled to welcome Katie to the Panther coaching staff,” said Lyke. “Katie brings solid knowledge and experience as a product of elite level diving and coaching. Her demeanor and focus on building great relationships with her athletes was evident during the interview process. We are confident she is going to help continue our swimming and diving program on the right trajectory.”

Prior to her coaching career in the United States, Hazelton spent time as the diving technical operations manager for the organizing committee for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. In this role, she spent a full year managing and organizing the diving events for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London, ensuring the event was conducted in accordance with international rules and regulations.

“I’m very excited to be named the diving coach at the University of Pittsburgh,” Hazelton said. “Throughout the interview process, I was extremely impressed and motivated by the administration’s ambitious vision for student-athlete development. I’m looking forward to transitioning into college coaching. Julian Krug has built a fantastic legacy, and I am eager to begin working with the student-athletes, John Hargis and Pitt’s staff to accomplish great things in the future. I also want to say how grateful I am to Heather Lyke, Jen Tuscano, Coach Hargis and the entire search committee for this opportunity.”

Hazelton replaces Julian Krug, who in July announced his plans to retire after 38 years leading the Panthers’ diving team.


Kelly Dumrauf,, 412-648-8240
R.J. Sepich,, 412-648-8240

Leave a Reply