May 17, 2001
Stanford University head synchronized swimming coach Gail Emery is resigning after three years on the job, athletic director Ted Leland announced today. Emery is stepping down from the position to"take a hiatus from coaching and be closer to home," she said.
"We were very honored to have Gail lead our synchronized swimming program over the past three years" Leland said. "She did a great job building and maintaining a program that is among the best in the nation. We wish her well in her future endeavors."
"I want to thank Stanford University, my athletes and collegues for making me feel part of the Cardinal family," Emery said. "I have many lifetime friends at Stanford that will be close to my heart."
Emery led Stanford to the 1999 U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Championships in her first year on The Farm, and guided the Cardinal to second place finishes in each of the last two seasons. This year alone, Emery produced the Collegiate Athlete of the Year (Shannon Montague), six All-Americans and six Academic All-Americans. Two of Emery's athletes, Lindsay Wigginton and Katie Norris, became the first Cardinal synchronized swimmers to earn a spot on the United States' World Championship Team.
Internationally, Emery is one of the most decorated coaches in the history of the sport. Recently, she was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame. She became the third synchronized swimming coach in history to be inducted.
Emery helped found the U.S. Synchronized Swimming National Team program in 1979, and has been a national team coach ever since. At the Olympic level, Emery was the Assistant Coach/Team Manager when the sport debuted in 1984, was the head coach in both 1988 and 1992, co-head coach in 1996 and assistant coach in 2000. In all, she has coached 15 Olympic gold medalists, three silver medalists, over 50 international champions and over 100 national event winners.