Suzanne Yee, a veteran in the coaching ranks and former student-athlete at California, is entering her fourth season as the assistant coach of the Princeton women's swimming and diving team. After two straight seasons of leading top sprinters to the NCAA Championships, she received Honorable Mention in the 2012 CollegeSwimming.com Assistant Coach of the Year competition.
Her third season, however, may have been her most memorable. After helping recruit a nationally ranked class, Yee helped guide the Tigers to the 2013 Ivy League championship in an upset of undefeated Harvard. Her freshman class featured 12 different swims that broke into the Top 5 all-time at Princeton, including several critical ones during the Ivy League Championships.
She also earned her first All-America honor at Princeton, as junior sprinter Lisa Boyce earned All-America honorable mention in the 100 free at the 2013 Ivy League Championships. Under Yee's tutelage, Boyce has won seven Ivy League individual titles in the last three seasons, including all three she entered in both the 2012 and 2013 championships.
In her first year, she helped Princeton to an undefeated regular season and a wire-to-wire victory in the 2011 Ivy League Championship meet. Sprinter Megan Waters was named Swimmer of the Meet after sweeping her three individual events, and she went on to compete at NCAAs.
Two seasons ago, Boyce swept the 50 free, 100 free and 100 back, and she also qualified to compete at the NCAA Championships. Both were among a handful of Tigers who competed at the Olympic Trials over the summer, and both wrote the nomination for Yee that helped her earn the 2012 coaching honor.
“I’m honored to have Suzanne join our Princeton family,” Teeter said upon hiring Yee during the summer of 2010. “She brings an amazing background of experience that could easily make her a head coach anywhere in the country. I am so pleased that this coach search drew so many talented coaches from across the country. It’s a true credit to our program, our alumni who have built this reputation of excellence and to this top-ranked university.
“Suzanne’s background from Cal is a perfect fit for our athletes who chose to balance great academics with a great swimming program,” Teeter added. “I’m excited to work along side of her and introduce her to our family of tradition. I know she’ll be a great addition.”
Yee came from UNC-Wilmington, where she served as the primary distance coach for both the men’s and women’s programs. During her brief time with the Seahawks, she helped the men win a Colonial Athletic Association title and the women earn its first NCAA qualification in school history. The women also finished second in the conference and earned multiple top-three conference finishes.
“I am honored and excited to become a part of the Princeton swimming family,” Yee said. “Princeton's reputation in the academic arena, as well as its continued success and rich tradition in the pool, is second to none. I believe that developing a well-rounded student-athlete is the most important part of collegiate coaching, and Princeton is a place where I feel this can be achieved. I am looking forward to meeting the team, getting the season started, and working on a daily basis with Coach Susan Teeter, whom I have the utmost respect for, and has helped make this program what it is today.”
Yee, who worked with two club programs, including once as a head coach, spent most of her coaching career at Washington State. She coached a 2008 Lithuanian Olympian, an Australian national champion, a U.S. Olympic Trial finalist and a World University Games semifinalist; those were among the handful of collegiate honorees, including two All-Americas, six NCAA qualifiers and 13 individual school record holders.
She helped Washington State to a pair of Top 40 finishes and a No. 1 finish in overall team GPA. She helped the Cougars to their third victory ever over Washington and helped the program earn more than 50 NCAA consideration standards.
Yee came to Washington State after spending seven years with the University of California swimming program. During that time, the Golden Bears improved from being a 28th place team to finishing fourth at the 2000 NCAA Championships. Suzanne began her career at California as a student-athlete in 1994 and competed until shoulder surgeries forced her to retire in 1995. During the remainder of her stint at California, she worked with the team as a volunteer assistant coach while finishing her undergraduate and graduate degrees. As a volunteer assistant coach, Yee worked with a team whose athletes set school records in 14 events and broke world records in the 200-meter medley relay and 50-meter backstroke. She also aided in the coaching of four swimmers who qualified for the 2000 Olympic Games.
Yee has had head coaching experience at the Miramonte Swim Club in Moraga, Calif., where she worked with over 200 swimmers. She also served as interim head coach at Washington State during the spring and summer of 2002. In addition, she has worked with several other top coaches while participating in a variety of swimming camps and clinics, including the University of Texas, Longhorn Swim Camp and the University of California, Berkeley Golden Bear Swim Camp.
In June of 2004, Yee was one of 24 graduates of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy in Wilmington, North Carolina, and in July of 2005, she graduated from the first-ever NCAA Women's Coaches Academy Dimension 2 program in Denver, Colorado. The program gives female coaches the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of coaching, management issues, principles of marketing, networking, media skills and other issues involved in women's athletics such as Title IX and the legal issues of coaching.
A 1997 graduate of California in history, Yee went on to earn her master's degree from California in education in 2000 and wrote her thesis on the subject of collegiate recruiting.