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Swimming/Diving Coaching Staff
Sonya Porter
Director of Operations
Coach Info:
Position: Director of Operations

In her first season with Arizona State, former Alabama assistant coach Sonya Porter joined the ASU staff in July of 2012.

Porter, who has previously coached at Alabama, Colorado State, Northwestern, West Virginia and Louisville, will bring over 20 years of coaching experience to the Sun Devil swimming and diving staff. Porter will join the staff as the Sun Devil's new director of operations.

"Dorsey [Tierney-Walker] is one of the best coaches our there with impressive credentials at every stop in her career - athlete and coach," said Porter. "I am thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of her staff, she knows what it takes to succeed, and cares about the athlete now and for their future. ASU has everything in place for success and I can't imagine a better environment in which to be."

During her most recent coaching stint as the associate head coach of Alabama, Porter rallied the Tide to seven top-25 finishes. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, the men's team saw consecutive top-15 finishes under Porter.

Porter's list of accomplishments as associate head coach of the Crimson Tide goes on as she coached 24 athletes totaling 93 All-American honors, including Vlad Polyakov, a 12-time All-American and 2006 FINA World Champion the breaststroke as well as the 2005 and 2007 NCAA titleholder.

In her early days at Alabama, Porter was part of the 1994 coaching staff when both the men and the women finished for the first time since 1986 in the top 10.

After graduating from Alabama in 1996, Porter enrolled at Colorado State University where she worked towards a master's degree in cardiopulmonary physiology and exercise science and served as a volunteer assistant.

Porter joined Northwestern University as assistant coach in September of 1997. As a Wildcat, and leader of the sprint crew, Porter saw three-consecutive top-10 NCAA finishes. While coaching, Porter worked with Amy Balcerzak-Field and Courtney Allen who each took a second place NCAA finish in the 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle, respectively. In Porter's three years as a Wildcat, Porter coached 16 All-Americans, 10 Academic All-Americans and 16 Big-10 Champions.

Following Northwestern University, Porter continued to coach at West Virginia in 2001 to help lead the team to through their best run in 15 years. Porter went on to become head coach of the University of Louisville's women's team in March of 2001 and added the men's team a year later.

Porter's experience extends passed NCAA competition. She has coached U.S. National Team members Allen, Balcerzak-Field and Ashley Mosher. Balcerzak was fourth in the 100 meter breaststroke at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials and holds the American record in the 50 meter breaststroke and high point scorer in the 2000-01 World Cup Circuit.

In the 1999 World University Games, Porter's athletes earned five gold medals. She has also served as a member of the Swiss National Team coaching staff in both 1997 and 2002, coaching at the 1997 World Championships and the 2002 European Championships. Additionally she was a member of the swimming staff for the Austrian National Team, where she coached at the World Championships in 2008 and European Championships in 2006, and a coach for the Romanian National Team, coaching at the 2004 and 2008 World Championships and the 2004 European Championships.

Notable foreign athletes Porter has coached include: Hunor Mate, the Austrian record holder in the 50 and 100 breaststroke (2006); Anne Poleska of Germany took first place a European Championships (2004) and second place at World Championships (2005); Stefan Ghrghel, finalist in the Athens Olympics and semi-finalist in the Beijing Olympics for Romania; Kristel Vourna, current record holder in the 100 fly for Greece; and Mark Randall, the 2005 US Open Champion in the 1500-meter freestyle and 2005 Commonwealth games from South Africa

Porter began her coaching experience in 1991, as an assistant coach for the club swim team Victoria Park/ Carlisle S.A.. In 1993, Porter became head coach of the Wooden Valley Swimming Club.

Porter earned her B.A. in physiology and human performance with a minor in biology graduating Cum Laude from Alabama in 1996. The Australia native was awarded a fellowship for outstanding research at Colorado State.

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