Ball State University and Marshall University announced the hiring of new head coaches but the two Mid-Major schools looked in different directions to find their new leaders. Marshall looked for the big name and got it in Minnesota’s Bill Tramel. Ball State, meanwhile, has looked to an up-and-comer in Kristy Castillo, previously the assistant at Akron University.
Tramel takes over for Russell Hunt, who was dismissed in March after an Arrest while Castillo replaces Laura Seibold-Caudill, who retired as the Ball State women's swimming and diving coach after thirty-three years at the helm.
Tramel’s hire is encouraging for a Thundering Herd program that has opted for the low-cost, low-experience option in its previous two hires. Not this time, in hiring Tramel, Marshall has signaled that it intends to take swimming seriously as it moves into its second season of Conference USA competition.
“Bill brings a wealth of experience to this position”, said Hamrick. “He has been a part of several championship teams during his career and we look for that to continue at Marshall.”
At Minnesota, Tramel coordinated Minnesota’s recruiting efforts, efforts that largely centered around finding local gems in state and adding often overlooked up-and-comers. Tramel’s coaching resume includes stints at Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Missouri.
Castillo’s resume, while not as extensive as Tramel’s, includes over a decade of experience- as both an athlete and coach – in the Mid-American Conference. Castillo was the Akron assistance for the past nine seasons and swam for the Zips prior to that.
"We are excited to have Coach Castillo on board," Bill Scholl said. "She is an energetic coach with quality experience. Her experience and personality are a good fit for us at Ball State. We look forward to her beginning work at Ball State."
She joins a Cardinal program that is coming off of nearly a dozen school records and largely looking up as it heads into 2012-13. Ball State moved up two spots in the MAC this season, one of those teams being Castillo’s alma mater.
"I have a passion for coaching and being surrounded by the student-athlete experience," Castillo says. "I approach every day and every situation with an open mind and never underestimate the ability of the student-athlete. I look forward to developing quality student-athletes at Ball State. I feel fortunate to be the head coach for such an established program with a strong tradition of excellence in the classroom and in the pool. It is an honor to be named the head coach at Ball State and I would like the thank the athletics department for this opportunity."