Middlebury's Jessica Broderick takes over as varsity head coach of the swimming program.
Westover was always a school Jessica Broderick, who grew up in Middlebury, knew about. A graduate of Pomperaug High in Southbury, where she was a multi-sport athlete, Jessica's now come home in a sense. A triathlete, Jessica took 2017 off from racing to focus on one of her other passions - coaching. This winter, she's come full circle as the new Westover varsity head swimming coach.
"I found my love for sports in this town .... so now I'm just back scoping out where the passion is in other athletes, and coaching – that is pretty fun for me," she said.
A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, where she was part of the Colorado Triathlon Team and studied Journalism, Jessica has been immersed in the world of racing - for most of her life. Her resume includes being a team member at Junior World Championships, U23 Worlds, Elite Worlds and FISU World University Games, and a World Cup silver medalist and a collegiate national champion.
"Sports is a huge part of my life and I think that's why coaching is so exciting for me," Jessica explained.
Prior to Westover, Jessica served as the head swim coach at Pomperaug, where she was also the girls indoor track head coach and assisted during the outdoor season. She explained the core of her coaching style is working hard but making sure to keep things as fun as possible.
"This program compared to Pomperaug, it's a smaller group, and something I really believe in is getting to know the girls on a personal level; it creates a mutual respect which then leads to belief in what I'm doing as a coach and belief in themselves," Jessica said.
Jessica is inheriting a team that won the Connecticut Independent School Athletic Conference Championship in 2017 and had 13 swimmers compete at the New England Prep School Swimming Association (NEPSSA) Division III championship meet last season. She said her vision for the team is to have the the girls evolve, grow and believe in the process, no matter the goal size.
"We we do have a lot of talent, actually," Jessica said. "The team itself is quite a tight unit, they are all pretty good friends and they seem to be very social and not much drama, which is really awesome. They seem to be really hard workers and really focused. I try and make all of them smile on a daily basis, just because this particular phase of their life is already stressful enough with trying to figure out where they want to go to school and the pressures of academics and performing their, so I think sports can be a healthy outlet."
The Wildcats will open up their season on Wednesday, Dec. 12 against Ethel Walker in Simsbury.