Swimcloud
Russell Whitaker

Russell Whitaker

Head Coach, Women's Swimming

Washington State University Athletics has tabbed Russell Whitaker to lead the Cougars’ Women’s Swimming program, Interim Director of Athletics Anne McCoy announced May 23. Whitaker has worked the past seven seasons as the Director of Operations and added assistant coach duties this past season. Since coming to WSU in 2017, Whitaker has been on staffs who have produced seven NCAA selections, four Top-3 finishers at the Pac-12 Conference Championships and one Pac-12 individual champion. "We couldn’t be happier to name Russ Whitaker the new women’s swimming head coach at Washington State University!," said McCoy. "Russ has been an incredibly important part of the success our team has had over the past seven seasons. Since joining WSU in fall 2017, he has worked with every aspect of WSU’s swim program, in addition to being involved with the sport locally and nationally through USA Swimming. With Russ’ unbridled enthusiasm, his commitment to student-athlete success in and out of the pool, and the respect he’s earned from everyone around him including current and former student-athletes, the future of Cougar Swimming is bright." This past season, Whitaker helped a pair of Cougar swimmers earn spots in the NCAA Championships, saw Emily Lundgren medal twice at the Pac-12 Championships and later became WSU’s first All-American since 2007. Additionally, Lundgren was also named an Academic All-American, four swimmers earned CSC Academic All-District honors and 16 were named to the Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll. “I am honored and humbled to begin the journey as the next Head Coach of Washington State University Swimming,” said Whitaker. “I would like to thank President Kirk Schulz, Interim Director of Athletics Anne McCoy, and Deputy Director of Athletics Brad Corbin for entrusting this program to me and my vision for its future. Our work as a program begins now to build on our prior successes and continue to build momentum going into this new era of WSU Swimming. I look forward to finding individuals who are ready and eager to come to WSU and be a part of something bigger than themselves.” Over the last six years, Whitaker has also served as the head club coach for Cougar Aquatics where he produced athletes who have qualified for local championships, Senior & Age Group Zones, Sectionals, Futures, Winter & Summer Junior Nationals, TYR Pro Swim Series, Winter National Qualifiers and U.S. Olympic Trials. Cougar Aquatics has also produced four Scholar All-Americans and one swimmer selected to attend the prestigious 2022 National Select Camp. For his extensive work at the local and national level, Whitaker was recognized as the Inland Empire Swimming coach of the year in 2022. He also served on the USA Swimming National Select Camp staff for the 2022 women’s team as the Assistant Manager and was the Manager for the boy’s (13-16) team in 2023 where he worked alongside some of the top swimmers and coaches across the country. Russell is a member of the American Swim Coaches Association where he is currently a Performance Level 4 certified coach – placing him within the top 10% of coaches in the country. Whitaker graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and earned his Master’s in Athletic Administration from Ohio University in 2020. Whitaker and his wife, Hanna reside in Pullman.
Austin Pillado

Austin Pillado

Assistant Coach

Austin Pillado was named an assistant coach for the Washington State Swimming program, head coach Russell Whitaker announced July 2. Pillado comes to Pullman after working last season as an assistant coach on the National Champion Arizona State Men’s Swimming and Diving Teams and working the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State. “Austin is extremely innovative and brings an exciting twist to training. His experience at multiple power-5 ranked programs, and his experience at Arizona State with a national title under his belt, makes him extremely qualified to help lead Cougar Swimming into the future,” said Whitaker who was named the Cougars’ Head Coach May 23. “Austin will be an immediate asset to not only our sprint and breast stroke groups, but to our team and recruiting as well! “Austin is one of the brightest young coaches in the country and has a promising future in this sport. From our first conversation, Austin has been extremely detailed and thoughtful in not only what he can do for this program, but all that is possible with this program, and what we will achieve in the near future as a team.” Pillado served as an assistant coach with the Arizona State Swimming program last season, which saw the women finish No. 24 nationally and the men claimed their first National Championship in program history. The Sun Devil men were also crowned the 2024 Pac-12 champions for the second year in a row. Pillado primarily trained the breaststroke group, which saw four men go under the 52-second barrier, and assisted with the sprint group in Tempe. Pillado was able to work with some of the best athletes in the world, ranging from Simone Manuel, Ryan held, and Olivia Smoliga within the professional group at Arizona State. “I am very excited to join the Cougar family & program at Washington State University,” Pillado said. “I would like to thank Russ Whitaker, Anne McCoy, and Brad Corbin for this amazing opportunity. I am looking forward to developing this team to achieve success at the highest level possible, both in and out of the pool. The vision that Russ and the entire athletic department have for this program is amazing, and I cannot wait to help this dream become a reality! Go Cougs!” In his time with the Nittany Lions, Pillado worked primarily with the sprint freestylers and breaststrokers where PSU broke nine school records. In 2022-23 at NCAA Championships, Pillado coached Victor Baganha to an All-American finish in the 100 fly and the first All-American in that event for Penn State in 20 years. Outside of Penn State, he served as an assistant coach for the Swedish national team for the European Championships in 2022. His other collegiate endeavors include as an assistant coach at Saginaw Valley State from 2020-21 where he coached the Male Freshman of the Year with seven school records being broken. Pillado started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Texas A&M (2017-20) where the Aggies won two SEC championships, had 11 conference champions and 33 All-Americans during his time on the coaching staff. Pillado swam at Davis and Elkins College from 2013-17 and also competed in one season of track and field in 2017. At Davis and Elkins, he was named the Male Athlete of the Year in 2016. Pillado graduated with his bachelor's degree in Sports Management/Athletic Training in 2017 from Davis and Elkins College along with a master's degree in Sports Management from Texas A&M in 2020.
Tylor Mathieu

Tylor Mathieu

Assistant Coach, Women's Swimming

Tylor Mathieu was named an assistant coach for the Washington State Swimming program, head coach Russell Whitaker announced Thursday. Mathieu comes to Pullman after a standout swimming career at the University of Florida and working this past season as student manager for the Gator's men's and women's swimming and diving teams. Mathieu had a decorated swimming career at Florida where she was a six-time All-American, a four-time Academic All-American, helped UF to an SEC Championship in 2023 and competed at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400 free, 800 free and 100 breast. "I could not be more excited to bring Tylor Mathieu to Pullman to assist with our program," said Whitaker who was named the Cougars' Head Coach May 23. "Tylor's experience as a student-athlete and as a manager at Florida will be invaluable to us as a program. More than that, Tylor is passionate about the sport, is extremely motivated, and has a work ethic that is hard to rival. I've heard nothing but good things about Tylor from coaches, peers, and administrators and can't wait for her to get to Pullman!" This past season Mathieu worked with the Gator's men's and swimming's swimming and diving teams as a student manager where she organized team sponsored events while working with the director of operations and also assisted with the team's social media coverage. "I am honored and thrilled to receive this opportunity to join the coaching staff at Washington State University!" Mathieu said. "I would like to thank Russ Whitaker, Anne McCoy, and Brad Corbin for putting their trust in me. I am excited to continue the development of the distance program and collaborate with the rest of the staff to ensure our student-athletes are competing to the best of their abilities. I can't wait to move to Pullman and to get to work! Go Cougs!" This past spring Mathieu, a native of Hebron, Conn., graduated with a degree in psychology with a minor in education and earned a sport management certificate. This past season, a pair of Cougar swimmers earned spots in the NCAA Championships, Emily Lundgren medaled twice at the Pac-12 Championships and later became WSU's first All-American since 2007. Additionally, Lundgren was also named an Academic All-American, four swimmers earned CSC Academic All-District honors and 16 were named to the Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll.