David Denniston

Head Coach

Dave Denniston was announced as the new head coach of the program on April 21, 2017. Prior to that, Denniston spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Wyoming. He came to UW after coaching the U.S. Paralympics swim team at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs since 2010. In 2018-19, the program continued to make strides in the pool. The Cowgirls went 9-4 in dual action which included wins over conference rivals Air Force and Colorado State. As a team, they combined 743.50 points to place sixth at the Mountain West Championship. Isobel Ryan claimed her first career title in the 100 backstroke with a career-best time of 52.66. Hannah Mclean-Leonard eclipsed the school and her career record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.96 at the meet. Six Cowgirls earned All-Mountain West honors for their efforts. Two individuals were named MW swimmer of the week and two Cowgirls earned MW diver of the week honors. On the Cowboys side, they would finish the year with a 5-3 record in duals which included wins over Air Force, Cal Baptist and UNLV. The team finished with 604 points to take home third place at the Western Athletic Conference championship. Seth Borgert claimed his first title with a victory in the 1,650 freestyle with a career-best mark of 15:25.97. Newcomer Ryan Netzel was named the WAC Freshman of the Year at the 2019 Championships. He finished with a second place finish in the 1,650 freestyle and third in the 500 freestyle. 14 individuals were either named First or Second Team All-Conference while four relay teams were honored. Senior Ryan Russi finished in the top three in the all three boards and was named WAC Diver of the Week four times during the year. It was a successful campaign for the program during the 2017-18 season. The Cowboys finished 4-1 overall in dual action including wins over Air Force, Colorado School of Mines, Grand Canyon and UNLV. As a team, they combined for a total of 851 points to claim the 2018 Western Athletic Conference championship. It was the school’s first conference title since the 1959 season when they were a part of the Skyline Conference. Wade Nelson claimed the 400 individual medley title while Scotia Mullen came away with victories in the 1-meter and platform events. For his efforts, Denniston would take home WAC Coach of the Year honors in just his first season. On the Cowgirls side, they would go 4-6 in dual action which included a wins over Colorado State and Denver. At the Mountain West Championships, UW would place fourth with 981 points. Samantha Burke took home her first MW conference in the 100 backstroke. Diver Karla Contreras placed second on all three boards and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. She would place ninth on the platform and earn Honorable Mention All-American honors. In 2005, Denniston was injured in a sledding accident and then went on to qualify for the 2008 Paralympic games. Denniston started a motivational speaking company called Mind Over Body. It was created to help people reach their goals despite barriers in life. He has also spent time as an Assistant Editor for Swimming World Magazine. He was awarded the NCAA Inspiration award in 2007, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Inspiration award in 2009 and James R. Flowers Coach of the Year award in 2012 while coach of the U.S. Paralympic team. Denniston was a member of the Auburn University swim program from 1997-2002. A two-time team captain at Auburn, he was a three-time individual NCAA champion, including the 1999 national title in the 200-meter breaststroke. Denniston was a 15-time All-American and also helped lead the Tigers to the 1999 NCAA Team Championship. He competed in the 2000 Olympic Trials in the 100 and 200-meters, where he finished sixth and ninth, respectively. In 2003, he qualified for the World Championship Team in the 200-meter breaststroke before he primarily focused on qualifying for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. He finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke and fifth in the 200-meter breaststroke at the Olympic Trials. Denniston is a 2002 graduate of Auburn where he earned a bachelor's degree in communications and a minor in English.

Kristin Walker

Associate Head Coach

Kristin Walker joined the Wyoming Swimming and Diving program as an assistant coach in June of 2019. Walker comes to Wyoming after spending the three previous seasons Georgia Southern women’s swimming and diving program as an assistant coach. While with the Eagles, she assisted with recruitment, coordinating travel and managing practice schedules. She was a recipient of the CSCAA’s 2019 Jean Freeman scholarship. The Jean Freeman Scholarship is given annually to six collegiate assistant coaches whose exceptional contributions have brought recognition to their institution, and whose leadership, integrity, honesty, competitive attitude and personal graciousness epitomize those characteristics reflected by Jean Freeman. During the summer of 2018, she worked with Dennis Pursley's coaching staff during Alabama’s Rising Tide swim camp. Previously, she has worked with the women’s swimming coaching staff under Casey Converse and Colleen Murphy during U.S. Air Force Academy summer sports camps. She has also served as an assistant coach with Altitude Performance swim team, a competitive swim club in Colorado Springs under Mike Stromberg. Walker was a four-year letterwinner at the University of New Mexico under head coach Kunio Kono from 2012-2016. She was a member of four Mountain West Conference championship teams. She was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and served as Team Captain during her senior season. A four-time Scholar Athlete, Walker graduated with bachelor degrees in Speech & Hearing Sciences and Psychology in May of 2016. A breaststroker, Walker was awarded Most Improved Athlete in 2014, and voted Most Inspirational Athlete in 2016. Additionally, she broke the UNM school record in the 200 yard breaststroke. Walker graduated from Air Academy High School in 2012 where she was the school’s most valuable athlete from 2010-2012. She was also graduated as the Rotary Champion in women’s swimming in 2012. From Colorado Springs, Colo, she recently earned her master's degree at Georgia Southern in Special Education.

Mark Murdock

Diving Coach