Former Hawkeye All-American Emma Sougstad is in her second season as an assistant coach with the University of Iowa swimming and diving program.
During her first year on the coaching staff in 2019-20, Sougstad coached four NCAA qualifiers, but the NCAA Championships were cancelled March 12 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All four swimmers — Hannah Burvill (200 free), Kelsey Drake (200 fly), Anze Fers Erzen (200 back), and Daniel Swanepoel (200 breast) — earned CSCAA All-America honors.
Sougstad helped Iowa to a record-breaking season in 2019-20, setting 12 program records (seven women’s, five men’s) and 11 Hawkeyes earned Big Ten Conference weekly recognition. Iowa had success at the Big Ten Championships. Burvill swam to a bronze medal in the 200 free at the CRWC, helping Iowa to a 10th place finish with 430 points — the most for the program since the format changed to 24-place scoring in 2014.
On the men’s side, the Hawkeyes finished the dual season ranked 20th in the final CSCAA rankings before posting its highest Big Ten Championships finish since 2012. Iowa placed sixth with 571 points.
In the classroom, the men’s and women’s teams earned CSCAA Scholar All-America honors. It was the 10th straight year the women’s team has received the honor. The Hawkeyes also had 24 Academic All-Big Ten selections.
The Forest City, Iowa, native rejoined the program after spending the past two seasons as the communications director for the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA), where she managed the annual coaching convention, featuring more than 300 coaches.
Sougstad joined the coaching ranks after concluding her Iowa career in 2017. She was an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) during the 2017-18 season, where she coordinated team travel and managed social media accounts to target potential recruits.
As a Hawkeye, Sougstad was a three-time NCAA qualifier and a two-time All-American in 2016 and 2017. She earned first-team All-America honors in 2017 after placing sixth in the nation in the 100 breast with a school-record time of 58.78 — the fifth-fastest time in Big Ten history. The time propelled her to compete in the 2016 Olympic Trials.
Sougstad still holds individual school records in seven events — 100 breast (58.76), 200 breast (2:10.47), and 200 IM (1:57.55) and as part of the 200-free (1:30.96), 400-free (3:18.83), 200-medley (1:38.99), and 400 medley (3:36.71) relays. She also has the second-best time is school history in the 50 free (22.63) and 100 fly (53.30).
Iowa’s two-time team Most Valuable Swimmer, Sougstad was a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient in 2016 and a five-time Big Ten Swimmer of the Week. She was also inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union in 2018.
Sougstad was a CSCAA Scholar All-American, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten, and Dean’s List honoree during her Iowa career. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2017 with a degree in elementary education.