Iowa women’s swim and dive recruiting coordinator Mona Groteguth excited to rebuild

Since she was hired ahead of the 2021-22 season, the assistant coach has overseen increasing the size of the women’s swim and dive roster.


Stephen Mally

Iowa assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Mona Groteguth-Garcia before their meet against Northern Iowa at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City, IA on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

Iowa swim and dive was in unfamiliar territory entering the 2021-22 season.

In August 2020, the Iowa athletic department announced it would cut the men’s and women’s swim and dive, men’s gymnastics, and men’s tennis teams following the 2020-21 academic year.

The decision to cut both swim and dive programs would have ended 103 years of the sport at the University of Iowa — the place that invented the butterfly stroke.

But four women’s swimmers — Sage Ohlensehlen, Kelsey Drake, Christina Kaufman, and Alexa Puccini — brought a Title IX lawsuit against the UI, alleging that the university did not follow the athletic requirements.

Because of the lawsuit, the UI reinstated women’s swimming and diving permanently in February 2021. But by that time, multiple athletes planned to leave the program or transfer following the 2020-21 season. Additionally, longtime head coach Marc Long, who coached both the men’s and women’s swim and dive programs, stepped down from his position.

Coming into the 2021-22 season, Iowa Athletics put newly hired head coach Nathan Mundt and recruiting coordinator and assistant coach Mona Groteguth in charge of turning around the program.

While Mundt focused on performance in the water, Groteguth took on rebuilding the Iowa women’s swim and dive team with incoming recruits and transfers.

“We are in a very unique position of rebuilding a program, and that was very attractive for me coming here,” Groteguth said.

Groteguth had coaching experience at the collegiate level ahead of her appointment to Iowa. She was an assistant coach at TCU, helping the men’s and women’s teams to back-to-back third-place Big 12 Conference finishes in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Groteguth was also a former athlete herself, as she attended the University of North Texas from 2011-15. While on the Mean Green, Groteguth was a team captain her senior year. She was also an Olympic Trials qualifier in 2008 and 2012.

Groteguth said having a student-athlete experience helps her connect with the athletes in the Iowa program, and she gives them advice on the ups and downs of being a collegiate athlete.

From 2021-22 to 2022-23, the Hawkeyes have increased their roster to 21 athletes. With 11 new freshmen and three transfers coming into the 2022-23 squad, Groteguth has given Iowa a strong base in her first year as the recruiting coordinator, and she’s planning to keep improving the program.

Groteguth’s recruiting efforts helped the Hawkeyes win their first swim meet since the 2020-21 season on Oct. 7. With just 13 athletes in 2021-22, the Hawkeyes went 0-7 in dual meets. With 21 athletes, Iowa took down UNI, 197-102, in its first meet of the 2022-23 season.

“Mona is highly motivated, organized, relates to everyone on the team, and is very personable as well,” Mundt said. “She has really been motivated to continue to push our program to the next level.”