ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan water polo head coach Matt Anderson announces the hiring of former Wolverine Betsey Armstrong (2002-05) as an assistant coach for the U-M program. A six-year veteran of the U.S. Women's National Team, Armstrong backstopped Team USA to Olympic gold at the London Games last week.
"Betsey is going to be an incredible spokesperson for Michigan and for our program," said Anderson. "It's nice to have someone like her have a chance to share her experiences, talent and expertise with our current players and with the future players we will bring in. I have seen her on deck and watched her interact with teammates; she is a true people person, a Michigan person and a water polo person. She has all the attributes she needs in order to be successful here at Michigan.
"Her decision to come home, when she had a choice to go wherever she wanted, validates the pull of the Michigan Block M and our program's belief that this is a place where people want to be. Betsey would not have come back on board if she did not believe in the mission that we want to be as good as any team in the nation. That's what we're striving for every day."
"As a Michigan alum, I am incredibly excited to return to Ann Arbor this fall and embark on my coaching career," said Armstrong. "Water polo had been growing across the country, and I'm particularly excited to be a part of that process in the Midwest, where we can continue to close the gap on the traditional West Coast powers."
Armstrong was in the cage for every second of Team USA's six Olympic victories, earning 53 saves and a .525 save percentage for the tournament. She grew stronger in subsequent rounds, stopping 31-of-51 shots (.608) in the final-round games, including 8-of-13 against Spain in the gold-medal match.
The gold medal was the first for the United States in Olympic competition. The U.S. has medaled at every Olympic Games since women's water polo was added in 2000, earning one gold, two silvers and one bronze. Armstrong previously earned silver as goalkeeper for the U.S. team at the 2008 Beijing Games.
A member of the USA National Team since 2006, Armstrong has also contributed to gold-medal performances at the Pan American Games (2007, '11), FINA World League Super Final (2010, '11, ' 12), 2009 FINA World Championships and 2010 FINA World Cup. She was twice named the Top Goalkeeper at the FINA World League Super Final (2008, '10) and earned Most Outstanding Goalkeeper accolades at the 2007 World Championships.
Regarded among the top goalkeepers in the world, Armstrong was named Female Water Polo Player of the Year by Swimming World Magazine (2009) and FINA Aquatics World Magazine (2010).
As a Wolverines' student-athlete (2002-05), Armstrong was a four-time All-America selection in net, earning second team honors as a junior and third team accolades as a senior after claiming All-America honorable mention her first two seasons in Ann Arbor. A 2008 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Hall of Fame inductee, Armstrong was a finalist for the Cutino Award as the nation's top player during the 2004 season. She established program records in blocks (1,267), minutes (3,329), goals-against average (5.64) and save percentage (.654).
A native of Ann Arbor, Armstrong graduated from Michigan in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in English language and literature.
Release courtesy University of Michigan Athletic Communications