Olympic swimmer Katie Hoff confirmed last night that she has decided to change coaches, saying she'll be working exclusively with Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps' coach.
Towson's Hoff - who won a silver medal and two bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics - said it was a difficult decision to leave Paul Yetter, who has coached her for most of her career. Hoff made her first Olympic team as a 15-year-old in 2004.
"It was a very tough choice," Hoff said. "Paul is obviously a great coach and he helped me out a lot. It's just time for a change and I'm looking forward to working with Bob."
Bowman is returning to take over the North Baltimore Aquatic Club after spending four years in Ann Arbor as the head coach at the University of Michigan. He has guided Phelps throughout his career, and Phelps often cites him as the main reason he has been able to win 14 gold medals and two bronze medals in the past two Olympics.
Bowman is also not shy about showing his intensity. He and Phelps have verbally sparred over the years, and Hoff knows she could be in for a bit of an adjustment.
"I feel like at this point in my career, I can handle that," Hoff said.
She said she spoke with Phelps and with Olympic teammate Allison Schmidt, who trained under Bowman at Michigan, before making her decision.
Hoff is in New York City for tonight's annual Golden Goggles banquet, which is held by USA Swimming each year to recognize outstanding performances in the sport. She has been taking classes at Loyola College this fall and working as a volunteer coach with the Greyhounds swim team.