Kate Ziegler

I want to continue to advance myself academically.

Full-Time MBA, Marketing - Student

After swimming in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, former world-record holder in the 1500 freestyle Kate Ziegler has found a home in Knoxville. Beginning the full-time MBA program at the Haslam College of Business, Ziegler understands the meaning of hard work and dedication.

Swimming has been a part of Ziegler’s identity since she was six years old. Growing up in Great Falls, Virginia, she swam under Coach Ray Benecki and participated in two Olympics.

“After nearly 20 years of competitive swimming, I needed a rest,” Ziegler says. She spent nearly two years in various parts of the world, leading swim clinics, volunteering with wounded American soldiers and their families, and participating in a series of female-empowerment and leadership initiatives. “Each initiative was equally amazing and provided the mental, physical and emotional break that I needed,” said Ziegler.

In the fall of 2014, Ziegler decided to come back to the sport, which brought her to Knoxville. After meeting UT’s head swim coach, Matt Kredich, she knew had found that team. “I can’t say enough positive things about my experience training with the UT swim team!” said Ziegler. “I love the team and staff and the vision they have for themselves individually and as a whole.”

Ziegler is not currently training at the moment, as she has retired from the sport. For now, she wants to pursue educational interests.

“My identity is not just in swimming,” she says. “I want to continue to advance myself academically.”

She began the Haslam’s Full-time MBA this month. “After meeting with staff and faculty in the college, I felt confident the MBA program would help me achieve my post-athletic career goals,” she says. “I like the small class size, personalized touches, and engagement and passion of the staff and faculty. Visiting the Haslam College of Business was like visiting the UT swim team for the first time. I just knew it was the place for me.”

When Ziegler is not in the water or studying she enjoys cooking, learning about new cultures and cuisines, and is an avid traveler. The pursuit of excellence pervades all aspects of her life.

“The desire to be better (motivates me),” Ziegler says. “It did, it does, and it always will drive me – both in and out of the water. Ask anyone – talent without hard work is nothing more than unfulfilled potential.”