WMU News

Janik is new synchronized skating coach

Oct. 11, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University has announced the hiring of Jillian (Jill) Janik as the new synchronized skating coach.

"Jill will make an excellent addition to our staff," said WMU Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard. "She brings a lot of experience, both as a skater and as an instructor, to our program."

Janik served as an assistant coach from 1992-97 for the Chicago Blades, an Ice Skating Institute (ISI) youth formation team at the McFetridge Sports Center in Chicago. She was also a staff skating instructor while at McFetridge. Janik has choreographed individual programs since 1992, most notably for first-place winning compulsory and "kaleidoskate" teams. She has presented several synchronized skating clinics, and last month was a guest synchro coach at the Extreme Figure Skating Exposition near Chicago. Janik helped initiate the synchronized skating program at Frank Carroll's HealthSouth Iceoplex Training Facility.

Janik started competing as a synchronized skater in 1987. A two-year member of the varsity team at Miami (Ohio), she helped the RedHawks earn a gold medal at the 1999 U.S. National Championships and a silver medal at the 1998 nationals. Both of those teams traveled to the World Cup of Synchronized Skating in Gotenborg, Sweden and Bordeaux, France, finishing sixth and eighth, respectively. She earned the RedHawk Rookie of the Year award after the 1998 season.

Before joining the RedHawk program, she was a member of the Chicago Skates and Chicago Skyline ISI teen synchronized skating teams. As an individual skater, she competed in numerous events, including eight world ISI team Championships. A member of the United States Figure Skating Association since 1990, Janik has performed in 13 annual ice shows at the McFetridge Center and two at the Goggin Ice Arena in Oxford, Ohio.

"I am very excited about being here," Janik stated. "I am really looking forward to coaching at this level. I believe a synchronized skating program should tell a story, and I especially enjoy choosing the music. We have a chance to do very well at the Collegiate Nationals. Hopefully, we can help get more recognition for Western Michigan's synchro program."

Originally from Chicago, Janik received a B.A. in Political Science from Miami University in 1999.

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Media contact: Travis McCurdy; 616 387-3221; travis.mccurdy@wmich.edu

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