Naya Higashijima begins her sixth season as an assistant coach for the UCSB men's and women's swimming programs. Higashijima works primarily with the Gaucho sprinters and breaststrokers while also playing a major role in recruiting for both teams.
As an undergraduate assistant coach at Oregon State for the 2004-05 season, Higashijima helped the Beaver women place 20th at the NCAA Championships, their highest national finish ever.
In 2003 the native of Kawaguchi, Japan, completed one of the most successful careers in OSU history, setting five school records while recording 106 first-place finishes in dual meet and invitational competition, also a program record. Higashijima was a two-time All-American in the 200 butterfly, placing 10th at the 2002 NCAA Championships before earning an eighth-place finish as a senior the following year.
Higashijima received her bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Oregon State. She also received minors in both Chinese and athletic administration.