University of Maine track and field head coach Mark Lech announced on January 16, 2012 the hiring of former Black Bear All-American and 2008 Olympian Viktoriya Rybalko as an assistant coach.
"It is great to have Vika back at Maine with us albeit in a different capacity than before," said Lech. "We feel incredibly lucky to have someone of Vika's stature with her extensive athletic and coaching expertise. She not only has great knowledge but she knows how to teach and relay that knowledge to the athletes. We couldn't ask for a more dedicated and focused coach as well as personable, approachable and enjoyable person. We look for many good things to come in the near future for the Maine Track and Field team and athletes."
Rybalko competed for her native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, taking 12th in the long jump. She was named an All-American in 2003 after taking second in the event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
She won 10 America East individual titles while also leading the women's team to the 2003 New England Championship.
Rybalko earned the 2003 'M' Club Dean Smith Award, given to Maine's top scholar-athlete. Since graduation, she earned her master's degree in microbiology from the University of Rochester and was pursuing her doctorate at the University of Texas before her hire at Maine.