Dave Salo Named USC Men's, Women's Swimming Head Coach

April 21, 2006

Dave Salo, one of the nation's top club swimming coaches for more than 15 years and a former Trojan assistant coach, has been named head coach for USC's men's and women's swimming teams, Athletic Director Mike Garrett announced today (April 21).

He replaces Mark Schubert, who is assuming USA Swimming's head coach position after guiding USC swimming for the past 14 years.

'Dave Salo brings a wealth of experience at all levels of competitive swimming,' said Associate Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, who conducted the nationwide search to replace Schubert. 'We believe that Dave is a perfect fit for our department, in terms of both developing and educating our student-athletes as well as winning championships.'

Salo, 47, who has coached Olympic medalists such as former Trojans Lenny Krayzelburg and Gabe Woodward, Aaron Peirsol, Amada Beard, Staciana Stitts, Colleen Lanne and Jason Lezak, comes to USC after serving as head coach of the Irvine Novaquatics from 1990 to 2006.

'Returning to USC, following in the footsteps of Hall of Fame coaches Peter Daland and Mark Schubert, is a coach's dream,' said Salo. 'The fact that it becomes my reality can't be described adequately.

'I have had a dream coaching career - coaching some of the best swimmers in the world with one of the best clubs in the country. The opportunity to come back to USC to coach one of the most storied programs in the history of collegiate swimming is tremendously exciting. I am looking forward to contributing to the culture of expected excellence at USC.'

Salo guided the Novas to numerous Junior National and U.S. National team titles as well as several age group championships. He was tabbed 2002 U.S. Swimming Coach of the Year after leading the Novas to U.S. Spring and Summer national titles.

In addition to his work with the Novas, he has served extensively at the national level, including head coaching assignments for the United States at the 2005 World Championships (men) and the 2001 Goodwill Games (men). His assistant coaching duties for the U.S. include the 2004 Olympics (men), 2003 World Championships (men and women), 2002 Pan Pacific Championships (men), 2000 Olympics (women) and the 1999 Pan American Games (women).

Nova swimmers and alums who trained under Salo have consistently dotted the roster of U.S. national teams, often in starring roles. Peirsol, the world record holder in the 100 and 200 backstroke (lcm), is a two-time Olympian and won 2004 Olympic gold medals in the aforementioned events. Beard is a three-time Olympian with seven medals, one of many elite breaststrokers who have come under Salo's tutelage. Lezak, a four-time Olympic medalist in two appearances, is among American's greatest sprinters.

Besides duties with the Novas and the U.S. team, Salo served as co-head coach at Orange Coast College from 2000 to 2004. The Pirates won the 2003 California state title and Salo was honored as state Co-Coach of the Year. Also in 2003, he became the Founding Director of Aquatics at Soka University in Alisa Viejo, Calif., where he recently completed his second season with the Lions.

Salo joined the Novas after five seasons (1985-90) working under legendary USC swimming coach Peter Daland. He helped guide Troy's men's team to five Top 5 NCAA finishes, including second-place marks in 1987, 1988 and 1990. Troy also had perfect dual-meet records in 1988, 1990 and 1991. Among the USC swimmers he helped coach were NCAA champions and Olympians Dave Wharton and Dan Jorgensen.

Salo graduated from Long Beach State with a B.A. and M.A. in exercise physiology and also served as an assistant women's swimming coach there in 1981 and 1982. He earned his doctorate in the same field from USC in 1991.

Salo swam for Santa Rosa Junior College from 1976 to 78 before transferring to Long Beach State.

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