TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, July 29. UNIVERSITY of Alabama swimming and diving head coach Don Wagner has resigned his position effective August 15, 2003. Wagner is leaving the University to pursue other coaching opportunities closer to his family and that of his wife, Alice, according to a press release from the Crimson Tide Sports Information office.
During his four-year tenure in Tuscaloosa, Wagner steadily improved the Tide's national ranking. In 2003, the men finished 12th and the women 15th at the NCAA championships.
Wagner produced Alabama's first NCAA champ since Glenn Mills in 1983 when Stefan Gherghel won the 200 fly last year. When Gherghel repeated his triumph this year, he became the Tide's first-ever repeat NCAA champ.
Wagner's teams also fared well academically. His men's team's grade point average (gpa) rose from 2.8 to 3.1 to rank 15th nationally. His women's team improved from 3.0 to over 3.2.
In 2002-03, freshman Vladimir Polyakov, second in the breaststroke at NCAAs, ranked first nationally among NCAA qualifiers with a 4.0 gpa for both semesters.
Prior to joining the Alabama staff in March, 1999, Wagner served as head coach of the Texas A&M women's team, and as an assistant coach at Southern Cal and Arizona. He also was head coach of the Fullerton Aquatic Sports Team in California.
A national search will begin immediately for Wagner's replacement.