HAMILTON, New York, August 17. COLGATE University director of athletics Dave Roach has announced the hiring of Fernando Canales as the head men's and women's swimming and diving coach.
"I'm excited to have someone of Fernando's experience in NCAA competition along with international waters join the Colgate family," stated Roach. "To have somebody with his knowledge of swimming and have worked work with some of the best coaches and swimmers in the country is going to be great for our Colgate student-athletes."
Canales comes to Colgate from the University of Michigan where he served two stints as an assistant coach from 1982-87 and 2006-08, before serving as the Development Officer for Athletics.
"I humbly accept the position as Colgate's head coach of men's and women's swimming and diving," said Canales. "Coaching is my lifelong passion and I look forward to working with the outstanding young adults that are the essence of Colgate University and its swimming and diving program."
From 2006-08, Canales served as the head assistant coach at Michigan under assistant Olympic coach Bob Bowman. During that time Canales helped three swimmers capture back-to-back NCAA national championships along with guiding the team to the 2008 Big Ten title.
"Teaching my students to make the world a better place on a daily basis, in addition to humbly win at every level in academics, personal growth, social and civic responsibilities while they own the Patriot League podium are the most important attributes that I will bring to Colgate," stated Canales.
Before returning to Michigan, Canales served as the head coach of the city of Keller, Texas swim team for two years, and the city of Richardson, Texas swim team from 1992-2005. He managed elite USA Swimming clubs at both locations and produced two Texas high school swimmer of the year recipients, a U.S. national team member, the 1994 national female high school swimmer of the year, 10 Olympic Trials qualifiers, numerous Texas state high school champions and All-Americans, and two Texas high school championship teams (Berkner High, 1995; JJ Pearce High, 2004). He earned the North Texas Senior Coach of the Year award as well.
"I am grateful for the quality years of work with the University of Michigan, USA Swimming, Club Wolverine, City of Richardson Swim Team and our National Team athletes," said Canales. "My years alongside Olympic coaches Jon Urbanchek, Gus Stager, Bob Bowman, Dick Kimball and Maggie Shook are invaluable. The bar will continue to be raised higher every time we reach our goals; that is the formula for my success."
From 1990-92, Canales was the head coach of swimming, diving and water polo at the University of California-Santa Cruz. In two seasons he coached five NCAA Division III Championship qualifiers and one All-American while his students earned 14 academic all-Conference awards.
Prior to his time at UC Santa Cruz, Canales was the head assistant coach at Michigan from 1982-87. He served under legendary coach Urbancheck and helped to produce 13 Olympians, multiple NCAA national champions and multiple USA Swimming and foreign national champions. He assisted the team in winning back-to-back Big Ten Conference team championships in 1987 and '88.
As an athlete, Canales was a four-year All-American at Michigan, where he graduated with a degree in education and exercise physiology in 1982. During his career, he won 12 Big Ten Championship titles, including four straight 100-yard freestyle titles. He also represented Puerto Rico on three Olympic Teams (1976, '80, '84) and was inducted into the Puerto Rico National Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
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