COLLEGE STATION, Texas, November 25. FORMER U.S. Olympic diving coach Jay Lerew has been hired to direct the Texas A&M men's and women's diving program, A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne announced on Tuesday. Lerew replaces Kevin Wright, who led the Aggie divers from 1992-2009.
"We're very excited to be able to bring in a diving coach of Jay's caliber," Byrne said. "His reputation on the national and international level is exceptional, and we are confident that he is the right person to continue and enhance Texas A&M's tradition of excellence with its diving program."
The U.S. head diving coach at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Lerew comes to Texas A&M from Team Orlando Diving, where he served as the head coach for the last 11 years.
"The Texas A&M diving program is first-class at every level, and that's what attracted me to this position," Lerew said. "It's a great opportunity for me to get back into college coaching after many years with senior, Olympic and age group divers. It's a great challenge and I'm excited to get started."
Lerew, who was named the 2001 USOC Developmental Coach the Year, guided Team Orlando to eight Junior National team championships, and coached 10 individual senior national title winners. Lerew coached two-time Olympian Mark Ruiz, who won 22 national titles and medaled at the 1999 and 2004 Pan American Games. A two-time U.S. Junior Coach of the Year, Lerew served as head coach for multiple U.S. National Teams, at the World Championships, the World Cup and various Grand Prix events at both the junior and senior level.
"We're really excited about Jay joining our program," Aggie head women's swimming coach Steve Bultman said. "He loved what he saw here and the possibilities here. We were definitely very impressed with him, his credentials and with what he's done as a diving coach. Jay has a great résumé and we thought he would be a great fit."
A&M head men's swimming coach Jay Holmes said, "Jay is a widely respected coach within the United States and around the world. Diving is a very important part of our program. Having him and his family associated with us is going to be a great thing for Texas A&M. Everyone is looking forward to having him get started."
Lerew also served as a head diving coach at Moss Farm Diving in Moultrie, Ga., from 1989-98. During his time there, Moss Farms Diving won two Junior National team titles and had 10 individual national title winners. He was instrumental in the design and construction of the Moose Moss Diving Center in Moultrie, Ga.
Previously, Lerew was the diving coach and aquatics director at the Schroeder YMCA in Milwaukee, Wisc. (1981-89), and was the head women's diving coach at alma mater, Colorado State (1979-81). A 1975 graduate of Colorado State with a degree in physical education, Lerew was an aerial acrobatic skier on the Professional Freestyle Skiing Tour and won several domestic and international pro skiing events before becoming a diving coach.
Lerew is married to the former Wendy Reich, who is the co-head coach of Team Orlando Diving. Wendy Lerew was an All-America diver at Florida State and a two-time Canadian Olympian in platform diving. She was a bronze medalist on the platform at the World Championships, and she's been a U.S. National Team coach for seven years. The Lerews have four daughters, Chelsie (27), Brittany (24), Niki Reich (16) and Shelby (14).
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