HOUSTON, Texas, June 28. UNIVERSITY of Houston Director of Athletics Dave Maggard announced Friday that Mark Taylor was named head coach of the women's swimming and diving program.
Born in Roseburg, Ore., Taylor, 41, most recently served as head coach of Swim Team Odense 95 in Denmark. Where he has also worked with the Danish National Swimming Team. One of his athletes, Louise Ornstedt, placed 4th at the World Short Course Championships in Moscow last April in the 100 Backstroke.
He inherits a UH program which placed fourth at the first-ever Conference USA Championships a year ago and finished among the Top 25 teams at the NCAA Championships for a second straight season.
"Mark has an outstanding record, and we received recommendations from all over the world, literally," Maggard said. "He has good international contacts and earned a great deal of respect in the swimming community here in the United States.
As head coach of Swim Team Odense 95, Taylor supervised a program with more than 3,000 athletes, including several world-ranked swimmers.
He joined the collegiate coaching ranks as an assistant coach at Arizona State from 1994 to 1998. During his stay in Tempe, Taylor helped lead the Sun Devil Women to consecutive top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships in 1995 and 1996. He then worked with Ernie Maglischo's men's team at ASU which finished with two top 11 finishes in 1997 and 1998.
In addition to his collegiate duties at Arizona State, Taylor also was the head coach of Mesa Aquatics, a swimming club with more than 120 members. Under his guidance, Mesa Aquatics captured Arizona championships in 1994, 1996 and 1998.
Besides his collegiate coaching experience, Taylor brings a wealth of international and Olympic knowledge to the Cougar program. As an assistant coach with Team Denmark, Taylor helped lead his team to the World Championships in Moscow earlier this year and worked with three qualifiers to the 2001 European S.C. Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
Swimmers coached by him have performed in each of the last 3 Olympic Games. In 1996, Taylor worked as the head coach of the Lithuanian Olympic Team, a squad which broke more than 12 national records and posted four Top-16 finishes.
He has also worked with many foreign and domestic champions and national record holders
Taylor earned his bachelor's degree in recreation management from Arizona State in 2001. He and his wife Lorraine have two sons, Troy Nicholas (3)and Zane Benjamin (10 months).
Taylor replaces Ginger Hurley, whose contract was not renewed.