NOTRE DAME, Indiana, July 9. UNIVERSITY of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving head coach Matt Tallman officially announced on Wednesday the appointment of Tim Lane as assistant swimming coach and Chris Swenson as the team’s director of operations. Both Lane and Swenson will begin work with the program immediately in preparation for the 2014-15 season.
“I could not be more thrilled to have Tim and Chris join the program,” Tallman said. “They have each made an immediate impact already. The dedication, expertise, and respect they show for the sport of swimming is tremendous. The goals for the program moving forward will piggyback what Coach (Tim) Welsh and I put together, but having a complete staff, with Matt Dorsch as our volunteer again, for the first time will help us as we try to climb in national prominence.”
Lane becomes the ninth full-time assistant coach in the program’s 56-year history, and the first permanent addition to the Notre Dame coaching staff since Tallman was hired for the same role in 2001. Tallman, set to begin his first year as Notre Dame’s head coach in 2014-15, was the longest tenured assistant/associate head coach in team history after serving the last 13 seasons alongside the recently retired Tim Welsh.
Lane returns to coaching in the United States after directing the National Age High Performance team for the West Coast Swim Club in Perth, Western Australia since the summer of 2012. He was responsible for the design and implementation of the National Age Performance team’s training, along with fostering leadership qualities and team building strategies among squad members and other West Coast Swim Club teams.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my position in Australia, however the opportunity to return to the United States and be a part of the next chapter of the University of Notre Dame men’s swimming and diving program was one that I couldn’t refuse,” Lane said. “In my time in the BIG EAST Conference, I was always very impressed with the way in which the Notre Dame men carried themselves in and out of the pool, and I look forward to working with such a talented and diverse group of young men.
“Coach Welsh and Coach Tallman have done a great job together in the past, and I look forward to being part of Coach Tallman’s staff as we work towards creating an even better future for the program,” he added.
Lane led the West Coast club to a 4th place finish overall at the 2014 Australian Age Championships in April. At the meet, West Coast swimmers collected 16 medals and also broke the Australian record in the Boys 16 years 4 x 100m Medley Relay. A total of 19 swimmers qualified for the 2013 Australian National Age Championships under Lane’s guidance, with seven finalists totaling 15 finals swims and four overall medals earned.
A coach for Team Western Australia in both the 2012 and 2013 state team competition, Lane helped lead his swimmers to six individual gold medal performances in 2013 and 15 WA all-time records during his tenure.
Lane began his Division I full-time coaching career at Villanova University, where he served four seasons as assistant men’s and women’s swimming coach from 2008-12. Lane helped lead the Wildcats to eight program record times, multiple BIG EAST Championship individual medals and a pair of NCAA Championship berths in both 2010 and 2012. The Villanova women’s swimming program also excelled in the classroom in 2012, posting the second highest team grade point average (3.59) of any Division I program in the country.
While a member of the Villanova staff, Lane mentored 17 first-time U.S. Nationals qualifiers and three first-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers. He also coached at the 2011 South African National Championships (Port Elizabeth) and World University Games (Shenzhen, China) and the 2012 German Nationals and Olympic Trials on the international scene.
Lane arrived at Villanova after a one-year stint as a graduate assistant coach at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he worked with both the men’s and women’s swimming teams. During his one season on the men’s coaching staff, the Seahawks won their sixth consecutive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship in 2008.
After transferring from Newcastle University in his native Australia in 2005, Lane completed his final two years of collegiate swimming eligibility at UNCW. He was a two-time letterwinner with the Seahawks, earning both all-CAA athletic and academic honors as a member of two conference championship teams. Lane graduated magna cum laude from UNCW with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2007.
An accomplished club swimmer with nearly 20 years of competitive experience on the circuit, Lane remains the New South Wales record holder in the 4 X 200 freestyle relay for Australia’s Hunter Swim Club. He also competed in both the 2004 and 2008 Australian Olympic Trials.
Swenson brings nearly five full years of collegiate coaching experience to the newly created director of operations role, most recently serving as the acting head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming programs at Saint Peters University in Jersey City, N.J. The Saint Peters women’s team earned its best ever finish at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship in 2014, placing fourth overall. Swenson trained a total of 13 MAAC champions and eight MAAC championship record holders during his one season as acting head coach, along with his student-athletes earning both men’s and women’s swimmer of the year awards from the conference in 2014.
Swenson spent the previous 15 months as the assistant coach for the Saint Peters swimming program, helping guide the men’s team to its best MAAC finish (fourth) in 2013. A total of 34 school records were set between the men’s and women’s squads overall during his tenure, while four swimmers achieved NCAA Division I `B’ qualifying standard times.
As a graduate assistant coach at Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) from 2006-08, Swenson worked primarily with the breaststroke and IM training groups. While at Rowan, he guided Division III honorable mention All-American Kevin Baker to a 10th place finish in the 200 breaststroke at the 2007 NCAA Championship.
Even after returning to the collegiate coaching ranks at Saint Peters, Swenson remained employed as the vice president of Casco Services Inc. in Newark, N.J. since 2008. He directed a fleet of 25 drivers as part of his primary duties at Casco Services that transported a variety of food-grade, industrial and hazardous materials, while also helping to manage the organization to an annual multi-million dollar revenue gross.
Swenson was a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier in the 200 breaststroke at Rowan University, serving as a senior captain in 2004-05 after being selected as the team’s MVP the previous season. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management from Rowan in 2005, later obtaining a master’s degree in business administration from the university in 2008.
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