Olympic Star Rachel Komisarz-Baugh Named Ohio University’s Head Swimming Coach

ATHENS, Ohio, March 19. OHIO University Athletics Director Jim Schaus named Rachel Komisarz-Baugh as the Bobcats’ Swimming and Diving head coach today. Komisarz-Baugh comes to Ohio following five years as the Associate Men’s and Women’s Swim Coach at the University of Louisville.

During her five successful years in Louisville, Komisarz-Baugh helped build Louisville into a national power in swimming. The Louisville women’s swimming program is currently ranked No. 13 nationally and placed eight swimmers at the NCAA Championships. Their men’s program is ranked No. 15 nationally and placed seven swimmers at the NCAA Championships.

Komisarz-Baugh is considered one of the nation’s top recruiters and has also designed and executed U of L’s workout programs.

This past season, the squads combined to win eight races and both relays and sweep the American Athletic Conference Championships. The Cardinals saw eight women qualify for the NCAA Championships while the men’s side posted a school-record seven in 11 events. Senior Joao De Lucca earned AAC Most Outstanding Men’s Swimmer honors while junior Tanja Kylliainen garnered AAC Most Outstanding Women’s Swimmer laurels.

Komisarz Baugh has been an integral part of a Louisville coaching staff that helped coach the men’s team to its first top-10 finish at NCAAs in school history and the first top 25 finish for the women.

“I am ecstatic about having Rachel lead the Ohio swimming and diving program,” Schaus said. “She has a national reputation as a recruiter, trainer and coach. She is high energy, enthusiastic, articulate, visionary and has an insatiable drive to succeed. Rachel has played a key role in Louisville becoming a national power in swimming. When you have won a gold and silver Olympic medal, you understand the highest level of excellence and how to achieve it. Success has been her shadow, and I can’t wait to see our future under her leadership.”

In 2012-13, she helped guide the Cardinals to their third straight BIG EAST Championship on the women’s side and helped mentor a total of nine student-athletes to NCAA Championship appearances, with two qualifying for the A-finals and achieving All-American status.

The men’s team sent three individuals and four relay swimmers to nationals, with De Lucca becoming the second Cardinal in history to win an NCAA Championship when he won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:33.49 – the third fastest time in NCAA history.

Following the year, Komisarz Baugh was a finalist for assistant coach of the year by College Swimming Awards.

In addition to designing and executing the Cardinals’ workout programs, she has also served as the Cardinals’ primary recruiting coordinator. From 2010-2012, she recruited the 12th , seventh and 23rd fastest freshman classes, respectively.

The Warren, Michigan native was a member of the 2004 USA Olympic Team where she won a gold and silver medal in Athens, Greece. She had the honor of representing her country in the 800 free relay that brought home the gold medal and the 400 medley relay that placed second.

Komisarz, a 1999 graduate from the University of Kentucky, was a three time SEC Champion and a seven time NCAA All-American from 1996-1999. Coached by Gary Conelly, she was the SEC Swimmer of the Year and won the SEC Commissioner’s Award.

Swimming in college was just the beginning of her swimming career. After graduating from UK, Komisarz hit swimming’s International stage. In 2001, she was a five-time World University Games medalist, tying the most medals won by a female swimmer during the games. This set off her professional swimming career and she was offered a contract with Speedo in late 2001. She went on to represent Team USA in 2003 at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, where as a member of the 800-free relay, Komisarz set her first American record and became a World Champion. In 2004, the highlight of Komisarz’s career was winning the 100 fly at the Olympic trials to earn her spot on the Olympic Team where she brought home a gold and silver medal.

In 2005, she continued her career and qualified for the World Championships in Montreal, Canada where she helped the 400 medley relay win silver. In 2006, she edged out her national competition again and became a National Champion for the second time and also earned a spot on the Pan Pacific Championship Team, winning a silver medal in the 100-fly and a gold medal in the 400 medley relay. Later that year, she was a silver medalist in the 100 fly and won gold in both the 400 medley relay and the 800 free relay at the Short Course World Championships.

In 2007, Komisarz became a National Champion for the third time in the 100-fly and was recognized as a leader and voted by her teammates as the team captain of the Japan Grand Prix Meet. During the last year of Komisarz professional career in 2008, she set five American records in the 50-fly, the 100-fly, the 400 free relay, 800 free relay and the 400 medley relay at the Short Course World Championships. The gold medal finish in the 400 medley relay also awarded Komisarz with her first World Record performance.

In all, she won 23 International medals and broke five American Records and one World Record. She and her husband Jeff Baugh were married on April 22nd, 2007 during a sunset beach wedding in Marco Island, Fla.

Sport Achievements
2004 Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist
2007 World Championship Team member, Melbourne, Australia
2006 Pan Pacific Games- 2nd 100 fly, 1st 400 Medley relay
2006 Runner up National Champion 100 fly
2006 Short Course World Champs- 2nd 100 fly
2005 National Champion- 100 fly
2005 LC World Championships- 4th 100 fly, 2nd 400 medley relay, 1st 800 freestyle relay
2004 Olympic Trial Champion- 100 fly
2004 Olympic Games- 1st 800 free relay, 2nd 400 medley relay
2004 SC World Championships- 1st 800 free relay, 2nd 100 fly
2003 World Champion and American Record Holder
2002 SC World Championships
AMERICAN RECORD 400 medley relay
AMERICAN RECORD 800 free relay USA National Team
Five time World University medallist
Seven time NCAA All-American SEC Swimmer of the Year
1999, SEC Commissioners award
1999 Three time SEC Champion in 200 fly, 500 free, 1650 free

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World. To reach our audience, contact us at newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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