MIAMI, Fla., June 25. MARIUSZ Podkoscielny, the Oregon State University head women's coach for the past seven years, has accepted the position as the new head women's coach at the University of Miami.
Podkoscielny is a former All-American at the University of Arizona, an NCAA champion in 1989 and an Olympian for his native Poland in 1988 and 1992. As OSU head coach, he directed the school's rise from mediocrity to one of the country's more competitive programs.
During his tenure with the Beavers, 107 swimmers set new school records and his teams went a combined 40-38 overall in the highly competitive PAC-10 Conference.
For the last three seasons, each of his teams have gone to the NCAA Championships.
The Beavers' rise to respectability was rapid under Podkoscielny. Prior to his tenure, Oregon State had not had a winning record in dual-meet competition in five years. Oregon State also had two All-Americans in the same year for the first time the program's history and the Beavers' No. 31 ranking at the close of the season was their highest ever.
"When I came into Oregon State seven years ago, I think you could say that the program was kind of crawling around looking for a direction to go in," Podkoscielny said. He elaborated that the program has since taken off through a joint effort of the coaching staff and the athletics department.
"Every single year we'd accomplished something that had never been done before," he said.
Podkoscielny explained that although leaving Oregon State is a "bittersweet" experience, he is "excited about the opportunities" presented by the University of Miami.
"The search process has brought us a tremendous new coach to our program and we look forward to his joining us and taking charge of the program," University of Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee said.
"I've always looked at the University of Miami program as having all the things in place and the potential to be even better," Podkoscielny said. "I'm excited to be part of making it even better."
Podkoscielny begins his new job on July 1 and looks
forward to "breaking into the top 10 or 15 teams in the nation" before long.
He also commented on the possibility that Miami might reinstate its men's team, dropped this year. Certainly finances are not a problem for the flush Miami athletic department. "It's a possibility," Podkoscielny said, "but it's too early to speculate."