PITTSBURGH, September 22. HEAD swimming and diving coach Chuck Knoles announced the hiring of assistant coach Rick West on Friday for the 2003-04 season. West joins the Panthers from nearby Duquesne University, where he served as the head coach of the men's swimming team in 2002-03.
"We are fortunate to have a coach with Rick's experience and panache," Knoles said. "He will immediately help us to climb higher in the ranks of Division I programs nationally. Rick is a great recruiter and coach – just the combination we need. It is exciting for me to be able to say that we have again combined personnel to have one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the country."
As head coach of the Dukes, he coached the first ever Atlantic 10 champion swimmer in the program's 26-year history and directed the organization, training, compliance, budgeting and recruiting for the team. Prior to his work with Duquesne, West was an assistant men's swimming coach for Ohio State during the summer of 2002. He was responsible for coordinating the Buckeyes' recruiting effort, including contacting prospects, developing interest and scouting talent.
West was an assistant coach at Wheeling Jesuit University for the 2000-01 season and was promoted to head coach and aquatics director the following year. As head coach, he was responsible for the organization and recruiting of the top 25 NCAA Division II swimming program at WJU and coached the men's team to an 11-3 dual meet record and a first-place finish in the Bluegrass Mountain/West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships. Five of his athletes qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships and four earned All-America status. For his efforts, West was named the Bluegrass Mountain/WVIAC Coach of the Year.
West was also a head men's and women's swimming coach at Steubenville High School in Steubenville, Ohio from 1996-2000. There, he started the team's program from scratch and earned a record of 94-16 in dual meet competition. His teams won five Ohio Valley Conference titles and 49 of his athletes qualified for the district meet. He also instructed eight Academic All-Americans at Steubenville.
In addition to his coaching experience, West has volunteered at many youth swimming programs and has been both a head coach and assistant coach for various YMCA club teams in West Virginia.
West is a native of Moundsville, W.Va. He and his wife, Carrie, have two daughters, Carleigh (4) and Sydney (3).