Amanda Beard Returns to Alma Mater Arizona as Assistant Coach

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

Amanda Beard Returns to Alma Mater Arizona as Assistant Coach

Olympic gold medalist Amanda Beard is returning to her alma mater, the University of Arizona, as an assistant coach. Beard joins the staff of Augie Busch, whose father Frank Busch was Beard’s coach in her days in Tucson.

Beard will serve as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s teams. The move was confirmed by a program source.

Beard is one of the most accomplished American breaststrokers in history, a seven-time Olympic medalist. The native of Newport Beach, Calif., became a star while barely a teenager for Novaquatics Swim Club, under the leadership of Dave Salo. She won her first national title in 1995 at age 13. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, as a 14-year-old, she won silver in both breaststroke events to go with medley relay gold.

She would add bronze in the 200 breast in Sydney in 2000, then won the event at the Athens Games in 2004. She tied the world record set by Qi Hui of China at the 2003 World Championships, then claimed sole possession of the world record at U.S. Olympic Trials in 2004, two days after Australian Leisel Jones had lowered the mark.

Beard qualified for a fourth Olympics in 2008 and made a bid in 2012 for a fifth, falling short by finishing fifth in Olympic Trials in he 200 breast. Beard was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2018.

A significant part of that growth came at Arizona. She was an NCAA champion in 2001 and used her time in Tucson as a springboard to 21 total medals in major international competitions.

The 41-year-old has dabbled in coaching in her post-swimming career, in addition to becoming a best-selling author. She founded Beard Swim Co., based in Tacoma, Washington, offering private instruction sessions. The company provides both instruction for elite swimmers and learn-to-swim curriculum.

Beard joins Lara Jackson and Roric Fink on the staff of Augie Busch, who has been at the helm since 2017. The Wildcats’ men’s team finished fourth out of six at the Pac-12 Championships last year, while the women were sixth out of eight teams.

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10 months ago

Incredible hire for the UofA…HUGE!!!!!!

Sean Coughlin
Sean Coughlin
10 months ago

What has happened to the Arizona program? It was a power for years but has fallen off considerably.

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