Arizona State Adds Legendary Dave Salo as Associate Head Coach

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Arizona State Adds Legendary Dave Salo as Associate Head Coach

Dave Salo has been hired as Associate Head Coach at Arizona State, the school announced on Wednesday.

Salo, the longtime coach in at USC, will join new head coach Herbie Behm’s staff, alongside Derek Schmitt, Logan Hirka, Austin Pillado, Alex Sherman and Sam Iida.

Salo coached at USC for 14 seasons, stepping down at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

“Dave Salo is a swimming icon. He’s a thinker who has pushed the sport forward for over 30 years and someone I’ve looked up too my entire career,” Behm said in a press release. “Everything one can achieve as a swim coach, he’s achieved. I’m so lucky to be able to work with someone like Dave and I know the team will be in great hands with his leadership.”

The affinity between the sprint tutelage of Behm and Salo is clear, with Behm raising a new generation of Arizona State sprinters that won the program’s first national title last year and Salo long a world-renowned coach of speedsters.

“Herbie is one of the brightest and curious coaches in the country. I would not have considered collegiate coaching again with anyone else,” Salo said. “I look forward to a partnership with Herbie to continue to advance and promote the Sun Devil program.”

Salo’s most recent chapter at USC is just one of many in his storied career. He coached the U.S. men’s team at the 2005 World Championships, the women at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and was a Team USA assistant in 2000, 2004 and 2012. Trojan Swim Club was long a magnet for international swimmers. Salo was inducted to the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010.

Salo swam at Santa Rosa Junior College and Long Beach State, graduating from the latter, where he began his coaching career. He did a four-year stint at USC as an assistant in the 1980s. He was the head coach of Irvine Novaquatics from 1990-2006, elevating it to one of the top clubs in California and the western United States. At USC, he mentored seven Olympic medalists and was named the 2002 U.S. Swimming Coach of the Year.

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Randy Rogers
Randy Rogers
11 days ago

Congratulations to Dave! A great hire that will serve ASU well. I swam against Dave as an age grouper when he swam for Petaluma Swim Club.

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