LOS ANGELES, California, July 12. USC swimming head coach Dave Salo, whose women's and men's teams finished third and seventh, respectively, at the 2011 NCAA Championships and featured a combined 16 All-Americans, signed a five-year contract extension with the Trojans, USC Athletic Director Pat Haden announced Tuesday (July 12).
"I am proud of the improvements we have made and quite eager to continue progressing in this direction," Salo said. "The vote of confidence from Pat Haden and (senior associate athletic director) Donna Heinel on the job that we are doing is greatly appreciated. It's great to be a Trojan!"
Said Heinel: "Dave and his staff have orchestrated the return of USC swimming to one of the premiere programs in the nation and they aren't finished yet. They have achieved this success by targeting student-athletes of the highest caliber both academically and athletically. My hat is off to the coaching staff and to the student-athletes for their hard work and dedication to this program."
Salo, about to begin his sixth year at the helm of both prestigious programs, is one of the most highly regarded swim coaches in the world who was inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame last September.
The Trojan women's team's third-place finish at the NCAAs was its best since 2003 and marked the fourth year in row USC improved its national finish. Troy finished 9-2 and third at the Pac-10 Championships. Junior Katinka Hosszu won three NCAA titles (200y IM, 400y IM, 200y fly) and was named NCAA Swimmer of the meet and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year. She was also tabbed as the Honda Sports Award winner as the nation's top athlete in swimming and diving. In addition to the five-time All-American Hosszu, four other Trojans earned at least three All-American honors apiece.
The seventh-place NCAA finish by the men's team was its best since 2007 and marked its third straight season of improvement. USC was led by four-time All-American sprinter Vladimir Morozov, the 2011 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year who rewrote the Trojan record books repeatedly his freshman year. Complementing Morozov were three-time All-Americans Clement Lefert and Dimitri Colupaev, the trio spearheading the revitalized men's team that finished 7-3 overall and fourth at the highly competitive Pac-10 Championships.
Salo has had the Trojan swim program on the upswing since returning to USC in 2007 after more than 15 years guiding the highly successful Irvine Novas club team, which featured many notable Olympians and world champions, including Aaron Peirsol, Jason Lezak and Amanda Beard. Prior to his stint in Irvine, Salo was an assistant coach at USC under the legendary Peter Daland from 1985-1990.
While at USC, Salo has continued to help propel swimmers to the top echelons of the sport. Under Salo, Trojans Rebecca Soni and Ous Mellouli won gold medals at the 2008 Olympics while Larsen Jensen won a bronze. Hosszu became a world champion in 2009, as did Soni and Mellouli. Hosszu and current Trojan teammates Haley Anderson, Stina Gardell and Morozov will represent USC (and their respective countries) at the upcoming World Championships later this month in China.
In 2010, USC's women's and men's teams finished seventh and 11th, respectively, at the NCAA Championships. The women (10-2) were third at the Pac-10s while the men (7-3) were fourth. The Trojan women combined for seven NCAA final appearances while the men's team featured four All-Americans. USC's women's team finished ninth at the 2009 NCAAs (its best effort since 2004) with Soni winning NCAA titles in the 100y and 200y breast for the second straight season.
Salo, the SwimNews.com 2010 International Women's Coach of the Year, has also maintained an elite level of success as director of USC's Trojan Swim Club, which not only houses some of USC's top recent swimmers but also includes an array of the best swimmers in the world. In fact, Trojan Swim Club is sending some 20 swimmers to the 2011 World Championships and features more than 20 Olympians on its roster, including many medal winners.
Additionally, Salo has served extensively at the national level, including head coaching assignments for the United States at the 2005 World Championships (men) and the 2001 Goodwill Games (men). His assistant coaching duties for the U.S. include the 2010 Short Course World Championships (women), 2004 Olympics (men), 2003 World Championships (men and women), 2002 Pan Pacific Championships (men), 2000 Olympics (women) and the 1999 Pan American Games (women).
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