Duke Names Doak Finch Interim Swimming Coach

Photo Courtesy: Duke Athletics

Duke Names Doak Finch Interim Swimming Coach

Doak Finch has been named the interim swimming and diving coach at Duke University, replacing the late Dan Colella.

Finch will oversee the rest of the 2022-23 season, the school announced on Thursday. He will take the position long held by Colella, who died last week after 17 seasons coaching the Blue Devils.

Finch was hired to Colella’s staff in 2016, becoming the associate head coach after the 2016-17 season. He was part of last year’s fifth-place finish for the women’s team at the ACC Championships, tying the best in program history. The women’s team also finished 24th at the NCAA Championships this season.

Finch started coaching at his alma mater, the University of Virginia, where he was an 11-time ACC champion and 11-time NCAA all-American. The 1997 ACC Rookie of the Year and 1998 ACC Championships Most Valuable Swimmer won eight individual ACC titles and three relay crowns. He also finaled at the World University Games in 1999 and U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 2000.

He spent 12 years as an assistant with the Cavaliers, from 2001-13. His specialty was a distance group that helped the Cavaliers dominate the ACC from 2008-13, including four top-10 NCAA finishes (2009-11 for the men, 2010 for the women). Finch has coached athletes who have qualified for each of the last five U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

After UVA, Finch spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State. Of the six NCAA championships, men’s and women’s, he went to with the Nittany Lions, teams finished in the top 25 all but once.

Colella died at age 60 after a battle with cancer last week. He’d been the head coach since the 2005-06 season, mentoring swimmers and divers who accumulated 64 All-American honors and 24 ACC Championships.

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