Finch Promoted To Associate Head Coach At Duke

Photo Courtesy: Duke Athletics

Duke head swimming and diving coach Dan Colella has announced that assistant coach Doak Finch has been elevated to the position of associate head coach for the upcoming 2017-18 campaign.

“This promotion is well deserved,” Colella said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have Coach Finch as a resource for our staff and team. He will continue to help us reach new heights in the coming season.”

After joining the Blue Devil coaching staff at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Finch saw both the men’s and women’s programs place at the 2017 NCAA Championships. Duke featured a pair of All-Americans in senior Peter Kropp (first team, 100-yard breaststroke) and junior MaryEllen Targonski (honorable mention, platform diving). Kropp and junior Leah Goldman also garnered All-ACC accolades at the conference championship.

Finch directed multiple student-athletes to success at his first ACC Championships meet, as junior Matt Johnson and freshman Roger Kriegl both posted top-eight finishes in the 1,650 freestyle with a pair of record-breaking performances. Kriegl also took down a program record in the 500 freestyle while junior Verity Abel was eighth in the mile and surpassed the school record in the 400 individual medley.

Finch’s first season in Durham also saw the Duke program make history as both squads defeated North Carolina in dual meet action. The men topped the Tar Heels for the first time since 1939 and the women for the first time in program history.

Finch came to Durham after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State and the previous 12 seasons as an assistant at the University of Virginia. He boasts coaching experience at the national level with USA Swimming as well, overseeing athletes who qualified for the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

An All-America performer during his own collegiate career, Finch starred for the Cavaliers from 1996 to 2000. At Virginia, he was an 11-time NCAA All-American and an 11-time ACC event champion, capturing eight ACC titles as an individual and three as a member of Cavalier relays. He was named the 1997 ACC Rookie of the Year and MVP of the 1998 ACC Championship meet. He became the 14th individual to win four consecutive ACC titles in the same event in 2000 (400 IM).

Finch placed seventh at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 butterfly, and also represented the United States at the 1999 World University Games in Palma, Spain, where he finished sixth in the 200 butterfly.

A native of Southern Pines, N.C., Finch graduated from Virginia in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Press release courtesy of Duke Athletics. 

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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