John Hargis Named Head Coach at Pittsburgh

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo

John Hargis, a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist and 12-time All-America swimmer, has been named the University of Pittsburgh’s new head swimming and diving coach, Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes announced.

Hargis spent the past three years as associate head coach at Auburn, his alma mater. He previously was the head coach at Penn State from 2008-13.

“John has the pedigree, passion and track record of success that will serve as a strong foundation for excellence at Pitt,” Barnes said. “We have the shared vision of academic achievement, winning championships and graduating our student-athletes. I have no doubt that John will help take Pitt swimming and diving to new and exciting heights.”

“I am tremendously excited to be joining the Pitt family,” Hargis said. “I want to thank Scott Barnes, Wendy Meyers [Executive Associate Athletic Director and Chief Financial Officer] and the search committee for giving me this great opportunity. The more I visited with Scott and the committee, the more impressed I became with their enthusiasm and vision for Pitt Athletics and the swimming and diving program. I’m equally excited about what we can accomplish at Pitt and can’t wait to share the vision with our student-athletes. Hail to Pitt!”

At Auburn the past three seasons, Hargis helped lead a program that annually contends for top honors in the Southeastern Conference and nationally. This past season, the Tigers’ men finished 10th at the NCAA Championships. The swimmers under Hargis’ direction broke three school records and won five titles at the SEC Championships.

While at Auburn, Hargis coached Annie Lazor to a Bronze Medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

As head coach at Penn State, Hargis established the Nittany Lions as perennial contenders in the Big Ten. In five seasons, his student-athletes produced 74 All-America performances. In Hargis’ final season, the Penn State men and women combined for 20 All-America citations at the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

During his Penn State tenure, he also coached on the international level. Working as an assistant for Team USA at the 2011 World University Games, Hargis helped the Americans earn 13 medals.

Prior to Penn State, Hargis spent the 2007-08 season as head women’s coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also spent time as the head coach and the chief executive officer of the Little Rock Arkansas Dolphins swim club, which enjoyed unprecedented championship success under his watch.

Hargis served as a collegiate assistant coach at Arkansas-Little Rock (2006-07), Penn State (2003-06) and UNLV (2002-03).

A native of Clinton, Ark., Hargis is a 1999 graduate of Auburn with a degree in health promotion/sports management. One of the most decorated swimmers to come out of the state of Arkansas, he was inducted into the Arkansas State Swimming Hall of Fame in 2001 and was selected as one of Arkansas’ 100 Greatest Athletes of all-time.

Hargis was part of Auburn’s first NCAA championship team in 1997 as well as the Tigers’ initial SEC championship squad in 1994. In addition to a dozen All-America citations, he was a three-time SEC champion in the 100 butterfly. Hargis won an Olympic Gold Medal at the 1996 Games in Atlanta as a member of the 400 medley relay team.

He and his wife Lauren, a Pitt graduate, have three children: daughter Faith and sons John and Nathan.

Pitt Athletics contributed this report.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    seminoles

    Congratulations John!

Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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